Marica's meanderings

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The power of blogs

Trevor and Amiel Romain, Scorching Bay, Wellington, NZ. Don't they look great after having flown here all the way from Los Angeles?One day to go until Blog Hui.

Today is one of those special Wellington days. The sun is shining. It has created this amazing haze so that the light is not crisp and clear as it usually is. Colours look incredibly different. It is warm. I am automatically feeling energised as a result. Lynsey and I have so much to do for tomorrow but none of this is as important as going to the airport to meet Trevor and Amiel Romain. Our international guests, and the conference participants, are all arriving in readiness for an exciting two days filled with conversation, networking, and new learning.

I was so excited about this meeting. I have formed a connection with Trevor (although he wouldn't be aware of this fact) through his writing. He writes about things that are all too familiar to me. He writes with soul. I am drawn to this. I couldn't help wondering what he was going to be like in person. There was a bit of fear there - would I be disappointed? Will he live up to my expectations? What was I expecting? I allowed past disappointments to linger and fester.

I could hear a voice inside me saying: “This is so silly Marica. It will all be okay.”

Interestingly I didn't voice any of my concerns to Lynsey but as it turns out he was thinking similar thoughts.

The plane was due to arrive at 9.00am. We headed for the airport in what we had thought would allow us plenty of time to get there. However, we weren’t thinking straight. We forgot today was a work day. After all neither of us were so going to work today so why would anyone else be? Reality dawned. We were trying to get to the other side of town during rush hour traffic. As we sat there in the car, not moving, we realised we might not get to the airport on time.

Bit by bit we edged our way forward another car length. We had to devise a new plan. We would take the back route to the airport which would lead us on a scenic route around the bays. I love this trip. I love the sea. It is beautiful. It feels great to be alive.

We pulled up outside the terminal at exactly 9am! I raced inside while Lynsey parked the car. We didn't want to be late. Lynsey and I were both disappointed that our plan to meet Mark Bernstein when he arrived a couple of days earlier had been unsuccessful. We were determined this was not going to happen again!

I ran up to the monitor to check which gate the plane was arriving at and imagine my relief when I read the words: Flight delayed. Expected arrival time 9.30am.

Trevor and Amiel Romain having fun on the rocks outside The Chocolate Fish Cafe, Scorching Bay, Wellington, NZI waited for Lynsey and we headed off to have a large latte. As we were sitting there we saw the plane from Auckland land. We watched it make its way across the runway to the gate where the passengers would disembark. We headed over there to greet our guests.

As people walked through the doors I kept wondering “Is this them?” I thought maybe we should have been holding a card with their names on it just as the taxi drivers do. What if they walked past us and we didn't recognise each other? The voices in my head were having a field day.

Lynsey spotted them first. I was a bit unsure.

I saw two people head directly towards us. They had the most captivating smiles on their faces. They looked so happy. I instantly felt the same. Fear melted. Everything changed.

They gave us the biggest, warmest, most meaningful hugs.

“We have been looking forward to this moment” they both said.

And so it began … a new friendship. Everything else could wait. Time together is always so precious. Nothing else is ever more important that spending time with others. In our busy work oriented lives it is so easy to forget this.

You might be wondering how all this connects to blogging.

Trevor commented in his blog:
I am in New Zealand at the moment. I would not be here if my friend Danny Gregory didn't inspire me to start a blog.

Ironically, I too was inspired by Danny Gregory. We form connections on a daily basis in our online worlds only we are not aware of them. Little did I know that the simple act of stumbling across Danny's blog would eventually lead me into blogging, into organising and holding a blogging conference here in Wellington, and into meeting people face to face that I have only ever known through their words communicated over the Internet?

Communicating online has a unique power. It enables possibilities that once seemed to fall into the realm of being impossible or too hard. Now you blog, or send an email, and before you know it you may be travelling across the world to speak at a conference, and at the same time you are making new connections and new friendships.

This all began thanks to the humble blog.

Trevor whipped this card up and presented it to us later that evening. Don't you wish you could do this? I know I do. I hope some of his talent rubs off on me!

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