That is not of Mile or Main—
The Will it is that situates—
I like the back chair of the table in the corner, by the wall. I'm not a SuperSpy nor have I ever been trained as one; it's simply my natural inclination. I like a position from which I can see but not be seen, have my back covered, and keep my personal space protected.
Sitting at a table in the center of a restaurant, where servers and other patrons can surprise me and brush behind me---where my personal space is open and unprotected---is so uncomfortable to me that I will wait until a side or back table is available if at all possible.
In a situation of imposed intimacy, I do my best to protect my distance, my privacy.
I know both of my next door neighbors to nod and say hello to, but we are no closer than that. They are nice people, and I am glad to have these good neighbors. In fact, I can't think of a single immediate neighbor to complain about---not that I'm trying. One house past next on one side is a lovely woman. We've been town meeting buddies before. One house past on the other side is a nice family with teenage sons, also nice. Around the cul-de-sac is the marvelous snake catcher friend, a retired couple, and some friends of ours. I like and enjoy my neighbors. I feel fortunate in them. Yet, none are my best friends.
People have often asked what drives each of us to the Internet, to this cyber neighborhood. To me, it seems as simple and as complicated as seeking what we don't find in our own neighborhoods. But that's another post.
I do think that in our own neighborhoods, there is a day-to-day knowledge we have of one another that creates a need---at least for me---for a bit of space. I don't think any of us prefer to be so closely observed by those in a position to do so. In our online neighborhoods, we can more easily control what you hear and see. It's a better shield than closing a door and pulling down the blinds.
The in person presence of another person is revealing, simply through actions, body language, the sense we get of one another. In person, one on one, we gain knowledge of each other, even if we say nothing. This creates an individuality that can be intensely personal, sensorily overwhelming.
And yet, this is crucial, this awareness, in order for us to have the respect and courtesy we need to live side-by-side with one another, either in our close-knit neighborhoods, our cyber communities, or on a grander scale: the countries, cultures, methods of living and being that the diverse populace of our planet bring.
What kind of neighbors, neighborhoods, concepts of sharing space did others find and share?
Chani wrote Good neighbors....
Planet Mom wrote Neighborhoods: The Fabric of america
Catherine wrote Stand Up!
Slouching Mom wrote The Back Yard
Snoskred wrote Everybody Needs Good Neighbours..
UPDATED: Additional posts for the Hmmm...
Sephy wrote We all need good Neighbors
Gwen wrote Dos Robertos and the Hump Day Hmmm
Emily wrote Is it worth the waiting for?
Q as in Cupid wrote Hump Day Hmmmm
Kim at After the Ball wrote Who's Your Neighbor?
Katie wrote I’m a Bad Neighbour
Christine wrote of neighbors furry and feathered
Painted Maypole wrote How to be a good neighbor
Bub and Pie wrote Neighbours
Thank you to all for these marvelous contributions!
Remember, I'm happy to add you to this list anytime (which I will keep up for a bit). Just email your link to me at j pippert at g mail dot com.
Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
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