One day, after you have shared your thoughts a while...people come and read them and leave a thought of their own behind. You follow the breadcrumb trail back to them and read their thoughts a while...eventually, their visits take on a shape, and tracing back, you see a rhythm to their experiences as well.
I write every day. I fill notebook after notebook, a small sampling of which eventually shows up here. My blog-writing will sometimes follow a prompt for a Thursday or a Sunday or an experience about mothering. It may not be writing at all, but expression through a self-portrait instead...When I began this online journal, I expected it to fulfill my need to organize my creative energies, which are often very scattered and diffused. I didn't know if anyone would ever read it--but, I gave the link to my family and friends because there has always been this instinct in me to share with them aspects of who I truly am beyond the surface...but, which my typically-withdrawn nature would never allow in regular conversation. Then they started reading it. People began to mention posts that they liked or books I mentioned that sparked an interest. Suddenly, I felt I was becoming more "solid" right in front of them...more able to be myself, as flawed as I am...as frightening as it is to admit it at times.
Then, all of you started to appear down in the comment-section...people I'd never met who were, nonetheless, were finding resonance with what I had written here. I knew about this sort of exchange, had published in places and had feedback that way--but the writing-to-publication process is such a slow one. On a blog, I could post something in one hour and have comments in the next...instant responses to my words. Then, a beautiful writer gave me the gift of telling me that she had read my entire archive in one sitting and wanted to email. Now, this woman has become a friend of mine...so have other people who found their way to me through this blogging-medium. I have some "regulars" now and I am honored by this. I am a regular myself in many places...this is something I never expected and yet, I am thankful this year for the connections being made here.
I can say that I look at art differently now...I am constantly immersed in and thinking of poetry...I am learning to take photos and leaving behind visual images of myself as a creative expression...I have found new books to read and learned new ways to look at myself. I am a participant in an online-artists-colony...this is how it feels to me. Gifts come through your words to me left here...through the blue silk journal you mailed to me to catch my poems on paper...and the perfect heart-shaped rocks you scouted out for me and sent along just because I mentioned a fondness for them. All of you who speak to me through this blog color my days...and I appreciate the time you take to follow along with me. Thank you for coming inside, sitting down, and sharing my words. Something of this gratitude appears in a sampling of the following poem by Naomi Shihab Nye:
Sometimes a new sister comes forward or a brother,
And the mouth opens on a hello so long and wide
whole countries live inside it.
Where were you yesterday?
Each corner and tree worth telling.
Now we will have to make letters shaped like kites,
flamboyant tails ripped from rainbow cotton
knotted together, flapping on the huge ache of breeze
that rides between.
Thank you...sincerely, for reading,