Meeting Old Friends for the First Time

Yesterday afternoon my wife, niece, and I had the delight of entertaining Amba in our home. Her blog, Ambivablog, has been on my rather select blogroll for a very long time. Along with other very interesting writers she now posts at a group blog, Ambiance. I cooked brunch for all of us and we dined, drank tea, and chatted the afternoon away.

As has been my experience in meeting bloggers with whom I’ve corresponded for many years, I found Amba even more intelligent, engaging, and charming in person than is reflected in her writing, always beautifully crafted. And as has been my experience in meeting in person those whose thoughts I’ve shared in the blogosphere for so many years, meeting her was much more like seeing an old friend again than it was like welcoming a stranger.

I don’t know whether it’s apparent from my writing but in person although I try to be as kind and considerate as possible I’m also frequently fairly direct. I ask direct questions. In this case I took the opportunity of Amba’s visit and the occasion of the ninth anniversay of the attacks on September 11, 2001 to give my niece the opportunity of hearing a first-hand account of the events of that terrible day. Amba and her husband, Jacques, lived a bit more than mile from the World Trade Center at the time, heard the planes fly over their heads, and could testify to what it felt to be a New Yorker on that fateful day. A first-hand account, face to face, with a perceptive and sensitive individual who actually lived the experience is worth a thousand written accounts.

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