I don’t know about you, but in my experience, when you are a kid, older cousins are the highest pinnacle of all that is cool. This may be true for me because when I was a kid I was the youngest of all the cousins on either side of my family, so everyone was cooler and had better stuff than me.
I have a searing memory of getting in trouble for looking at/breathing near my cousin’s wicked awesome Millennium Falcon, but I have no memory of ever having touched the blessed toy. There were times when our grandparents’ basement was a shrine to all things Star Wars, with action figures and their assigned accoutrement lined up and arranged just so. We (meaning my sister, his sister, and I) were not allowed in the basement when said shrine was in occupation. I remember getting into further trouble for walking through my grandparents’ flower bed just to look in the window at this display.
I would go so far as to say it was these experiences that led me to being a bit of a late-blossoming fan of such things as Doctor Who (and other geeky delights) because these things belonged to this particular cousin and I was not allowed to play with his toys.
Through the blue-squared channel of Facebook I recently got in touch with another older cousin, Kasey. Because Kasey never lived close to us, it was always a special treat if we got to see her. I was delighted to find her on Facebook.
I was further delighted to see that she had a blog on WordPress, too. The first post I was able to read was a beautiful, transporting piece about how when she can, she takes the long way in to work. (“On My Way to Work”)
The post reminded me so much of myself. We’ve been commenting on each other’s posts ever since. What a splendid place to find the familiar, in the frame of your own family.
I love meeting other writers.
Meeting another person who writes is much more than meeting someone else who does the same thing as you. It is not like meeting someone who also plays soccer, or sings, or cooks, or walks, or breathes.
It is more like meeting someone who shares the same deformity as you. Neither of you can explain why you have it, it is just there, and now you have found someone who knows.
For the most part, such a deformity is kept to one’s self, until you are a few conversations into your friendship.
“Ah, I see you have eleven toes,” you say, as you untie your shoes, slip off a sock. “I, too, have an extra toe.”
And as soon as you find out that you have this in common (the writing, not the extra toe), you know a host of other things about them. You know that they understand what it is like to be so intrigued by a question you would write 600 pages until you have an answer. Here is another person who revels in gazing at maps without lines on them, or maybe there are lines, they are just blue, and horizontal, and they start at the top and end at the bottom.
Either way, you don’t know where you are going until you get there. It’s more than a little terrifying. Still, on you go, straight in, because it is beautiful, strange, perfect, and where you belong.
It is true, no matter how many toes we have, we have to venture into the map alone, but how lovely, just wonderful, to know that someone else close by is in their own map, and in this vast wasteland (because so much of what we put down is waste), we are somehow connected.
These people are tangible evidence that not only is our deformity not unique, for most of us here, it is necessary.
Visit Kasey’s blog at singleworkingmomswm.wordpress.com. See, I am not stingy with the things I like.
I surely hope my dear cousin knows I’m teasing. Otherwise he might stop giving me suggestions on new TV shows to watch.