Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Sunday, December 6, 2009

C: It's You and Me, Baby.

This past week the Turner Movie Classics showed 84 Charing Cross Road, and my son and I happened on it shortly after it began. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this movie, nor do I ever tire of it. My son, his first time around, was enchanted, as well. The acting is superb (Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, Dame Judi Dench), and the story draws me in like a sponge…and is a true story.

Here’s the gist: Helene Hanff, a writer in New York, pre-WWII, goes in search of hard-to-find volumes by writing to a second-hand bookstore in England—at 84 Charing Cross Road. Frank is the manager of the store and, over twenty years of mail orders and written discourse, he and Helene grow to be very close, that friendship circle including his staff as well. As you watch this movie, you watch this little group of friends through the war and you see the events of their lives unfold through letters back and forth across the Atlantic. And the movie itself is so very stylish. Here's a taste:

If you are looking for spy action and car chases, skip this. But if you want a true, wonderful story with deep character development and a story about the best kind of friendship, you will want to brew some tea and sit down to this movie.

As I sat watching it this time, marveling at the long-distance relationship that developed between the two main characters, I could not help but think of you, my friends in the blogosphere. It was amazing when the next day I visited Willow Manor and found that she had watched the same showing (again) and had been sitting there thinking of blogging as well.

In the case of Helene and Frank, they never met personally. And, yet, they became the closest of friends. Each was dear to the other, and it is a fascinatingprogression of the movie to see that relationship deepen and the longing each had to actually be in the presence of the other. Never realized.

There is one (for me) pivotal scene, where Helene reads from John Donne of our connection with one another
All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated. God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and His hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again for that library where every book shall lie open to another.

I believe Willow Manor is right; blogging is the pen pal method of today. It is possible to come to know people with whom you have never had the pleasure of keeping company. And, it’s funny, but after reflecting, I think my blog friends may see my “essence” even more clearly than my nearer friends do. When I write my posts, there is the comfort of an air of anonymity. I am not obsessed with keeping my identity secret, but I do write at large under the pseudonym, “C.” This gives me a little more leash and, I believe, it gives my readers insight into who I really am.

I have thought in the past that blogging is a method of re-inventing myself. On my blog, I can hone the qualities I want to present and just not mention those other irritating parts of me that might be evident to those who sit in the same room. But I have come to think that, rather than re-invention, what I feel when posting is a certain freedom. It’s really “me set free,” rather than a different me.

And this ramble is to say this: I do feel connected with you. I do feel that there are those of you whom I “know” but have never met. There are some of you who, when I read one of your posts, I think, “Yes, that sounds just like ________!” And this about people whom I have never met. Some of you live on the other side of the globe (what a blessing to have that connection!!) and it is not likely I will ever meet you personally. But meet you I have.

The one time I have actually met with a blogger friend, Add Humor and Faith..., she was exactly as V and I had grown to know her. It just bolsters me in my belief that the connection of friendship need not be physical, but can be nurtured long distance. And what a blessing to be able to connect in the way we do on the internet.

Go watch 84 Charing Cross Road. See if it doesn’t remind you of “us!” Blessings to you all. C.


The Lucy and Dick Show said...

Yeah, we do get to know each other. I can't help but let my own personal views and thoughts come through on my Blog and I hope others do the same.

Vickie said...

I know what you're saying C. I started my blog as sort of a journal and didn't really care if I got any comments or not. But I've met so many nice women with whom I've got many experiences, interests, problems in common, that I consider them friends at large so to speak, but friends nonetheless. My family knows about it, but they don't ever read it. It's funny but I haven't told my closest friends that I even have a blog. It's private altho I'm not hiding anything. The anonymity makes it a safe place to be myself. Well said.

Vickie said...

RE: Your comment. Yeppers, very risky not to study when there's a snow forecast! Been there, done that! But some of us (me) are hard-headed and have to learn the lessons of life the hard way. I'm one of 'em, but at 53 I think I'm getting a little bit smarter. Just think how smart I'm gonna be when I get old, then I won't get to use my knowledge!

Olde Baggs n Stuft Shirts by LindaOma said...

I loved what you wrote about blogging that I directed folks to come and see you. I love reading what you have to say and think my peeps will as well. I had not thought about blogging being like penpals but that is spot on. And so many folks are more "real" than they can afford to be in real life. Too funny huh? Linda in New Mexico

willow said...

It IS us!! Fun to know someone else feels the same about 84, Charing Cross Road. It's a charming film, and hits so close to home.

KathyB. said...

I very much agree with what you have written about blogging and I have become very attached to many of you and will probably never meet you in person. I think I will be renting that movie very soon.

Protege said...

I have seen this movie once by an accident, however only the very last part of it. I sensed that this must be a masterpiece, but never got the chance to see it again. Now you inspired me to try to find it.;)
I know first hand how it is to meet someone through his writing and how it feels to fall in love with a man I never met, just because of his words. There is a certain deep connection that builds between people this way and it shows first hand that genuine and strong attraction can arise without the help of physical appeal.
Even though this movie doesn't really deal with this fact.;)
Wonderful post!;)

Kat said...


I can see now why you thought our two posts tied in together. Your beautifully written words are so true.

I've never seen the movie, but now I really want to. I hope I can find it.

Thanks for your visits.


carla said...

84 Charing Cross Road is one of my favorite movies, too. I was so please to see it featured here. Funny, when watching it and hearing her talk to herself and to Frank, I always imagine that my taste in literature is as high-browed as hers. It isn't, but I wish it were.

When we were in London I wanted to visit the address and we did. It was empty and dusty looking, kind of like at the end of the movie.

I think it's time to watch it again. Thanks for the reminder and a very pleasant post.

Queenmothermamaw said...

Hey I will be getting that movie. You so elegantly wrote exactly how it feels. I got in the middle of a war between two sisters a while back and had to watch my words. One of them e-mailed me and noted some things about the blogging world that her sister was into and I realized I had already picked up on it. I am like Vickie said, I don't care how many followers or comments, just as long as I develop a good relationship with the ones I read and admire. Some many folks are astonished at the benefits they have received since blogging. I have decorated my home this year more than in 5 years since my knee surgeries. It was just easy to skip over but at inspires me to see everyone's efforts.

Linda Lou Rogers Averitt said...

I love you being you and blogging, it gives me courage and strength and wisdom, I will watch the movie:) Just like the womens deal when the client gave you shoes, I was going to a womens deal at that time and felt like you in some areas, I went and had a great time:) hugs

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I love that movie too! This was a great post. It is amazing how closely connected I feel to people in the blogging world. I never expected that to happen when I began a blog. Sometimes, I feel that bloggers know me better than some of my "real life friends"! You asked how I have time to do all of the Christmas decorating. You should see the rest of my house - no you shouldn't! laurie

Janera said...

I agree with your thoughts on blogging. As a kid, I enjoyed writing to pen pals all over the world, and blogged a while back about how My Garden Hat is a sort of pen pal/journal experience for me now.

I've met a couple of bloggers and really, really want to meet you and V one day soon. I'm sure we would have lots to talk about.

Have a beautiful Christmas. I'm off to Amazon.com to see if this movie is a novel. Sounds like a good one for evenings by the fire.

Eggs In My Pocket / Yesteryear Embroideries said...

I just loved reading this post! I feel the same as you. Through blogging I have been able to connect to such wonderful people! I love movies like this as well! Blessings,Kathleen

April said...

Have never seen the movie, but have read the book more times than I can count! A beautiful work. I agree about blogging; I have friends in Blogville who I know well; it is the power of the written word!

Sumandebray said...

great post!
Firstly you have given enough insight into the story to generate my interest to watch the movie on the next available opportunity.
I like to know people and I am more comfortable this way than sitting face to face. And it is interesting to know people from the bits of details that comes out of the posts and the slower the process the stronger the bond.
I still belive in snail mail but there is very few people who are willing to do that. I have a ex collegue with whom we converse by conventional post .. half a dozen letter a years.. we both enjoy it .. the pen pal way but with soemone you know.
Keep blogging

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

You hit the nail on the head! My husband just nods his head when I refer to "my friend who blogs." I feel connected to so many wonderful, wonderful people and so many, including you, are a blessing in my little world. My world is better for reading my fav blogs!

Homemaker, MD said...

You know, I saw this movie a couple months ago and loved it too! Love your thoughts on it. I agree there is a kind of freedom that comes with blogging.

disa said...


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