On My Facebook Anniversary

facebook-anniversaire-benjamin

On My Facebook Anniversary –

Earlier this week I was notified by Facebook, who obviously keeps track of such things, that I had been a member for eight years, and that, indeed, it was time to celebrate an anniversary.

I’ll bite, I thought, and remembered the time when I, ever so reluctantly, signed up. I did it to please a friend, who posted daily, or hourly so it seemed, pictures of her grandchild. Not, mind you, that I was against seeing the progress of this incredible infant as she smiled, cried, slept for the camera.

And then, over time, I connected with friends, honest-to-goodness friends and that was lovely – keeping in touch, painlessly, as well as being able to see pictures of their restaurant meals. I learned a lot, because, of course, I had never seen a picture of rare steak before.

Gradually I found acquaintances – friends of friends, artists, other writers, and it was interesting to see what was going on in their lives, their experiences, travails. It made me feel connected. It felt good.

Then the interest groups – hurrah! Historic Baltimore groups, history groups, writing groups, Zentangle groups, and, these last months, political action groups. What a difference this has made, to me, to my work. The idea for my latest historical novel, Echoes from the Alum Chine, was born when someone posted an article from the Baltimore Sun about ship being loaded with dynamite that blew up in the harbor. I had not heard of it before, and it stayed in my mind. I knew I would one day write about it, and more than two years after I first saw the article, I put pen to paper. Now it is finished. All because of a Facebook post.

When I follow poets and novelists, including poet- and novelist-wannabes, I receive affirmation and encouragement to continue, even through those dark days and nights.

And in recent times, I have taken solace in postings from like-minded, wounded, troubled, wondering souls like myself who still can’t quite believe the outcome of the November election. Pantsuit Nation, Wall-of-Us – just two of the groups that helped keep me sane, told me that I was not alone in my feelings, my disbelief, my grief. And so it was strangers, as well as friends, who helped my through, although I don’t believe that we are through by any means.

So, Facebook, I am celebrating this anniversary. Joyeux anniversaire, Facebook. I know you can be a blessing and a course, but, for this time, at least, you’ve been a blessing.

Another Sunday, http://www.cynthiastrauff.com

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