I have found a group of bloggers that are going through many of the changes and facing many of the challenges I am.
When I first discovered them, a couple of months ago, I needed them desperately. It was good that I didn’t meet them in my real life, because I would have been so needy and obnoxious and chased them away almost immediately. As it was, I stalked their websites, not believing that these women were describing me. That other people had the same feelings, fears, challenges that I had was , to say the least, a relief.
There is Lindsey, a self described melancholic (is that a word?). The combination of her observations, insights, and her amazing gift for articulation sucked me in first. I discovered her in Talking Writing when she wrote a review for Dani Shapiro's book Devotion called "Looking for Answers."
Through Lindsey, I discovered Christine. I wish I could remember the first post of hers that I read, the moment I knew I would come back. It could have been the one on writing and community. I was so drawn in by the words, the insights, the parallels to my life that I didn’t even think about her being a writer. I felt like I was in a conversation with her from the beginning. I had taken up writing again last fall, and was enjoying the clarity it brought to my life. I had the urge to call her up and say, “Hey, we could be friends. I get everything you say. And we could work on our writing together.”
I became reacquainted with my blog and starting writing a bit. I tell no one about my blog, except my mother. It is an exercise for me. Apparently one day, I became brave and reached out and commented on a post by someone else. Well, Christa clicked on my comment and visited my blog, without my knowing. I came back one day and her comment was just sitting there. It was like waking up early, walking into the quietness of my own kitchen, and having someone sitting there.
The range of emotions that this one comment created surprised me. Surprise, fear, warmth, compassion, connectedness. I had been writing for myself. To clear my head, to know what I was thinking, to ground myself. I also tend to write when I am not in a good place, as a way of searching. This is the part of me I haven’t like to share, because who wants to be around someone who brings them down? Also, I thought it wasn’t the real me.
Christa’s blog, Carry it Forward, is simply beautiful. Her photography makes me want to go back to my camera. I’ve returned to the pen, but not the camera. She has beautiful quotes, and I absolutely love her strolls. She combines art, writing,and living in a way that makes me believe it is possible.
Finally, Pam came and she stayed. She followed me! I am still wondering if my mother or husband hired her. How can such few chosen words do so much? She compliments and encourages. And she makes me believe that she means what she says. I mean, this woman can write about Batman and Ulysses with equal intrigue. How can what I have to say mean something to her?
Through these writers and mostly through word itself, I can tap my essential hope. On occasion, I am weighed down by fear, darkness, hopelessness, or sadness. Lindsey writes often of her tendency toward melancholy, her dark side sprinkled with bright, bright stars. I think of myself as the opposite of that, whatever that is. I see a bright, sunny sky, with occasional black holes that spring up out of nowhere, like land mines. Her personality leans towards feeling goodbyes; mine towards feeling hellos. In this, I am more like my mother and her mother. I generally like being this way; however, the black holes threaten to take over when I come to the edge, and it is the scariest place possible. Part of me thinks if you live on this edge, you are more equipped to deal with it, than if you only visit here occasionally.
On some days, yes, I am overcome with the fragility of it all, the passage of time, this moment in time being forever gone. Many days, my best days, I am overcome with awe of this world. I am overcome with gratitude for everything I have. There are so many things I want to do and learn and read. So many people I want to meet. When I learn new words or ideas that lead me to new places and thoughts and hope, it is the opposite of my black hole. Is there a white hole? I am overwhelmed with all the good things and places in this world, that I can’t pick one. My thoughts are flying around and I can’t grasp any of them. I am scared to grasp one, fearing the ones that fly away. I am sad for all the experiences and people that I won’t meet, for there is so much good out there. I find myself constantly and endlessly fascinated with everything out there.
All this to say, I am creating another community. I am discovering, yet again, something new. Writing has always been, for me, a private journey. A place to escape. Something I don’t share for many different reasons - fear, perfectionism, incompleteness. I am discovering that so many of my interests converge here in this world. Writing, discovery, ideas, and, now, community. Slowly emerging, I am learning how wonderful this community can be. You are helping me discover myself by exposing yourselves. You teach me, you help me, you engage me, you share with me, you push me, you challenge me, and now, you listen to me.