Other people’s lives

Interviewing GP Dr. Margaret Tromp, President of the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada,
in Picton, Ontario, Sept. 2019.

By Caitlin Kelly

Social media can be social — meeting and getting to know new friends and colleagues solely through LinkedIn or Twitter or TikTok or blogs or Insta or Twitter — and/or, passively, it can offer us a peek into other worlds, wholly different from our own.

Given that we’ll have to stay physically distant from so many people for so many years — yes, years with this goddamn pandemic — virtual life and relationships are the safest and best many of us have now.

Travel? Also difficult to impossible; we recently lost $2,000 for non-refundable airfare and hotels after cancelling two much-anticipated vacations.

So, yes, I’m loving images (however enviously!) from Greece and Morocco and Kenya and Cornwall and the Hebrides…

Last week, Abby Lee Hood and I did a pitching workshop aimed at helping other freelance writers write better pitches — a pitch is a sort of a sales document for a story we might want to write. They’re not easy to do well and we got 47 people to sign up, which was fantastic. It went very well and people were still buying copies of our Zoom video days later.

I’ve yet to meet Abby, who is non-binary and has tattoos and owns a small pig, a three-legged cat, an albino hedgehog and a dog. They live in small-town Tennessee, a state I’ve never been to.

They are 27. I am…much older.

What on earth would we have in common?

A lot!

As we’ve gotten to know one another, we found we both share some similar issues with our families of origin. We both have high ambitions for our work. We both hustle hard for assignments. And we also share some fundamental life values.

I’ve found them to be a deeply generous person, rare these days it seems.

So I hope our workshop, beyond its obvious goal, also modeled that sort of inter-generational friendship for a few others.

Some of the many lives I enjoy witnessing, between Twitter and Instagram, include:

Three women archeologists

A male archeologist in Berlin who works on Gobekli Tepe, a famous Neolithic Turkish site; I met him on one of the travel Twitterchats I participate in

A Canadian Arctic marine biologist

A Chilean photographer

A photographer in Queretaro, Mexico

A Canadian mother of two young boys in Australia whose nature photos are amazing

A Scottish mountain climber

A nephrologist in San Antonio, Texas who writes as Doctor T on Twitter

A French illustrator

Several interior designers

Several artists, one a young British woman whose work is spectacular but who posts rarely

A London-based dealer in antique and rare textiles

Several European female commercial airline pilots

A mudlarker in London

A few economists

And (sigh) several Facebook groups about buying a home and living in France, a dream of mine for a long time.

Do you have favorite blogs or social media folk you really enjoy?

8 thoughts on “Other people’s lives

  1. so interesting and glad it went so well. i love being connected to a wide range of people, from an aussie former plumber now poet, to a university stats professor and everything in between. what keeps life interesting –

  2. I enjoy reading your blog and commenting on your posts. I really enjoy the wide variety of topics.
    Ms. Lynette D’arty Cross is a real favorite. She’s a retired RCAF pilot who lives in a place that would almost be heaven if it was in West Virginia. She posts photos every day and I look forward to seeing them first thing when I come here. She follows my blog as well and will engage me in a conversation from time to time. That’s kind of meaningful.
    Another blogger from far away is Benedict Roff-Marsh, a recording engineer, record producer and electronic music composer from Australia. I’ve learned a fair amount from him, probably more than he has from me, but he still follows my blog just in case. I told him once that the back of his neck looked like a pack of hot dogs and he was surprised to hear it because his profile pic was face forward.
    Basilike Pappa (Silent Hour) Is a wonderful poet from Greece. Her poetry is sexy dark and gritty. We share our memories and it’s like rediscovering an old friend. We can be personal and it’s not awkward, a pearl of great price. And she likes my poetry too.
    Nick Claussen is from somewhere in Ohio. He tries to make sense of the nonsensical and is it ever funny. I do truly admire his loyalty as a fan of the Detroit Lions, I don’t know if I could do that. I don’t know if he is actually interested in a lot of the stuff I post, like Salisbury steak, but it’s sure good for my ego.
    How’s yours?

  3. I don’t know how I forgot this one, but you may want to take a look at Madeline Bocaro. She has a blog on WP and she’s been hip deep in the NYC rock scene since the seventies. I know a LOT about music and she still has me choking on her dust. I’m really impressed and you may be too.

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