Monday, November 24, 2014


Half a world away, my friend Eugen from Transylvania ate breakfast with one of my spoons.

Through the Green Wood Spoon Swap Facebook group, Eugen and I were able to swap spoons and admire one another's technique.

He has dubbed it the "little ballerina," which I find wonderful.  While carving the spoon I was thinking hard about what my daughters would like, from the handle length to the bowl width to the kolrosing.  I find it marvelous that half a world away a man I have never met in person was able to pick up on that aesthetic.  Really goes to show that deep down, we all share a basic human connection.

Last week another on-line acquaintance experienced a tragedy.  Alex, a photographer, musician and woodworker, was away when his house burned to the ground.  He lost everything: his home, his shop and tools, his guitar collection, and (gasp) his photographic equipment and all his photos!  Such a loss for this guy.  Thankfully no one was hurt.

Well, the Facebook group stepped up and launched an auction this weekend, with all proceeds to go to Alex's Paypal account.  Objects and bids came in from around the world.  Would you believe they raised around $7000 in two days?  All for a guy few of us have ever met in person.

Some have said that the internet is the world's greatest experiment in anarchy.  Maybe.  In the individual sense, the internet is certainly anarchic at times--like the Wild West, everyone out for themselves.  But the internet is also anarchic in the social sense, where communities materialize around a common passion, are maintained with relatively little "government" (not to minimize all the hard work the admins did for the auction), and almost naturally serve the needs of the group.  Maybe these Facebook groups are an example of social anarchy?

Whatever you call it, it feels like community to me.

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