how the internet can nourish our souls

Rain and Debussy, warmth and lovely books. What a beautiful day it is here today. And I have been browsing beauty online, and thinking about what it would have been like to have had the internet when I was young.

A long time ago, when I was living far from home, I happened to pick up a book about the last Russian emperor. I'd always loved Russia, so this romantic story enchanted me from the first. I became fascinated with all things Romanov. I travelled about the city to read obscure history books in tiny, dusty libraries. I spent hours in the university basement, watching newsreels from pre-war Russia. It was not easy to feed my interest. Of course, these days thousands of photographs, memoirs, and film clips are available online. And thousands of young women are just as fascinated by the last Romanovs as I was.

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That's just one example of how my environment lacked the things I loved. Another: poetry. I was nineteen, at university, before I discovered the existence of Robert Frost, Tennyson, Keats. School had not introduced them to me. Their books were not in the library. When I finally was able to read their poetry, I found a piece of my heart I did not know had been missing.

I believe I would have had more self-certainty as a young woman if the internet had existed back then. To have ready access to information and imagery I loved ... and to know from tumblr, pinterest, and web journals that there were other people who loved the same things as me ... would have been a real blessing. My society is very pragmatic, unromantic - coffee drinkers rather than tea lovers, if you know what I mean. Being one's true self in a vaccum is possible but often sad, lonely, confusing. Even small things like finding the kinds of clothes or tableware you like can be difficult. I recall one girl at university who had long curly hair and wore pretty dresses and cardigans and seemed to drift in a dreaming haze through her days. I looked for her everywhere just because she alone had the aesthetic I loved, and it was simply so good to see it.


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When I consider how many young people think with a kind of despair, "there's no one out there like me," I am glad for the internet. I don't mean that we should seek other people to justify who we want to be, but merely that knowing kindred spirits exists is a real boost, and having access to what we love - even if only in imagery - can encourage and nourish the soul.




21 comments:

  1. If not for the internet, we would probably never have made our virtual acquaintance and I, at least, would be the poorer for that.

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    1. Oh my, what a nice thing to say! Thank you. You and your good wife have inspired me in more ways than I can count, from religion to comic books, homeschooling to great hair design. :-)

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  2. Aw, and now you've both made me smile. As you so often do!

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  3. Finding kindred spirits online is definitely one great treasure of the Internet. I've been very fortunate in discovering a few wonderful like minded soul sisters. It's also wonderful to be able to find words and images that nourish me, teach me and stimulate my imagination. I remember how when at university, I search of things on the Internet and the notice 'results not found' would turn up 60% of the time because the content did not exist online at that stage. It's amazing how things have changed in the last 10 years.

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  6. I love finding beautiful images and words to nourish me. Internet was a big help for me when I was younger, in finding kindred souls, in feeling less lost and alone.

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  7. I learned that there were such things as kindred spirits through books (Anne of Green Gables) but I found kindred spirits more often online than in day to day life.

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    1. Unfortunately the kinds of books I love to read were not available to me when I was young - I did find Anne McCaffrey, which was a lifesaver, but our local library was very small and my family weren't especially literary. I didnt find Anne of Green Gables until I was in my 20s.

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  8. Oh yes, it is wonderful, to find we are not alone, in many aspects.

    I would like to have separate blogs/places, for each 'part' of me. Because they are very different, and do not really 'mix well' all together. If that makes any sense. :-)

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    1. I used to be like that and infact did have separate blogs for the different aspects of myself. But I was uncomfortable so I've made an effort over the past year to bring more focus into myself. There's nothing wrong with being multi-faceted - I just wanted to be more focussed and certain, personally.

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  9. I hope my latest post, does not surprise you. Well, I'm sure it will. But I hope you will not judge me, too harshly. No, I know you do not judge. I just mean, I am irritated, by an aspect of blogging, and it will not go away. And I thought I would deal with it, in my own way.

    You are so kind, in your blogging. My view may sound harsh to you. And I value you and your contact. So am thus, apprehensive. -sigh-

    Just sayin'....

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    1. Lol, I was intrigued so I went rushing over ... but didn't find anything to judge you for at all. You didn't sound harsh, you sounded like 75% of bloggers have sounded over the years :-)

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  10. This is so very true.
    I find it difficult to find kindred spirits in my everyday life, but I see they abound on-line. Several of those very dear people have become friends in life.
    It is nice to not feel so alone.

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    1. I too have been blessed to make real friends via the internet, which is why I've stopped using the phrase "in real life". Internet is part of real life.

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  11. I am very glad the internet exists :-) it has been a real blessing in my life, and I too have made offline friends, after meeting them online ..... We've lost the internet at home, but I am out visiting the world and have it for two more minutes, and wanted to be sure to stop by and say hello! {{hugs}}

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  12. Realising that you are not the only one out there is a huge blessing. I adore your images!

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  13. Sorry for the delay in commenting on this post - life sometimes gets in the way. How different my life would have been if the internet had been around when I was in my twenties instead my sixties. Then again, perhaps it is for the best that I came upon it late in life as it has become quite time consuming, one way or another. Love the images that you have chosen - they definitely say Sarah.

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  14. Ah, the internet, and the riches it has brought into my life, including you, dear Sarah!

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