Monday, 30 July 2012

Ramblings with the Bearded One

As I walk round the corner I instantly spot the beard and the camera, and wave. I'm on a rare weekend away with my sister and close friend at a music festival just a few miles from Kim, of Ramblings of the Bearded One

Kim was the first 'real' person I connected with outside of our blogging worlds and personas. To be so nearby and not get in touch would have been daft, but taking the step of actually arranging to meet made me nervous. Here was someone who'd read my secrets and pain, and offered his kind words when things were falling to pieces around me.

I found Kim through Blogs of Note a couple of years ago and have been reading ever since. There was something very human and honest about his writing. He didn't seem to be trying to impress or seek glory or a place in history. I liked his writing, sometimes sad, often funny. He always gives me cause to reflect.

I wandered over and we sat down against the outside of the children's marquee where he's due to play his bouzouki. Nervously I have a cigarette, which I realise later was wholly inappropriate given the area of the site we're in. Anyway....skipping quickly over that misdemeanour....

Kim is easy company and I am fascinated by the man whose words I have read and responded to over what must be about three years. As two bloggers writing in Scotland it's easy to forget that, in fact, he is not a Scot. Gently spoken, Kim is good to talk with. I suppose, as a photographer, he's very used to putting slightly anxious people at their ease. We wander and rattle through blogging, and family stuff, living with fatigue, mental health, and the weirdness and wonderfulness of life.

This meeting for me is important. Blogging has helped me reconcile what goes on in my inner world with what goes on around me. It's helped me talk about the things that scare me or have made me sad. It's helped me to be vulnerable and honest. Meeting someone who found my blog early on, and probably knows more of my struggles over the past few years than some of my oldest friends, is a massive step in realising that I am finally opening up to the world. This meeting is something that couldn't, wouldn't have happened even a year ago.

A while ago I helped Kim with a press release for his Staring Back exhibition. It was an easy thing to do, that I'd completely forgotten about. Kim reminded me that he'd promised me a photo as a thank you if we ever met. Later that afternoon I found myself squinting in the sunshine, surrounded by thousands of people, having a camera pointed at me. Kim the photographer is suddenly present – joking and directing and trying to put me at my ease.

I am grateful for the kindness he's shown me through difficult times, and pleased to find a man who demonstrates the integrity, humour and thoughtfulness that his writing suggests. I am flattered that he introduces me to someone as 'an old friend', and I guess we were are despite never having met before. I am glad we did, and hope we do again soon. Next time, with instruments and tunes and time.

Thank you Kim for listening and for my picture.

PS Just in case you're wondering if Scruffy Buzzards are any good, I am happy to report that they were excellent!