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The Blogs That Bond.

Six Until Me has existed for almost three years now and over the last three years, I've had the opportunity to meet some of the best people.  And on Saturday afternoon, I had the chance to hang with some of my favorite bloggers and take in a play at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI.  Shannon, Julia, Nicole, and I watched a terrific play, took in some tasty sweet potato fries (okay, I had the fries), and chatted about all kinds of stuff.

The play we saw was Some Things Are Private,  which was a docudrama about "a provocative look at who determines 'what is art?'"  It centered on the work of Sally Mann, a photographer whose collection Immediate Family drew criticism from many circles, claiming the nude images of her children were not innocent or "slice of life" but instead pornographic. 

"What is private?" was a line that was offered up several times throughout the play, pointed at Sally and her decision to go public with her family's private lives.  What is private?  It made me think about the four of us and our decisions to blog, women sitting together who have decided to make their private lives public.  Whether we are writing about our children, our lovers, our disease, or what makes us laugh, we as bloggers are putting our private lives on display for the public to consume.  Some times, this is a terrifying feeling, knowing that your life is chumming the waters for people you will never know.  And sometimes, it is the most therapeutic feeling in the world, letting your thoughts float out freely and being bold enough to do it day after day, inviting strangers into a life they wouldn't otherwise even glimpse.

What is private?  Is it my moment with low blood sugar in the wee hours of the morning?  Is it an argument with my loved ones?  Is it being ushered into the flowing folds of my wedding gown as my maid of honor honor watches?  Is it dinner out with my old college roommates and laughing at our chaotic pasts?  Is it that moment of fear, that moment of laughter, that moment of insecurity, that moment of complete and unabashed bravery?

Blogging is a very unique undertaking, sharing our lives with strangers.  In rare turns, these strangers become our friends and part of our lives outside of the blog, letting us sit together for an afternoon of remarkable theater and easy conversations. 

Our photographer was the host at the pub. Sorry he was off-centered!


I guarantee that if you mentioned "blog" during the Talk Back, the oldtimers would've been completely befuddled, LOL.

And I never thought about the fact that we put our lives out there for strangers to read the way Sally put her photos out for strangers to see. Very interesting point!!!!

Now if I could only figure out a way to make millions off of my blog.

P.S. I hope we can do something fun soon, again!! I love getting together with you's girls.

you guys are beauts. makes me want to go to RI :)

Shannon - I thought about mentioning it during the Talk Back, but I didn't want to cause any heart issues for the geezers in the crowd. ;) "Blog? What's that there blog ye be talkin' about?"

And I am excited to get together again. :D

Gina - LOL at "beauts." That word reminds me of my aunts. :)

What an interesting topic.

In grad school Sally Mann was a polarizing topic. There was the group who believed that art is worth the means, and the group who believed that the basic needs of children trump art. I'm in the second camp. My objection to her work is not the pornographic nature, since I don't really see that; rather, it's the fact that when her kid wet the bed she would photograph them and then help them... photography first, kid and its embarrassment and comfort and safety second.

I think privacy is important. It's a funny thing to write a blog. It's easy to push that publish button and share things that you would never speak in life with countless faceless readers. My criteria for pushing that button is whether I would speak those words out loud to someone I knew, but that's just my criteria. Others have different ways of choosing what to share which work for them, and the variety and depth of sharing here is one of the most interesting things about the DOC.

The thing about blogging like with the pictures, is that you choose where to draw the lines. You're always in control of what you put out there. Sometimes outsiders can be so positive and other times not so much. But I think it's like that in any form of self expression.

Anyway it sounds like you had a lot of fun! The picture really captures the friendship you all have attained.

Kerri - I'm so glad you thought of it the way I did. When I told someone here that I was bringing 3 of my blogger friends with me to see the show because I thought it was something we'd all relate to - he said "But it's about Sally Mann and her racy photos." I responded that if he'd ever read one of our blogs he might understand what I meant. It is terrifying to take a part of your life that is as personal as our lives with diabetes - and put it out there for all to see. And it is terrifying that the little ripples of this disease spill onto everything in our lives and that we talk about that - put it all out there. We show our greatest fears and our weakness and our triumphs and our strength. I know I do it so others can find something that makes them feel not so alone - and at the same time - to feel not so alone myself. And I do it because of my love affair with the art of story-making. But it is not always easy and people don't always react in the way I'd like them to.

There was a line in the play that resounds for me. When Sally is talking about the photos she's taking of her husband as MD impacts his body she says - "We are putting a frame around something so difficult. Trying to give it meaning." That's what our art is about - I think.

Beth - I totally agree. It's amazing how different the levels of comfort and disclosure are even among a similar disease demographic. All of these differences, mixed in with this one "same," make the diabetes community simply amazing.

Jillian - You are totally right. There are pros and cons to every form of self-expression. Not everyone agrees, but like I said to Beth, the differences are sometimes the very best part.

Nicole - DUDE!!! I have that line scribbled on the margin of my playbill. "We are putting a frame around something so difficult, trying to give it meaning." I WROTE THAT SAME LINE DOWN DURING THE PLAY. Reading your comment gave me goosebumps, because I feel like I could have written it myself.

And thank you again for great tickets to a fantastic show. Totally looking forward to seeing you guys again!

I think the four of you have done more for bringing the blogging community closer together than anyone could have thought possible long ago.

It's pretty amazing.

Thanks to all of you!

Jesus, I should have had you photo shop in the bunny head. Blech.

I've been thinking a lot about that play and the day in general. I had such a good time and then got thrown for such a loop on the way home that it's taken me some time to process it all.

Very interesting topic, indeed. I agree that our blogs bond us in a way that just doesn't happen easily in the real word unless you do have a common denominator like a chronic illness and even then...not really often.

I also straddle the line between disclosing too much and not enough. It's hard to know where that line is.

I have never said anything in my blog I wouldn't say to someone's face or shared something that would embarrass another person, except maybe myself!

Thank goodness for people like you who put their private lives out there. I have often had a difficult time coping with my significant other's diabetes. He tries so hard to protect me from some of what he experiences, in spite of my pleas to allow me to experience every part of his condition with him. And reading your words helps me understand him so much more- the fatigue, the moods, what a high or low feels like- I can't even begin to tell you how invaluable finding this blog has been for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Before I was a blogger I could never have imagined the community that I take part in and the friends that I have a close connection with.

I appreciate the work that all four of you do. I know that it helps those who have a hard time expressing themselves. It's empowering - thanks.

Real life bloggers can be normal people? That's as shocking as it is reassuring. The internet is mad, but brilliant. Glad it's given you so many good opportunities.

Kerri - I was hoping that line struck someone else the way it did me... I should have known... ;)

AND - How did you get so much taller than me??? Did you have heels on? Aren't we both 5'4"? This is maddening, it looks like I'm 4 feet tall.

Great post, fun to see all of you together. I know that for me this year has been enriched already by the experience of joining the OC. On another note and speaking of sharing, I had your "seriously zippy" white bean salad for lunch. It was, seriously, "zippy" :) Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Somebody, anybody, clearly needs to visit me in Colorado.

Just sayin'. (Because goodness knows I won't get time off anytime soon.)

Hey i was just wondering if you would know of where i could find some of the criticism's from the critics who called her work pornography? thanks

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