mutual inspiration

Here you are, one sunshine-bright and rather (very) early Sunday morning. The cats are crashed on their separate perches, Damien and the Buttkicker are still asleep.

Outside your windows is the lassitude of a warm, quiet summer morning, not too long after sunrise, which arrives at the ungodly hour of about 4:30 AM in this part of the world. The air is perfumed with blooming elderflower, grass, the hint of a hot day to come. A few sleepy wood doves are cooing in the hedge outside.

Which is, at this hour of the morning, about as lyrical as you get without the benefit of a major jolt of caffeine.

I am not yet fully awake. It is, as I said, very early. I make myself some coffee and add milk.

I grab the wrong carton out of the fridge. It’s buttermilk, something I don’t discover until I’ve taken the first sip and swallow before I realize what’s happening. It is so vile there should be laws against it, especially before 6 AM on a Sunday.

It’s going to be that kind of Sunday.

A few minutes later, I come to discover that then again, maybe it’s not going to be that kind of morning.

Because, ladies, gents and fellow sentient beings, I have received the ultimate blogospheric accolade. I have been given credit for inspiring another blogger, another one of my faithful readers, to take his own blog into new and unknown territory.

Fried Dog Leg claimed my paltry words set off a singular epiphany in his own curly neocortex, and prompted him to think sideways, about what his blog was, which directions it had taken and which ones it could take, and that maybe it was time for – a change.

It was all my fault.

That, readers, is an accolade of no small proportions. I am bowing from the bottom of my Balinese desk chair, tickled a not entirely flattering shade of fuchsia.

I have a lot to thank the World Wide Web for, really, I do. That’s how I found the Buttkicker, who helped make Damien. That’s how I found the Buttkicker, who got me writing. That’s how I got started on The Effing Book, and how I conducted a large chunk of my research, since I couldn’t afford the books, not even second-hand, and how I found my proofreaders and badly needed experts on ancient Rome and Pagan Iron Age Ireland.

But best of all, all things being equal, relatively speaking, is that I get a chance to connect with other people on a scale never before experienced in human history. My blog stats tell me I have readers from the US, the UK, Roumania, Brazil. There are accidental encounters from Argentina, Palau, and Australia, Malaysia and South Africa, Russia and New Zealand.

Some of them even take the time to read what I have to say.

For an unpublished writer with ambitions of something more, something other, something called a reputation (so long as it’s tarnished and not entirely squeaky-clean), this is pretty mind-blowing.

It’s pretty mind-blowing, that if you take the time to go digging through the flotsam and jetsam, the odds and ends and general detritus of the internet, you can find more head-exploding dynamite, more epiphanies, more words and images and sounds that enrich you and enlarge you and encourage you – to keep going and keep growing, and. above all else, to keep – writing, because you never know.

Some sunshiney day, some run-of-the-mill Sunday morning, you might discover that your voice in the void, your scream in the abyss, your audience of one has touched another soul out there, got them thinking, given them some microscopic epiphany that expanded their horizon and brightened their day.

That’s what the internet is, folks, that’s what the blogosphere does, that’s the moment that makes it all worthwhile.

That’s why I blog. Because you never know.

In the great Eureka Emporium of the blogosphere, you just might find a friend and a kindred soul.

And some bright summer morning, they might return the favor.

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