I never particularly liked my name until last week, when I Googled myself and found other Cinthia Ritchies -- Cynthias and Cindys -- across the country. Each time I discovered another one, I felt an instant connection, the way I used to feel in elementary school when I noticed a girl with the same lunchbox and knew we would be best of friends.
When I called and e-mailed a few of them, they were equally excited.
"Another Cynthia Ritchie," they said, followed by "How many of us are there?"
I'm sure such vanity searches are common. But I appreciate that Cinthia took the next step, establishing a new community. The same process is at work for bloggers. Many of us are seeking others who share an issue, idea, or world view.
Diaspora literally means scattered. While I champion Scattered Pittsburgh, I have a passion for all dispersed communities, including the Cinthia Ritchie Network. Trust cultivated over space, beyond the practical possibilities of face-to-face relationships, is the exception. Distance is its own Tower of Babel.