This is a good post that asks some important provocative questions about post-pandemic friendships, pre-pandemic friendships, online friendships and the reconciliation of the whole mess when this is over. I enjoy this man’s blog very much — Half Fast Cycling Club — and his questions matter. I did my best but I think the writer might appreciate more voices chiming in than just mine.

Half-fast Cycling Club

I find questions much more interesting than answers. Questioning is like opening a book. You don’t know what’s in store. Answers are like closing the book. There’s nothing left to say. Even if you have more to say, there’s nothing left to say. The question has been answered.

My friends Martha and Carrot started a dialog today. I’m not sure they knew they were talking to each other. Martha was talking about how the pandemic has freed us from the need for “normal” socializing and how one writer pathologized this as “social anxiety”, while to Martha it is “introversion”. While she didn’t belittle the very real mental health issue, she noted that there are some things you just don’t do in a group. She mentioned her first novel. “I’d had this incredible experience that was impossible to share with anyone. I’d written a novel. I’d brought my story, my vision…

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4 thoughts on “Questions

  1. I’m an INFJ. Because I’m so inwardly focused and so transfixed by the intuitive, imaginative world inside, outside stimulation can feel overwhelming (with groups, not nature). According to Myers Briggs, I find noises, interruptions, and bright lights overwhelming, irritating, and distracting. And according to my neurologist, these things were exasperated with traumatic brain injury. The year the world got “quiet” was actually comforting for me. I spent years practicing my extroverted skills in education. I love learning about others. I love learning. WP introduced me to other dreamers and visionaries; authors, artists, hikers, RVers, and so many others. It opened my world. I’ve posed the right questions, or I want to think I have, my whole life. Some just won’t answer with more than one word. Lol I’ve been a question-asker since birth I’m told (this is not a positive thing to some). I seek understanding. I ponder and pause which can cause others to stare if in an “in person” gathering. I’m kind and polite to others. But I enjoy deep conversations that go beyond the surface. That’s what I have here. I’ve met one person within a 200 mile radius of me on WP. My confidence grew in the quiet. In some ways I’ve experienced a midlife metamorphosis. I care about my friends here. I think of you a lot, Martha. I wouldn’t have known you otherwise. I can’t have Chinese Poet and bean conversations with just anyone. 💛
    And I can talk of my belief and values and dialogue occurs. This is rare in face-to-face. I do enjoy having coffee with a few friends (one at a time lol). I had some friends visit me from Arkansas for a hiking weekend recently; it nearly overwhelmed me. Our mask mandate will end here soon (that’s the way the poll rolled). I’m cautious. And I’ll still avoid large gatherings. I don’t suffer with societal anxiety. My best self doesn’t require it. My twin is the opposite. We respect the differences. 💛

    • I am also INFJ, not very pronounced on the I and the J (toward the middle) and, like you, I did fine as an educator which is public contact, relentless public contact in all different dimensions. I like conversations where I learn something or I get to laugh; small talk doesn’t make sense to me but I can do it (just a matter of paying attention to others and asking questions that are geared toward what they like to talk about which isn’t usually Chinese poet beans). 😀

      That “midlife metamorphosis” is a real thing. One of my friends asked me last night, “I wonder who you would have been if you’d never gone to Switzerland?” I honestly have no idea. That was my mid-life turning point and metamorphosis that led to my books. It’s weird.

      I’m very very very grateful for my relationships here on WP. When I began this some 8 years ago, I didn’t imagine where it would lead. ❤

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