My world is this crazy mash-up of virtual and actual. Both are equally as important and integral aspects of one another, two sides of the same coin of the work that I do and the life that I live. So often I feel such an overwhelming sense of gratitude and awe for being able to be part of this transformative wave of technology and social media that allows me to erase boundaries, make connections, and create new pathways into the wild unknown of possibility and oftentimes deep friendship.
This morning I was trying to think of all the amazing women I've met in person through this network, and I can't. I've lost count. After a decade of blogging and art gatherings and collaborations and teaching and adventuring there have been so many moments of kindred hellos. These moments are like unwrapping a special gift, full of anticipation and excitement over standing face to face with someone who I feel like I already know in beautiful, honest ways after a long love affair with their work. Artful expression is like that. It peels away the layers into heart and truth with such incredible ease that when finally meeting in person, it's often like coming full circle in that moment, whether the meeting was planned or a happy chance encounter.
So on the cusp of another one of these wild adventures, always an irresistible combination of a profound sense of YES mixed together with the butterflies of an utter leap of faith, I'm thinking about how deeply compelling these creative relationships are. Early Friday morning I will be on an airplane headed to Chicago to meet and celebrate with Isabel, whose pull I felt since the first moment we cross paths online. She is magic in my creative world and there are juicy things in our future together, and I can't wait to get my arms around her.
Even if these virtual relationships never get fleshed out, because many of them don't (but serendipitously, so many of them do!), I realize that doesn't make them any less valuable. Every single one is sustenance and gorgeous none the less, and I am extremely grateful for them all. Together, they blend into the lush wilderness of kindred community. My life overflows with the joy of these connections, in my feeds, in my mailbox, in my travels, in my work, and most of all in my heart.
How lucky are we to live this charmed life where the world can alchemize into words and then into lasting and meaningful friendships? It's the best kind of magic.
* Special thanks to Gina Kimmel for this wonderfully delicious zine and quote. Here's to our someday meeting for realz... and until then, I am so grateful for you in my world!