Closeness / by KR


birthday wishes
Originally uploaded by zinkwazi.
My last year at CU I took a communications class called, I think, “Intimate Relationships.” There were only 6 guys and at least double the girls, and a female taught the class, to boot. One of the topics that we discussed was what makes for intimacy, especially in regards to the then upcoming Internet; if intimacy is defined by only the exchange of words then can you have closeness over emails? OR if it is defined by physical presence then what role will the Internet play in the future of communications?

Fourteen years later, I can say some of those questions have been answered, and last Friday is a great example. I turned 35. I shared that birthday with 3-year-old Rory Mundell, daughter of comedic genius, Chris Mundell, and the Greg Lawler clan. Here’s the kicker: Both of these friendships started in the cyberverse. Last week was my first time to actually face-to-face meet Greg, even though we’ve emailed and talked on the phone for a few years. And I came to “know” him through Chris, another web connect whom I had actually not met in person ‘till New Years 2007.

What is strangely astounding is how much fun, how natural everything was. From Meeting Greg at his job at The Brooks Institute to hanging out with his hilariously cute kids, and wife, Kim. And of course getting to be with the Mundells again was nothing less than picking up where we left off – except his kids are so much bigger and crazier now. I authentically enjoyed getting to be with these friends in their world, knowing them in those ways that come only through presence, but would never have come if only through presence.

The funny thing is explaining, to answer the question that everybody asked, “So, how do you know each other…” It is then that we give ourselves a smirk and start to joke with them about internet dating or such, because let’s face it, for all the proof in the world that closeness and authentic friendships can happen even over machines like this, our humanity has a hard time accepting this still new concept of communication and intimacy.

All said, I think the picture above speaks better than any words. For it is nothing less that Rory Mundell making a wish before blowing out her candles while I laugh in the moment and Greg is behind the lens taking the shot. Intimate closeness brought to care of the Internet. Go fig.