November 3, 2012

Random babblings: On corvids and connections

On a very November day, I wandered through a cemetery full of crows, thinking, thinking, thinking...

Greenmount Cemetery's located in one of the sketchier neighborhoods of Baltimore, but it's well worth venturing through the nearby streets for because it's one of the vastest, most gorgeous cemeteries I've ever visited.  I discovered it through the work of A. Aubrey Bodine, who photographed Baltimore and Maryland for 50 years for the Baltimore Sun.  Sounds completely trite to describe it this way, but really, the place is an oasis of rolling hills, lovely trees, and beautiful monuments in the middle of some serious urban decay.  Historically important, too, and not just for its notoriety as the final resting place of John Wilkes Booth.

 A fellow blogger, J., recently posted about a cemetery visit of her own.  I refer to her as a "fellow blogger", but is there more to it than that?  We first "met" through the blogosphere portion of the internet when she discovered my own blog and posted a comment asking me to get in touch with her via e-mail so that we could talk more in-depth.  I did and we began a correspondence about what the music we love means to us.  She shared very private details of her personal life with me and it felt like a bond was beginning to form.  Then we lost touch for a bit (my fault, through distraction and laziness).  Recently, we finally had the opportunity to meet "IRL", as the internet parlance goes.  It took place in a fair-sized group, though, and once we'd said hello and shared a hug, we each ended up talking to other people.  So what does that make us?  Fellow bloggers, acquaintances, friends...?  I'd like to be able to refer to her as the latter because I very much like what I know of her, but developing a deeper connection has eluded us.  But that doesn't mean the potential isn't there.  I think that, in this age of internet connection with folks who share interests but are strewn around the world, someone needs to come up with a new term for people who would likely be friends if only proximity allowed.  It's not like long-distance friendships with people one has barely, if ever, met are anything new.  Bookstores are full of collections of letters between literary and historical figures who shared ideas and emotional resonance through the written word because they were nations apart.  How is what happens all the time on Facebook and message boards any different?  Ok, yes, the communication you find on the internet these days is certainly probably much shallower than that of folks in those olden days (at least the ones whose letters made it into published books).  But are the relationships formed through such communication any less valid?

Posts like this in which I pose so many questions make me feel like that character from Sex and the City, the writer chick.  Someone please tell me it doesn't really come across that way...

Annoying that the crow photos didn't come out as well as I would've liked.  They were everywhere.  Couldn't get near them on foot, but was pleasantly surprised as I was leaving by the way that several of them perched on headstones right next to the lane seemed completely undisturbed when I brought the car to a stop and rolled down the window to capture some shots.  Huge buggers.  Hard not to think of Poe's raven, even though it's not likely that piece was inspired by Baltimore's birds.

In other news, I still cannot get this song out of my head. Not sure why, but it somehow seemed especially fitting today.



lostgander said...

Decidedly not like a Sex in the City ramble. What you speak of in terms of 'internet relationships' often rattles through my mind, too. I do not think that these are any less 'real' due to their lack of an in-person aspect. I like how you compare them to those of literary figures writing letters to each other. I recently read some of Kafka's letters and diaries. He so rarely saw his fiancee (including, I believe, only once or twice briefly before they became engaged) and yet his letters represent deep outpourings of his inner life to her. Those of us who read each others' blogs, comment, and sometimes even start up email correspondence often know more about each other than people we may actually see everyday. But seeing is not the same as knowing, as I think we both are aware.

Beautiful photos of the's not too far from where I live and yet I still have not visited. I also live near an ancestral winter crow roost in the city, so every day at dusk hundreds of crows fly over my house, cawing and swooping through the air. It is an awesome sight.

Nice to see you posting again!

KaliDurga said...

Agreed. I think that, like anything else on the internet (or, indeed, many things that have nothing to do with the internet), it is what you make of it. If all you ever have on the internet is shallow conversations, then that's all that your on-line "friendships" will be. But what's important to note is that that also applies to in-person friendships-- If your face-to-face relationships with people consist of little more than football scores, the weather, or drinks on Friday night, then what makes them any more valid a connection than one that's, in a literal sense, more detached? The potential for deep relationships via spoken word has been proven by examples just like the one you gave. Though in that sort of relationship, I do still find myself wishing at some point that I could put a face to the name and hear a voice at some point (as I'm sure Kafka and his fiancee must have).

Would be fantastic to see those crows swooping by your house! I've been so happy to see them coming back after the virus that took so many of them away a few years ago.

And thank you!