The Slacktivixen loves her new scarf. I was pretty sure she would, since it’s beautiful and just the sort of thing she usually loves. But I’m always a little nervous about gift-giving, and so I couldn’t know for sure that she’d like it until this morning when we opened our Christmas presents and … yes! … success.
I was particularly nervous about the scarf because I picked it out all by myself. I don’t tend to do that. I get the girls to help me pick things out for their mom, and I get their mom to help me pick things out for the girls — thus avoiding the sorts of miscalculations of style or size or general what-on-earth-were-you-thinking? that I’ve occasionally made in the past.
But then it’s not really true that I picked this scarf out all by myself. I had plenty of help, but it all came from people I’ve never met. These are people I trust, people I rely on, and people I’m quite fond of. And yet I’ve never met them.
This is an odd feature of my life these days. A great many people I’ve never met have become very important to me.
The woman in the picture here is Ra Noe. Never met her. She lives in Austin, Texas, and is originally from Burma — two places I’ve never been. She made the scarf that made my wife happy this Christmas morning.I got to know her and her neighbors thanks to J.R. Goudeau, a blogger from Austin. I’ve never met her, either, but I trust her and have come, through her blog, to share a tiny degree of her love for her refugee neighbors from Burma.
I couldn’t tell you how I first came across her blog. It was probably through a link from Rachel Held Evans or Sarah Bessey or some other blogger I’ve never met either.
There’s a whole network of such people — a community, really, even though that’s a strange word to use for people I’ve never met. It’s a broad community of writers, readers, commenters, lurkers, linkers and likers, most of whom I will never meet except as pixels on a screen. And yet this community is important to me. I rely on them, trust them, admire them. I miss them when I haven’t heard from them in a while.
And since, if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them — probably some part of that community — then I should probably switch to the second person here. You folks mean a lot to me. You plural, you singular. So thank you.
Thank you, Ra Noe, for making the beautiful scarf I gave my wife this morning. Thank you, J.R., for introducing me to her. Thank you blogosphere for introducing me to dozens of people like J.R. Thank you community of people I’ve never met for being such a wonderful virtual neighborhood.
Merry Christmas to all of you. Plural and singular. Merry Christmas to you.