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Husband, father, grandfather, friend...a few of the roles acquired in 62 years of living.  I keep an upbeat attitude, loving humor and the singular freedom of a perfect laugh.  I don't let curmudgeons ruin my day; that only gives them power over me.  Having experienced death once, I no longer fear it, although I am still frightened by the process of dying.  I love to write because it allows me the freedom to vent those complex feelings that bounce restlessly off the walls of my mind; and express the beauty that can only be found within the human heart.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Next Blog...And The Next...And The Next...

Copyright © 2010 by Ralph Couey

A Blog is a wonderful thing.  I think it may go down as one of the most impactful inventions of the information age.  This is, after all, where we  bloggers regularly expose our innermost thoughts and whims, our joys and sorrows; where we "talk" about the things that ignite our passions.  Even when immersed in crafting my next post, I found myself wondering what other people were doing with their pages.  Lately, I've been making use of the "Next Blog" link that appears at the very top of my page, a neat little squib provided us by the good folks at Blogger. 

I've written quite a bit about the journey of life that I find myself on.  I find that I deal with life's upsets a little better if I imagine these things to be mere mile posts along the road I travel.  And like any trip up or down the Pennsylvania Turnpike, if I can put these posts in my rear view mirror, I can keep everything in perspective.  Once a thing is done, it is done.  Nothing can change what happened; you have only the future with which to craft and shape your path.

So, on several occasions, I've gone to that link and taken another kind of journey.  However, this is not a journey about me, but rather about the people and families I meet as I skip through all these blogs.

Most of the sites I encounter, it seems, are focused on the events of families.  These are easy to spot because the babies, toddlers, kids, and teens are always front and center.  The postings tell about their lives, both the happy, the tragic, and the mundane.  But universally expressed is the love that these parents have for their children.  Most Moms have completely immersed themselves in raising their children, and they blog often about the common fears and dreams that all parents have.  It's a wonderful exercise in universality; perhaps the one thing that links us all, across nations, cultures, and tribes.

Other blogs speak of a particular talent or passion, such as religion, quilting, photography, scrapbooking, painting, poetry, and other less esoteric pursuits, such as skateboarding and sports.  There are blogs where teachers pass out assignments, and historians, both professional and amateur, write about their areas of expertise.  Some blogs are about people who have moved to foreign lands and blog about their experiences as they live and work in cultures vastly different from their own.

There are a surprising number of blogs that people use as a sort of scratching post, where they spew about their frustrations and the things that make them angry.  This is one of the healthiest aspects of blogging.  The one place where you can safely get it all off your chest.

Then there are those truly eclectic blogs that don't really have a point at all.  Where I write long, involved posts, these folks pen missives that are no more than three or four lines long.  Just a microphotograph of their daily lives; the random thoughts that flow through their minds.  I find these intriguing, because you never know the context out of which these "drive-bys" sprang, although it can be a fun little mind experiment to guess.

Sometimes, I run across marvelously inventive snippets.  One that has stayed with me was posted by a very busy and frenetic young mom:

"Be the kind of woman that, when your feet hit the floor in the morning,
the devil moans, "Oh no!  She's awake!"

That's good advice for anyone.

Occasionally, in my roamings, that randomized computer at Blogger that decides these things will send me to one of my four blogs.  For a bare, brief moment, I have the gift of perspective; of seeing my site through the eyes of someone else.  It has proven to be a real learning moment for me.

I want to take this opportunity to thank those who so bravely expose their souls through this marvelous medium.  It is a fine way to learn about others; to see life through their eyes, and for a few moments, share with them their path of life.  It is at the same time intimate and impersonal; profound and mundane; serious and funny. 

It is the best way we can all connect;  the best place to discover our common humanity.
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