I once signed up for Facebook. At first it was curiosity driven, and of course there was a learning curve. It took me a while to figure out that this was not like a giant email-type hub of communication, where I would meet up with old friends and we would really connect. The first few long winded, catch-you-up-on-the-past-twenty-years, heartfelt messages that I sent out quickly taught me that this mode of communication is a drive-through snack from the value menu, not a sit-down-meal with fixin’s -when it comes to connectedness. I felt duped, and have seldom gone back.
Then I began to write essays for myself.
I had heard of these things called blogs where people put pictures up of their pudding-faced kids to share with Grandma in Ohio, and though the notion turned me off (honestly, who cares how many times little Joshy pooped in the potty today?), I thought it might be a format to use as motivation to keep myself writing regularly, polish skills and mature my thinking.
I shared my blog address (all the while refusing to actually say the word “blog”, opting for “bloggety-thingy”) with a few friends. Some of them shared with a few others. At first, Rebekah, Jackie, Steph and Melissa would often comment. It felt nice. I enjoyed the strange way that I could float my thoughts out into the atmosphere, and was tickled that anybody at all cared enough to comment on them.
I ventured that I perhaps would like to connect my thoughts to other women who might think like me and just not be the types to type about it. Reluctantly, I began venturing to what I believed were sites that would help me connect my blog to readers who share my world view (that of laundry and dishes - small, untidy world that it is). Here is what I have learned:
There is yet another culture out there. One like the culture of people who sign onto Facebook and say yes to every bloomin’ friend request, hoping to gather a big ol’ sloppy pile of ‘em. Only in this other culture, bloggers rush from blog to blog, leave a comment like the old “Ziggy was here” graffiti-ed on the wall, and become a “follower”. Then off to the next blog, all the while holding out the expectation that once they click ya’, you’ll click them back.
I kinda feel cheap, lika a girl who maKes out with a guy because he bought her dinner.
There is a children’s story by Max Lucado called “You are Special” where in a puppet creator makes beautiful and unique puppets. These puppets circulate through their little village giving each other stickers; gold stars to those they like, grey dots to those who, for whatever reason, have fallen out of favor with the giver. In the story, one puppet has learned that it only matters to her what the puppet maker thinks of her, and knowing that he loves her dearly, the stickers of judgement cannot stick to her. A little puppet, tired of the dots and the way they make him feel, goes to see the maker in hopes of being taught the secret of not letting the stickers stick. The maker simply tells him, “You are special because I made you, and I don’t make mistakes.”
All the clicks on my blog have felt odd to me. Odd, because the comments from my dear friends have always come from a place of love and understanding, while these new remarks somehow feel like dots and stars.
That is why I am writing to you, Round Lake and Edgewood. You, (whoever you are… do I know you?), read my words (I have a little map that tells me when you have come) and though I don’t think you have clicked to “follow”, seeing your town name over and over as weeks go by makes me think that somehow I am writing something that might matter. At least to you. Thanks.
I have a favorite blog, one that I read every day, written by a woman I will never meet. I neither “follow” nor comment on it, but because of what I find there, my life has been uplifted.
Round Lake, IL and Edgewood, MD, I hope once in a while I uplift you. Because sometimes when I write, I try to picture you.