I've been to Stonehenge several times, but there is always something a bit startling about seeing it -- just there, up on the rise of the hill, as one putters single-file down the A303. It looks exactly how you imagine it will look; (and why shouldn't it, really, because we've all seen images of those iconic slabs of standing stone.) And yet, there is something about its very familiarity that always feels surprising to me. Somehow, it manages to feel both grand and cozy, familiar and unfamiliar, all at the same time.
I know that I'm too fond of stretching metaphors, but it's not unlike meeting blog friends in the flesh (and voice and mannerism). So strangely familiar, and somehow known . . . and yet suddenly there is unfamiliar texture and context, too.
This weekend, I hosted a Blog Camp at my house -- sort of an English franchise of the Danish original. It was not unlike the summer camps that I attended as a child, at least in the sense that we talked nonstop, laughed a lot and didn't sleep much.
Of course, the activities were a bit different: We didn't go swimming, build a fire circle, or sing Kumbaya, and the only "hike" we took was more of a stroll -- with the ultimate destination being a pub at the end of the road. And of course we had lots of wine and cappuccino, and fancy Nikon cameras, and twitterings, and field trips to World Heritage Sites . . . and I definitely didn't enjoy any of those at Prairie Valley Church Camp.
However, it had exactly the same intensity as a summer camp experience. In a very short time, strangers -- (albeit, strangers whose online "diaries" I had been reading for months) -- felt more like best friends. Even better, there was the knowledge that promises "to write" and "stay in touch" would be kept.