Last night the news of MMO blogger River’s passing (A High Latency Life) rolled over my twitter feed like a dark cloud, wrapping up a large portion of the blogosphere in shock and grief. River had been on twitter just a day before.
Syp suggested to post a picture of a scantily-clad “being” (thanks for that leeway, Syp!) on one’s blog today, in honor of a blogger with a particularly high appreciation of the female form. Over the years, I only had one or maybe three fleeting encounters with River; I wasn’t a close follower of his blog but our paths crossed nonetheless as is bound to happen in a neighborhood as cosy as ours. Hearing about his sudden death was both unreal and saddening.
Death is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we came from and no matter our differences. In death we are all the same. Losing a member of this community that in many ways is less of a happenstance than the communities we are born into in our real lives, cuts deep. The blogosphere is full of opinionated and also polarizing individuals – yet on a very basic level I have always believed that many of us, maybe most of us have ended up in this corner of the internet for similar reasons. We’re gathered here from different timezones and even hemispheres, having so much more in common than with the person next door.
All the reactions since yesterday’s news are a testimony of how strong the bonds among us can become; internet friends and online buddies, fellow bloggers who we’ve never met in real life but who have run with us and alongside us for years. Sharing daily quips, putting a smile on our face, making us angry or thoughtful. When they leave so suddenly, they leave an empty spot behind.
Death is utterly futile unless we claim something of it. I believe the only value in death is to honor life. I value this little corner of the internet. The thought of the daily voices being silenced tomorrow fills me with dread.
But not today. Today, I am happy and glad the blogosphere exists. Mach’s gut, River.