Alice Down the Rabbit Hole

When I was growing up, we lived out in the country where there were a lot of animals, but not a lot of kids. Animals were my constant companions. When I wasn’t busy with my horses, dogs, cats, and the cows (not ours) out in the back pasture, I’d amuse myself with my mind. Like my daughter, Caitlin, I wasn’t a great sleeper, so while lying awake at night I’d often play “What If” games.

Some of my “What If’s” ran along very noble lines like: What if I were asked to live a solitary life until I died, in exchange for world peace? Would I do it? I contemplated that question deeply and believed that I would. (I’ve since learned how to be more pro-active on issues that matter to me.)

Then there were the more run-of-the-mill “What If’s” like: What if I could speak every language in the world? Or, what if I could talk to anybody I wanted to in all the world? Or, if I really wanted to stretch that one, what if I could talk to anybody I wanted to who ever lived?! I could easily keep myself busy until the wee hours of the morning.

I’d be off, sliding down Alice’s rabbit hole, never knowing where I’d land after bumping and thumping around the twists and turns in my own mind, growing big, growing small, playing croquet with the queen’s live flamingos.

What I’d never envisioned was something like the internet coming along to make many of my “What If’s” not only a possibility, but a reality. I can read and converse in nearly any language online now, thanks to free translation sites like Babel Fish, and World Lingo.

For someone who has a passion for studying human nature, there’s something about being able to drop in on web sites and blogs from around the world, undeterred by language barriers, or newspaper slants — to read in those individuals’ own words how they see their life, their culture, their world — that just blows my mind. I’ve gained an insight that I believe is invaluable. In the process, I’ve made friends from around the globe — friends who’ve extended standing invitations to come visit.

As for speaking with anyone from the past, I can read any text (ancient or more recent) from any library around the world (as long as it’s been made available online). And as for speaking to any person I can think of? Much of the world can be found and contacted through online searches.

What greater rabbit hole for a writer than the internet. Anything I imagine, I can research. With a click of the mouse–I’m off to join the Mad Hatter for tea.

7 thoughts on “Alice Down the Rabbit Hole”

  1. I did kind of the same thing. I lived in a small town, but the boys next door, uh, shall we say, disliked, me. I returned their sentiment. I’m not quite sure what had happened, Tom and I were best buds, and then, BOOM! Total Detestation. Anyway, I made up an entire culture, complete with a language and everything. I was a princess (surprise, surprise) and I had a twin. We were little demons! Alas, I never met my twin, and although I spoke drawkcaB, I never met anyone else who did. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. Well expressed. It IS like a wonderful rabbit hole with friends and adventures a click away. I can remember being at a dinner party in 1993 and a know it all computer professor was telling us all about this World Wide Web thing. It was totally preposterous what he said we could do on it. A year later I was doing all my research on it and making friends all over the world. How fast the world moves in this rabbit hole.

  3. Thanks for the link, Sunshine. Some people do get lucky enough to find exactly what they’re looking for. I count myself in that group. :)

    Therese, I’m still playing the “If I could live anywhere” game too! LOL! New Zealand, Oregon, North Carolina, Hawaii, Ireland… Maybe a couple of years in each!

    Maureen, thanks for stopping by. I really enjoy your writing, as well as your outlook on life. Refreshing is the word that comes to mind.

  4. Growing up I could never have imagined anything like the Internet or it’s power. I feel lucky to have an insight into so many lives at my fingertips. I enjoyed reading your post!

  5. Ahhh…your post brought back some memories from my childhood too! We lived out in the country (with animals) but we also lived in small towns, and then eventually the city. Since we moved around quite a bit my pets were my best buddies. Like you, I used to lie in bed at night and dream and I’d share those dreams with the cat or dog, whichever happened to be on my bed at the time. Some of my favorite dreamings were “who would I be if I could be someone I chose” and “If I could live anywhere, where would it be.” I still haven’t fully answered those questions…and I’m not sure I ever want a definitive answer. I like the journey and the dreaming!

  6. Dear Karen,

    On 9/24/06, I wrote the following letter to one of my husbands co-workers who is from India after reading his blog.

    Here’s to blogging, “chasing white rabbits”, and the world getting smaller – in a good way!!



    I loved your blog and posted a message – I then chased a link to one of your blog posters and found this list in one of her blogs:

    Truly it was a amazing to read a list that so perfectly captured what I always wished for in my future husband, and was luckily enough to find.

    I think the most amazing thing about the internet and blogging is that we can begin to realize so very “crystal clear” that people may live thousands of miles away from each other and come from different cultures but feel the same about the important things.

    Thanks for the fun this morning.

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