I have days when I resent blogging. I’ve been blogging now for almost four years, 3-4 posts every week, largely unpaid for my toils, sometimes uprooted by trolls. I wonder why I do it. Some days. I mean, why would any sane person expose their controversial brain farts, their innermost reflections and their ugliest fears to hundreds of thousands of strangers each month who are then free to pull apart such thoughts and farts among their friends and in their own heads? My family ask me this often in their unaffected, un-social-media’d way. But, then, they know I have always been a slightly unhinged personality.
But just as I’m about to throw in the towel, I get reminded of why I blog and why I’m so bloody blessed.
I blog because it allows me to help people. I don’t have dibs on myself. I’m largely a selfish, tight, hard-to-live-with, neurotic human. But I get the biggest kick out of helping other raw, open humans who, too, struggle at times just to get out of bed each day and go through the human experience. Nothing else matters. This is my dharma. And, as I say, just when I doubt myself – working as I do in my isolated, tight, selfish way – I’ll be reminded of said dharma. Someone will come up to me in the supermarket and tell me their story. Or I’ll hear about how a post I wrote connected two strangers on opposite sides of the world, who then helped each other out…generously, openly, lovingly.
This happened a year or so ago when a reader – Gordon – followed my advice to get a VA in a second-world country. Gordon was so touched by the VAs work and life story, he and his wife went to visit him in Thailand and helped him start up his own company, which enabled him to get married. Gordon and his wife went to the wedding, too. He shared this story with Jo and I. It made me weep at the time.
It happened again this week. SMACK BANG as I needed it. Reader Soula contacted me and asked if I’d mind writing to a young family member who was in hospital suffering from depression. She thought a note from me might cheer her up. She likes my blog and book.
I wrote to the relative. I checked first to see if she’d mind my sharing what I shared with her:
“I thought I’d just do a shout out to you and say I’m thinking about you. …I get low. Real low. I sink and sink and when I was younger it made me panic and I felt hopeless. My Dad used to say, “this too shall pass”…it’s taken 20 years for me to work out he was right. I don’t know if this helps you at all….but it’s from my depths and despair that the greatest stuff in my life has flourished. Not immediately; sometimes years later. The whole IQS thing launched from my getting sick. So did my blog. I’ve witnessed the pattern over and over now and have to acknowledge that this is how MY life rolls. It’s not pleasant, but it’s the way it is. I’m just like that. You might be too.”
Soula then replied to say thank you. Soula’s an artist. As well as a caring relative. And she told me she’d sent me an etching she’d done – that’s it above. I’m awkward about accepting gifts. But this one came with a story.
And sometimes life unfurls so wonderfully that you have to fly with it.
This is the story. The lady in Soula’s picture is Lynn. Says Soula:
“I used to sneak drawings of her from the other side of our local cafe [Cavalerro in Melbourne] and then one day, when we were sitting next to each other, she noticed my hobbling. She asked me what was wrong and we chatted briefly. I don’t think more than a couple of weeks passed and she landed on my doorstop with a pile of papers about my condition that she copied from the library (she had access to the med journals as she was writing her book on the comfort women of Japan. On top of the pile of papers was a full dish of lasagne! “You’re going to need help,” she said standing there in the most magnificent 30’s – 40’s vintage gear that she wears most days. She was on The Collectors for her exquisite clothing. She is so eccentric and now one of my dearest friends after agreeing to pose for one drawing that ended up a solo exhibition!”
And so now I have a picture of an eccentric woman who writes in cafes. I like this. I’m not sure if my words helped Soula’s relative. But the whole encounter was a wonderful unfurling. I’m glad I flew with it.
For those intrigued about Soula’s hobbling, her condition is called Pudendal Neuralgia. You can read more about it here, and pass on the info to anyone you know with “unexplained pelvic pain”. Or follow Soula on twitter: @MyPelvicPain
We never know where life’s unfurling will take things, hey!