I added a Clustr Map to my site the other day. Its the little pictorial widget at the bottom of the sidebar that shows where my internet visits are originating from. Some people consider such devices, along with prominently displayed stats counters, to be the nouveau riche decor of the blogging world. A little bit too self congratulatory and hence a little vulgar.
Actually I don’t mind. I quite like it, at least for the moment. I’m encouraged by the happy realisation that not only has somebody, somewhere, in a place I’ve probably never heard of, found my site; but that some readers are obviously visiting more than once. Quite a few hits from America, I see. And more in England. And a good few regulars in India. Some from South America. Even a few in Australia.
Of course, those ‘hits’ may not be readers searching for the Absolute Truth and finding it in my writing. It could be people looking for more information about ‘Jaws,’ a James Bond 007 villain whose enormously powerful gnashers share a tenuous link with my own dentist and who showed up in one of my 155 blogs.
Or it could be somebody looking for one of the many photographs I have ‘borrowed’ from the millions of cached photographs to be found by searching on Google. Or it could be just another salesman trying to find someone who desperately needs cheap Viagra.
Just because people visit your site, doesn’t mean they like you, or value what you have to say. So I don’t want to get too comfortable. Unfortunately, it seems as if I may be getting too self assured because I haven’t written anything for weeks. I have some excuses if my regular readers need any. I’ve had several weddings and ceremonies, Rathayatras and late night meetings. At all of these I’ve been using my voice extensively, so my desire to communicate through writing has been supplanted by more direct forms. But I hope to continue as before.
One thing I have noticed by looking at that little map of the world (as if I didn’t already know it) is just how small my country is compared to Australia and the USA. I mean, everything is relative isn’t it? I still think of 50 miles as being a ‘long drive,’ something from my childhood when, without a car, I walked practically everywhere or rode my bike. The next village was ‘down the road’ and the village after that was ‘quite a distance away’ while Plymouth was a distant city: ‘a long way away.’ It was 30 miles away. London was another planet.
Curious for me, then, to hear of my daughter Jahnavi’s travels at the moment in the USA and Canada. She started off in West Virginia, then Georgia, then Florida; was just in Montreal, and in New Brunswick watching whales the day before that. Its the third time she’s been on the youth bus tour and she really enjoys it. She’s a bit of an old hand at it now, so helps the younger members cope with being in a mobile girls ashram for a couple of months. They help to set up the Rathayatra festivals for ISKCON’s ‘Festival of India’ project, a travelling show which not only conducts the Rathayatras but stages a large fun-filled exhibition of the best of India’s culture and philosophy. Jahnavi takes part in the dance and kirtan and dismantles the festival tents afterwards. She is having fun and being Krishna conscious – a pretty good combination.
Another thing that little map of the world helps me to understand is just how far our Krishna consciousness movement has travelled in a short time. Srila Prabhupada very deliberately visited all the continents and circled the world 14 times in 12 years. He never stopped travelling and had a vision of establishing his movement in all the major cities, with his books in all major languages. If we continue to grow at this rate its sure that at some point in the near future historians will mark his travels as the beginning of a revolutionary shift in religious thought.
That’s my notes from a small country this morning.