Real Community

My slice from last Tuesday and all the heartfelt responses had me reflecting on how real this virtual community is. I have written about this before, but it bears repeating.

Here is a definition I discovered when searching online dictionaries for a definition of community:
the feeling that you belong to a group and that this is a good thing
-Macmillan Dictionary

Long-time slicers really have no need of a definition for community, nor do they wonder if this is a real community. Those who are new might be wondering if a group of people interacting online could actually provide true community. With the March challenge just around the corner, I want to make sure that those who are thinking about joining in know what a special and unique community this is, and how I feel (and you will, too) that belonging to it is a good thing.

Last week I wrote about an unexpected death in the family. Members of this community who responded all offered sincere condolences and sympathy. I was promised thoughts and prayers, and even tears. I deeply appreciated these words of comfort.

While the story was sad, many encouraged me by affirming the positives that were also part of the story. Some identified with me by sharing their similar experiences. Some said it reminded them of what is important in life. I found it all to be supportive, and I am glad that as we share, we discover common bonds.

Since we are a writing community, there were also comments focused on the writing. I was thanked by many for sharing my story. That makes me feel grateful. More than one commenter spoke of the difficulty of writing this kind of story, and the comments made me feel that those who read it understood the feelings I tried to convey, what I tried to show, not just tell. More than one person zeroed in on something that was especially meaningful to me.

I want to thank all who sent me replies last week. Your words are treasured. I know that most of us sometimes wonder if we belong in a community of writers, question whether we are really writers. But I want to say that our interactions with each other in this community develop such a feeling of acceptance and encouragement, that I have come to feel I do belong. And that is a very good thing!

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13 Responses to Real Community

  1. Leigh Anne says:

    I don’t know if nine months is considered new or been around awhile, but you described this community perfectly. I will be trying the March challenge for the first time and am looking forward to building and nurturing these relationships. Hope you are finding some hope and joy in your days!

  2. I missed your post last week… I’m so sorry for your loss! I do understand the level of community that can be created online, though. I’m so happy to hear that the support of the Slicing tribe brought you comfort.

  3. Jaana says:

    We write, we read, we blog, we post, we tweet, but most of all, we create a community that welcomes all and cares for its members! I am so grateful and blessed to share this community with you! Thank you.

    • newtreemom says:

      Yes, our words show the caring. I especially enjoy sharing with you as a sister in Christ as well as teaching colleague, writer, mothers, and that club we are both part of…widowhood. There are lots of common bonds between us.

  4. Ramona says:

    Sorry that I missed your post last week. I’m so sad for your sister’s loss and that very difficult wake up call that came into your life. This virtual community is so real – “I am glad that as we share, we discover common bonds.” I treasure your poems and actually picked up my copy of Blaze of Glory today to return to my Poetry Friday file. I also love Little Brown Bird.

  5. margaretsmn says:

    I also missed the post last week, but not only is our community real and loving, it is large, so when two or three are not present, surely someone else is. I’m so glad the others were there when you needed them. I have been doing the SOLC for two years and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Now I’m going back to read your post. (Another good thing, it’s never too late.)

  6. newtreemom says:

    I started SOLSC in March 2012. I’ve been reading your slices all this time…

  7. Your thoughts on community are so true. When I began here, it was just to fulfill a personal goal to write. I was amazed by how the comments – initially I never expected them, or even considered that they would come – how they lifted and encouraged me and my writing. And I have found common ground with so many in this real community. Personal stories – like yours last week – make that even more apparent, and valuable. Thank you for putting words to the feelings of so many.

  8. You paint beautiful word pictures…love this :
    How long has it been?
    How long will it be,
    Until I seize such joy again?
    ….but by the end of your poem, written like a Psalm I sense your gratitude and knowledge that he is in our midst through it all. Our school is reeling because of one of our beloved teachers is facing very difficult medical news. Ahh…life is so hard sometimes. xo

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