Last week my therapist said "You've been reading a lot of blogs. Let's talk about why. What do you get out of them?"
Fifteen minutes later I stopped talking, pretty much without having paused, and said "What was the question?" He grinned and said "Well, you answered it."
What I'd been talking about was how it felt to have connected with a world of people who share and understand my passion - for whom the passion for fiber and creation isn't an oddity, who understand that a hobby isn't just a way to pass time but can be a call of the spirit. And who are also pretty much a good bunch of folk. All communities inevitably have grouches and jerks, but so far, with knitting and knit blogging, the unusually smart, articulate, passionate, funny, interesting, engaged and thoughtful people far outnumber the bores and the boors.
I'm odd, so it is possible I just attract and am attracted to the like-mindedly odd, but I don't run into that many of the like-mindedly odd in the real world.
I find so much out there that is interesting in blog-land (which, by the way, needs another name, because that's just an ugly word), not just in the knit blog world - windows into people's suffering and joy, passion and pissiness, and constantly find myself stumbling onto the articulation of an idea that has been floating around in me only half understood.
People outraged, people falling love, people enjoying, venting, mastering skills, remodeling kitchens, reading, learning, changing, marriages beginning and ending, children being born or, so tragically, lost. People discovering their lives, and themselves, risking themselves by exposing something to a stranger and gaining something in the process - knowledge, perspective, agreement, discussion, a greater sense of self.
It fills a void I am not sure I even knew was there, something akin to the community of a college campus, or the lost neigborhoods of communities that've been eaten up by town-center-less development. Akin, but not the same.
It is brilliant. A gift. I'm grateful.