I have been reading an intriguing book The Black Swan - The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. It talks about a "Black Swan" event - one that lies outside the realm of regular expectations; that carries an extreme impact and that human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.
I'm thinking this applies to blogging as well. In the past two days, I've had the opportunity to spend time with four amazingly-talented, fascinating women in San Francisco. We met through the blogosphere and have been corresponding for some time, so the foundations of friendship were already established. But meeting these women in person has been deeply inspiring, enlightening and in one case, eye-opening.
I'm referring to Tangobaby, Studio Wellspring, Writing Anam Cara and Gypsy Girl's Guide.
The gorgeous and brilliant Tangobaby and beautiful designer and mother-to-be Studio Wellspring and I had a glass of California merlot at my apartment, followed by a lively dinner at Iluna Basque in North Beach. The handsome Basque owner was attentive and charming and the tapas choices excellent.
Read Tangobaby's post "Finding Dark Passage." She told me that the Telegraph Hill apartment where I'm staying is around the corner from where a key scene was filmed. Ironically, I'd photographed the building the day before, without knowing its film noir history.
The lovely and lyrical writer Dierdre of Writing Anam Cara and I had a long lunch at a restaurant at the Ferry Building, then went for a windy walk along the Pier. We talked about writing, the incredible impact of blogging and puzzled over the complicated dynamics of family life.
And Alex, the magnificent creator of Gypsy Girl's Guide and I had dinner last night at Il Trattoria Contadina on Union and Mason, a local favourite I first discovered in 1989. My daughter Jordana attended a preschool down the hill on Union Street and I'd pick her up at the end of the day and we'd hop the cable car to our apartment. The restaurant owner, a smiling Italian woman everyone called "Mama," would come outside and give Jordana sweets. As if that weren't enough enticement to dine there, the sign over the restaurant door says in Italian, "Leave your problems at the door." Last night the staff told me "Mama" had retired to Utah, but the restaurant is still run by her family. And the pasta is as fabulous as ever!
Alex - who is even more beautiful in real life than her pictures - has just returned from her honeymoon in Bali. We talked about creative endeavours, our travels, adventures living abroad and some serious issues that woke me up with a jolt. Alex made me see something that I've avoided acknowledging for some time. She reminded me of things I'd forgotten about the woman I am and the strengths and abilities that will carry me forward. Check out Alex's latest post "Diligent Joy."
All four of these women have touched my life in important and tangible ways. So "the Black Swan effect?" Maybe. All I know is these graceful kindred spirits have encouraged and challenged me and I am thankful for their friendship. And I'm thrilled our paths will cross again very soon!