Monday, 15 June 2009

Ships that pass in the night. ##


In the Summer, when we have a lot of tourists round here, I often speak to strangers - particularly if they have a dog in tow. Last year I met a chap with two pugs - one of my favourite dogs - and we chatted happily for half an hour in the market place. We shall never see each other again; we know absolutely nothing about each other and yet we spent a pleasant half hour together. How often this seems to happen, doesn't it?

Years ago in my "previous life" I used to play early music. For several years our early music group, together with a group of dancers, used to perform on the lawns at Warwick Castle for the Summer tourists. They used to video us as we performed - this was particularly true of the Japanese tourists and we used to joke that we must feature on so many Japanese videos. I like to imagine ageing Japanese tourists looking at their old holiday videos and myself playing the crumhorn in their living rooms.

On my sitting room wall I have the pencil drawing in today's photograph. It was given to my previous husband by the artist, Toni Bartl, (who's work he much admired) in return for some small job done for him. All I know about the sitter is that she was a Parisian girl and that Toni drew and painted her over a period of weeks - she became his muse for a short while. Now she resides on my wall, looking out at me. I look at her every day - I often wonder who she is, where she is, whether she is still alive (1948 is the date on the drawing). I am sorry about the reflection of the flash in the photograph - but then I think it is quite appropriate - we are seeing her behind glass and we can never get any nearer to her.

In a way bloggers are ships that pass in the night - although these cyber-relationships somehow seem to be more lasting, don't they?

I suppose things like air transport, television, cyberspace, photography - as they develop and get more sophisticated, so contact with other people widens and develops, and the world (in theory) becomes a smaller place. That has got to be good, hasn't it?

Do you have any "ships that pass in the night" moments that are memorable? A meme perhaps.


##Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

19 comments:

Heather said...

Your posts are always thought provoking and this one is no exception. I can't think of any such moments right now, but there must be at least one lurking deep in my memory. The drawing is lovely and how nice that you still have it.

Elizabeth said...

I think striking up conversations with strangers is fascinating and very enriching.
What an interesting story to go with the drawing.

acornmoon said...

I have posted a little item /invitation about Mug Monday on 22nd June.

Maybe the lady in the drawing is a blogger! How weird would that be? I have a friend in the States who found that she and her husband had the same childhood holiday photo, an elephant giving rides at a circus. Maybe they both met as children and never knew.

Pondside said...

I've had that happen and then realized later the import. Met a woman with whom I became close friends and realized that 30 years earlier we'd had coffee in the same Toronto coffee shop most mornings and had probably chatted - I was a student and she was a young mum. Funny thing was, I remembered the young mum but nothing of our quick chats.

I'm glad our ships passed again and I'll be back!

willow said...

I often see the same people around town, and have for years, but I have no idea who they are. Our town is just small enough to see some of the same people regularly and just large enough to not know them personally.

Blogging is unique in the fact that we share thoughts and ideas on a daily basis. It's much more concentrated than our casual, local relationships.

The drawing is wonderful!

The Solitary Walker said...

That flash reflection makes it a much better photograph, Weaver.

gleaner said...

I see bloggers similar to the probably outdated practice of having penpals. I loved writing to overseas penpals when I was a child, sharing ideas and thoughts to some-one you may never see or where communication may suddenly stop.

Gramma Ann said...

I think of each time we take a vacation we meet people and visit maybe for a day or 10 days and when the vacation is over we never see or hear from them again. We have pictures of them in our photo albums and look at them occasionally and remember.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Maybe there's a video of your early music group posted up on You Tube, Weaver! Why not try looking up one of the song titles?

Hildred and Charles said...

Anyone who was in their late teens, early twenties during the last war must have dozens of fine army, navy and airforce men who were friends for a month, six months, - pen pals for a while, and then memories and nostalgic photos in an album.

steven said...

as a year-'round cyclist i pass lots of people on their way to or from and i make a point of waving or calling out something friendly. i don't know any of them but it brings a sense of community to the experience. bloggers are much like that lovely drawing you feature. slightly removed but filled with stories. steven

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Perhaps there is an attraction to the idea of ships that pass because we know that fleeting moment is all we ever expect from the meeting; it comes with no obligations. Blogging is a little more than that, I think.

Enjoyed your back seat gardening too, Weaver. That's my kind!!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Acornmoon and Pondside both touch on coincidence - isn't it funny. I made recent contatc with aschool friend I hadny seen for over fifty years and we found that for some years we had both lived in Wolverhampton but neither knew the other was there. Did we pass in the street and not recognise each other? All interesting thoughts aren't they? Thanks everyone for the comments.

jinksy said...

Pencil sketches have always been a love of mine, far more telling than a photo...This one is lovely.

Woman in a Window said...

I like how you've tied it all together. And yes, we do seem to be drawn closer in a way. I kind of fear for the future though. Us older folks who didn't grow up with technology still know the value of 30 minutes with a stranger face to face. Our children (and in some cases grandchildren) have their faces crushed up against their portable devices drawing themselves closer to people countries away. I'm just suggesting balance is in order.

jeannette stgermain said...

Quite a good sketch! I like the symbol of the glass:)

Lucy Corrander said...

I find standing very still with a camera in front of a leaf is a sure-fire way of getting people to stop and talk. They want to know what's interesting about that leaf.

There are an awful lot of leaves which haven't got photographed because of long conversations which have ensued . . . and the sun's moved.

Like Woman in a Window - I often compare blogging with penpalling - but find it much better, much more immediate, much more enjoyable and less dutiful.

But your post set off memories of place rather than of people. It was your mention of early music. I used to love listening to early, renaissance and baroque music. (Opera too.) But where I live now, although it is very beautiful, there are few (euphemism for 'no') opportunities to go to live performances. I'm very sad this is so - but grateful too for the live music I have experienced elsewhere.

Lucy

Kim said...

Firstly, I wanted to thank you for popping in to my blog and leaving a comment. I enjoy hearing from people and reading their ideas and take on the subject at hand. Now regarding this post, the peculiarities of the blogging relationship has also been food for thought in my own little world of late. I also have been struck by the thought that blogging is todays technological equivalent of the letter or penpal relationship, just frequently without the beauty of language. We no longer need to utilise language to provide description, we can see the photograph. Although the photo is beautiful, nothing does nature quite like nature, I fear we are losing our love and ability to weave words in this manner, and so move others through language. I am the first to admit I love the blogger relationship, the ability to communicate so easily and quickly with others, as I am here. Let's be realists for a second, pen to paper requires time and effort and some contemplation over the formation to get it to sing, hard in todays fast paced world, but it is wonderful to see that some people still have a love for language too!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

My husband and I cannot remember the first time we met. We were best friends for seven years before we fell in love and got married. I sometimes wonder what our lives would have been if that unremembered day had not happened. I am certain I could never have been as happy!