My Thanksgiving was epiphanic, as it turns out. I fielded many emails and blog comments on my recent post, including one from a friend-I-never-met, Debby. Deb lives in Germany and we connected through the magic of ribbon: long slinky lengths of rayon grosgrain; shorter lengths of French jacquard with winding, sinuous garlands of vines and roses, and fields and marquees of color punctuated with eyelash fringes; tiny little quarter inch silk velvets, and crisp taffetas with picot edges. We found each other through the wonder of the internet and started a daily exchange of words that has sustained me through many a tough week and trying month. Debby has been my cheerleader, long distance from Elmpt, Germany, where she lives with her husband and children, and baskets full of ribbon work and the delightful pincushions she creates. Our conversation has stretched out now over the better part of two years.
Early on, I was captivated by her command of our language and complimented her on it. She confessed she was from New Jersey, US born and bred, and had married the German man she fell in love with and moved there for good. So, we had it easy, Debby and I, in our exchange of words. We traded conversation, quotes, old entries from Victorian albums, as well as the makings of our days, which sometimes amounted to nothing more than a list of chores and the weather. Hardly a day has passed that we do not "talk", so her "voice" has become not only dear to me, but elemental in my life. We refer to each other as "two peas in a very large pod" that stretches halfway around the world. She wrote after my last post:
9:30 pm and I sit here and weep after having just read the words that you wrote in your "Thankful" blog post. How beautifully you write, what depth you find in your thoughts and how easily you bring them forth into printed words for all to read. With this post, dear heart, you allow us all to open a tiny door to your heart and soul and take a peek at what is inside. Many would fear that chance for hurt and critizism from others to enter when we lay ourselves so open like that, but with your deep feelings in black and white, you bring me and many others just that much closer to the real Nancy. You allow us in, and that my dear, is your greatest virtue!! You are the honey, and we the bees that need to find nourishment in your friendship. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for allowing us all to read such naked raw emotion. The tears on my cheeks are not unwanted, but are welcomed, knowing that we all find within ourselves such deep and wonderful gratitude for family and friends at this time of year, and we count our blessings for those who are part of our lives. I am grateful and humbled by the love I am surrounded by, either right here within my own small family, or by the family that is so very far from me in miles. And I so often wonder who was looking out for me that day when I was given the chance to have you become a part of my life.
Hugging you from here, from a very teary-eyed Pea on the other side of the world, Debby
I realized something after reading her words. I probably like writing better than almost anything else. Maybe even better than baroque pearls. I had also just exchanged a series of emails with a new friend, Carole, who shares my love of words, and so the feelings about it were fresh. I do love to write, I always have; so much so, that I crafted part of my career around it as a commercial copywriter. So it was an epiphany for me today -- how could this have escaped me? And how wonderful the path that brought me face to face with it: blogging.
I remember well the import of my first post. Lidy Baars had told me I must get a blog, and a website, two things that seemed almost unimaginable to me. We had always dodged web programming, limiting ourselves to design, but the blogging at least seemed doable. I would be putting on a hat that was somewhat familiar, so in I dove. What to say? Who was I talking to? And as all of us know, with that first post, you really are talking to no one, and hoping that someone will stumble on you in cyberspace, which is a huge place. Like going single to a school dance in a gym the size of Delaware. So, you talk to yourself, all the while pretending you are talking to someone else.
What I did discover, though, was that it got easier and easier. The lapses between thinking and writing and editing and the final click of the "post" button got shorter and shorter. Nowadays, short of checking my grammar and spelling (which the proofreader in me insists on), there is hardly any hesitation in clicking that button. And it has nothing to do with surety or having done it so often that I do it right. It has everything in the world to do with trust.
And this is one of the amazing things about blogging: for all the distance between some of us, and for that matter, the fact that some of us may never meet face to face, there is more truth, more trust, and more honesty in this brave new world than I find in many facets of the other world I inhabit.
I titled one of my earliest posts, "A Little Truth and Beauty," a phrase I have often used over the years, referring to something that transports us, if even for just a little while, to that place where our minds can dwell on the things we love, cherish, and treasure. For me at least, to be among the things in my store, is to have a little truth and beauty. Little did I know, that through blogging, I would have the opportunity to share my vision of "a little truth and beauty" with women around the world.
So, where do I go from here? Will I cast aside all other aspirations and blog, monk-like in my dedication? No, I have a store to run, bills to pay, little dogs and a husband to chase after, and much, much more. In the words of Kathleen Kelly in "You've Got Mail" (whom I find myself quoting now twice in one month):
"The odd thing about this form of communication is that you're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings."
And it has. So, nothing or something, I will continue to think, and write, knowing that it is more and more a part of me than ever, and with hope and trust, I will...click.