"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."
I am so humbled and amazed by what I read in these blogs. I write my little anecdotes of what a bumbling idiot I am, and then a comment links me to a blog and I find out she’s living in a situation whose pressures I can't even fathom. In the case of one reader, she just wrote recently about her excitement that her adoption dossier has reached a certain stage in the Chinese government. From this stage, she should only have another two years or so before she can bring her daughter home. I read this and reeled. She’s already been through years of fertility treatment and then American adoptions hoops, and now she’s looking at another two years? Personally, I’d take to my bed with a large bottle of vanilla extract mixed with Jack Daniels but she’s clearly a far better person than I am. She’s buying girl clothing when she sees something adorable, but she’s also writing about work, and vacations, and holiday plans. She’s waiting for a part of her life to begin, but she’s also insisting on having a life in the meanwhile.
There is something about the nature of a journal which makes it ideal for measuring and noting the time while you wait for something to happen, and so many of you are writing about, and living with, such challenging situations. My blog readers are living with cancer, infertility, sick parents and sick children. It’s not all bad. You are also living with new babies, new grandbabies, new marriages and new kitchens, all of which are also carefully recorded. Some days, things are good. Some days, they’re not. On the bad days, my readers of faith pray and write about their comfort from that. On the bad days, my readers of less-than-faith find their friends and their snack food of choice and write about their comfort from that.
But you blog-writers keep writing. You write in frustration on the days your teenage bipolar son has a bad reaction to his medication. You write on the days they put your mother into a nursing home. You write on the days they euthanize your beloved pet. You write in bad times, I suspect, for the same reasons I do: because it helps you think, and while you don’t want to slip completely under the warm water of self-pity, a few sympathetic words would feel awfully nice. And every time I see how many people are out there, sitting in their houses, reading the blogs of complete strangers and cheering them on, I realize again what a strangely disconnected and oddly intimate thing a blog is.
So, here’s my wish for my readers in this last blog of the year. Whatever good thing you are waiting for, I hope you get. I hope whatever thing you have struggled with this year improves. I hope you get your one-year chip, your remission, your baby, your house. If your wish is for a book deal, I hope you get that, along with a few copper-bottomed pots to scrub while you think.
Happy 2008 and peace to all people on earth.