CONVERSATION WITH…The Cheshire Cat from Wonderland…about virtual friendships in older age

Over the Hill on the Yelllow Brick Road, I saw a grinning cat sitting in a tree. A moment later, the cat disappeared. The next moment, he appeared on the top of a bush. Then strangely, his body faded. All that remained was his smile and his eyes. Was it possible he was the Cheshire Cat from the story of Alice in Wonderland? I had to ask!

cheshire cat

Hey—are you—

CHESIRE CAT: Yes I am. The Cheshire Cat.

But, you live in Wonderland. What are you doing here? How did you get Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road?

CHESHIRE CAT: How does anyone ever get anywhere? With great difficulty.

I suppose.

CHESHIRE CAT: But I just had to come. Like the rest of you here, I’m growing older and trying to figure out where I belong in the world. I’m having trouble relating to the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and the others the way I used to. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, I’m changing. I’m obsessing with my age.

That’s how I ended up Over the Hill on the Yellow Brick Road. I was looking for friends who understood what I was going through. I wasn’t sure where or how I’d find them, but I felt compelled to look.

CHESHIRE CAT: I’m looking for others, like me, who can appear and disappear in older age.

 Oh. Well, I’m sorry I can’t help you. I don’t do that.

CHESHIRE CAT: Of course you do.

What? How?

CHESHIRE CAT: You’re a blogger. And so are most of the others who are reading my words right now. Your relationships with each other appear and disappear with a tap of an electronic device. As soon as your phones or computers are turned off, you’re gone. And as soon as you return to the internet, you appear.

You know, you’re right—

CHESHIRE CAT: The question is, if your blogger friends are virtual, are they real?

Well, you appear and disappear, and you’re real.

CHESHIRE CAT: Fair point. But how can you be sure?

Because though I can only see your grin and your eyes at the moment, I feel your spirit as you speak. The same is true with my virtual blogging community.

CHESHIRE CAT: Hmmm…Anything else?

Well, when I don’t have access to the internet, I’m sad. I miss my virtual friends.

CHESHIRE CAT: Hmm. Do say more.

Since virtual bloggers and I communicate through posts and comment sections, we say exactly what we want to say, very concisely. No small talk. And we speak from our hearts.

CHESHIRE CAT: Intriguing.

Also- I never worry about the way I look when I communicate with virtual friends. I don’t have to clean my house before I speak to them. I don’t have to make special appointments to get together and then change my schedule around. We appear to each other, and disappear, whenever we’re ready.

CHESHIRE CAT: Increasingly interesting…

And, if I can’t leave home due to health issues or other problems, my virtual community is still there. We communicate the way we always do. So, though I have never met these amazing people in the flesh, they MUST BE REAL.

CHESHIRE CAT: It’s a distinct possibility. In that case…when I return to Wonderland, might I join your virtual community? May I follow your blog?

I would love that.

CHESHIRE CAT: Thank you.

So…I guess you’re saying…you don’t think it’s insane that I call a virtual community of people, who appear and disappear, my friends?

CHESHIRE CAT: Do I think it’s insane? Well…you know what they say in Wonderland. We’re all mad.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Copyrightoverthehillontheyellowbrickroad2108

Are you real?

78 thoughts on “CONVERSATION WITH…The Cheshire Cat from Wonderland…about virtual friendships in older age

  1. I have a lot of TV friends. They are pretty reliable to be there when I click them on, and when I’ve had enough socializing, I can click them off. It never occurred to me whether they are real or not.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What is ‘real’ really? I used to have a friend who cynically said his internet friends were just ‘pixels on a screen.’ I’ve had other internet friends I’ve met and enjoyed IRL (in real life.) You get out of your internet relationships what you put into them. The best part is that we have a whole world in which to find special people. How we see them says a lot about what they see in us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself. In addition, I love talking to virtual friends from all parts of the world, just with the click of the “send” button. There’s so much we learn and experience from each other based on our various cultures and perspectives. By the way, I didn’t want to mention all this to the Cheshire Cat because I feared I’d overwhelm him. 🙂 Let him start small.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. As real as it gets! One of my favorite quotes is “I love my computer because all my friends live in it”. I think, at times, we make a stronger connection to people we have never met in person. So yes, we appear, then disappear, but we’re only a click away. I like that. It’s how I found you! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We’re sharing a brain at the moment, Cathi, and you got the lion’s share! Stay tuned for a post on Profound Journey titled, “Can Someone You’ve Never Met Really Be Your Friend?” I’ve got the title, I’ve started writing, but it won’t be as imaginative or as heartwarming as your chat with the cat.
    Thanks for the terrific post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Always loved the Cheshire Cat and know that I know I´m a bit like in appearing and disappearing out of thin air I´m completely thrilled!! And I totally get the real thing – sometimes my friends here seem to be much more real to me than those in real life because here we share our thoughts and stuff that maybe sometime we don´t there. And like you I´m actually grateful they don´t read my blog!! Lol! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I completely agree that there can be true friendships with people we’ve never actually met or spoken to, people we wouldn’t recognize if we encountered them on the street. Often they live half the world away, in countries we may never see. This is one of the upsides of technology. Friends are people who listen to us, who care what’s happening in our lives, who offer support and encouragement, who welcome our thoughts. Sometimes they tease us, or they respectfully disagree with us, or they help us take ourselves less seriously … or more seriously, if that’s what we need. I’ve found all of those things in the blogging community. While it’s a form of friendship that would have been unimaginable 30 years ago, I think it’s a welcome way of opening the world, and opening our eyes. Thanks for another great and thought-provoking post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you on everything you said (in your comment). I also love that blogs break down age boundaries. For example, there are people in their twenties and thirties who follow my blog and relate to my issues on different levels. It’s great to see the world through their eyes. I’m sure you must find the same thing with your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is odd how frankly we speak to people we’ve never even met on our blogs! But I think that is also a big part of what makes us so honest…we don’t feel prejudged, so we don’t have to “fix” anyone’s impression of us. And even though we may never look each other in the eye, I have to say that the support and encouragement I get from my blogging friends feels very, very real!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I adore the connections I have made here in the blogosphere…just today I felt the love and concern of a virtual “friend” come right through the computer….I love it!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. The band Jesus Jones asked a very similar question, “Do you feel real?” I love this post. I have wondered myself about the connections that I make on-line. It was so nice to hear that someone else thinks of the people that comment and are a part of their blogging community as friends. Because I do too. -Jill

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In my experience, blogger or virtual friendships can develop into real ones. Over time I’ve eventually met people at events who I had only known digitally. When we meet in person, we already feel like we’ve known each other forever even though it was the first time we were physically meeting. It’s actually quite wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. Thanks for sharing that with me. I know there are blogger conventions around the world and I’ve read bloggers meet in person that way. I never thought about actually going, but now I can see how valuable and fun it can be. Or…I guess if we live in the same country, we can meet for coffee. 🙂

      Like

    • Yeah! I can imagine this happening because of the way we communicate online. We get right to the point in a few sentences (in the comment section). We share our pain, or joy, our thoughts about life, and so much more, in shorthand. It can take years to do that in person with a new friend.

      Like

    • Hi Lisa! I just read your lilac post! I printed out your lilac and framed it. It’s now sitting with my plant and photo collection on a table with a lace cloth. Also, thank you for the shout out to my blog. My next post (coming out today or tomorrow) is about a conversation with a lilac. A shout out to your beautiful lilac illustration will be included at the end of the post. 🙂

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  11. 8 years ago I became blogging friends with a lady. We began to exchange holiday cards, write, email, share photos, video chat, as best friends over the years. Now we are engaged to be married! How real is that? Each of us was the first follower of the others blog.

    Liked by 1 person

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