coming to terms with our grips

cloudsdenver.jpg

“I’m not sure where this post is going to go, but I trust it will take us somewhere” wrote my darling julie daley. she stepped out on the digital page that day, not knowing where her fingers would take her, and oh what a journey she set in motion. earlier in the week, she wrote about voice – about finding hers, me finding mine, others finding theirs. two days later she found herself writing about connections. connecting. the digital currency of the internet, she calls it.

“As we tell each other who we really are,
we find the people with whom we really belong.”

Christina Baldwin via @creatingwings on twitter

the comments after julie’s post are filled with women tracing their digital lineage, paying tribute to women they’ve met online, women who have been and who have found breadcrumbs leading to a forest (or desert) of women ready and willing to bear witness, encourage, cajole, dance.

in our journey to voice, we gather around the digital well of blogs and comments and tweets, telling our stories and speaking our truths (perhaps tentatively at first and at times), and an entrainment takes place. we find women with whom we resonate. women who inspire us, tickle us, enkindle and excite us. we gather around the digital well, knowing that encouraging, supporting, cheering on other women does not diminish us in any way because this is a well of abundance.

as i scrolled down to leave my comment at julie’s place, i came across a comment left by a name i’d never seen before. debra notes that women finding their voice is an “old, old” theme, one that’s been “grappled with” for centuries – which is true. she goes on to point out that actions speak louder than words, and, on the topic of voice, asks the good question “how will you use yours?”

feeling a quickening, i click over to her blog, eager for a chance to learn more about her, to have a conversation. I find that she’s written a post elaborating on her comment, but alas, there is no place on her blog for comments. though i take exception to her use of the word “soppy” because it reads judgmental, i do see how if it’s your first visit to some of the blogs i call our digital well, they could be received as soppy. sometimes when i write a particular post, it feels soppy. necessary, but soppy nevertheless.

i’ve only been on twitter three months, and the first time i called someone “sugar”, it was scary. i knew there was a chance folks would recoil and unfollow me in droves, but i did it anyway because it felt right. i am fluent in english and southern – it is who i am. now several of us have sweet pet names for each other, and it works. for us, it works. for a while, my son (who’s knows his way around the digital social scene) would read the comments on my blog and call on his way to the office, offering feedback. “mom,” he said more than once, “when you tell people you love them, when you call them ‘sugar’, when you use ‘xo’, and compliment them profusely, you sound needy. cut it out.” he read a few more weeks, then one day i got a call saying, “mom, about the way you reply to people in the comment section of your blog . . . that’s not neediness, that’s caring, and they’re two different things. i see that now, and it works for you because it’s who you are. you care. you really care.”

i do care. and the way i see it, caring is action.

it’s where action starts.

it’s the ember, the kindling for action.

to be continued tomorrow . . .

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  • ronnadetrick

    Stunning, Jeanne: the whole virtual community thing – and your articulation/experience of such. I have been amazed and graced by its substance, its meaning, its genuine-ness, its beauty. You, sugar, are in the midst of all that for me! I'm grateful!

  • lemead

    Jeanne: thank you for writing this, for speaking so eloquently about this community that has already begun to mean so much to me. I'm so grateful to have found you in the midst of this sea of voices.

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    it is an amazing place. an amazing phenomenon. hope you had a fruitful weekend. hope the words flowed like warm honey.

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    and i you, sugar. you and your words are a constant inspiration. xo

  • susanreep

    I haven't even had coffee yet, but I had to read something called “coming to terms with our grips.” I remember those voice blogs, and your voice is so distinctive that I had to respond pre-waking up. If I hadn't I would have been in a regular flapdoodle all day. Love you Jeanne!

  • http://www.violetminded.com/ Amanda F.

    Beautiful. Jeanne, you are truly a lily amongst daisies.

  • http://www.pleasurenotes.com emma

    I love that you say “sugar,” I love that you are honest and effusive and confident in expressing your love, your caring and your support. It paves the way for the rest of us to do the same. And boy, wouldn't the world be an even more beautiful place if people didn't shy away so much from revealing their hearts? xoxo

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    well, susan, you're a woman who seems to have come to terms with her grips. you're out there doing and creating and adventuring and occasionally – but only occasionally – flapdoodling.

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    thanks, sug.

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    ah, revealing their hearts. i feel another cloth project coming on . . .

  • http://twitter.com/oliveandhope olive & hope

    I want to copy and paste Emma's comment here. I watched a piece that a Candian friend posted on her blog about the Olympics – and my favorite line from it was “it feels good to show your heart”. It certainly does for me. And I am certainly happy that you so generously show your big ole heart to us, Jeanne. I x and o because I have a big heart, I can't help myself and I am so happy that it's not received as desperate in this community, but instead recognized as simply coming from the heart.

  • Jennifer Prentice

    The way that you “care” emboldens me and others to bare our true selves to the virtual world. Thank you!

  • http://dillydallylollygagger.blogspot.com Lollygagger

    This is lovely. Caring is so important, and I love knowing that there are so many others who feel the same way.

  • shoreacres

    I began reading the blog of an artist living in Somewhere, New Mexico, about a year ago.
    She ends all of her posts, “Peace and abundance”. It felt a bit strange at first, an unusual blessing that felt to me like a strange combination of Old Testament religion, New Age spirituality and Midwestern, harvest-rooted common sense.

    Reading your phrase “the well of abundance” gave it the context it needed. It's time to go off and ponder ;-)

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    i think caring is too often undervalued and overlooked.

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    me, too. have missed seeing you around, molly. glad you're enjoying that new job.

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    a former client helped me clarify this mindset, and i plan to write more about it soon. i like that “peace and abundance”.

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  • http://www.unabashedlyfemale.com/ Julie

    Darling, I'm late to the table as I was off on my adventure. Soppy, schmoppy. One woman's sop is another woman's nourishment. I love that we don't all have to relish the same thing. It's what makes the world interesting, don't you think? As always, you set my heart on fire and stir things I didn't know existed. Love you Jeanne.

  • Pingback: An End to Cutting and Choosing « The Task at Hand

  • shoreacres

    I came, I pondered, I wrote. Thanks for the stimulation you provided for my current post – not certain whether you got a trackback, so I'm leaving this note of gratitude. Happy writing!

  • shoreacres

    Oops! I should tell you it's called “An End to Cutting and Choosing”. Again, gracias!

  • Evy

    I was lead to your space via A Task At Hand – your quoted paragraph so resonated with me, I wanted a peek of the source…… and to express thanks….. for surely your words are encouraging to those of us seeking to express, but not quite sure our wings are strong enough, or song good enough.

    Seriously, computer illiterate (I make my sons shudder) I continue at this stage to read, learn and observe…. I have been wrestling with my chatter voice should I embark on a “word-press” adventure — it would be just a glorified ego trip, after all what could I say of value – a highschool educated housewife – but, when I read your closing paragraph and your son's discovery….. I realized caring & life experience is not a degree you get from college, but something that bubbles up like a beautiful spring of fresh water – and writing from this place would be singing my heartsong. Thus, despite my “chattervoice” and my hubby's eye rolling, implying I'd be wasting my time – I'm not letting go of this dream.

    PS – when I saw your book list, I nearly fell off my chair……4 of your books listed are within hands reach : )

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    and i am even later replying to your comment, darling. though i've missed you, i'm delighted that you've been off writing because your words are nourishment to my soul. and the souls of countless other women, too. xo

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    thank YOU for the eloquent mention in your post. i love that post you wrote – it's filled with so many things. important things, ideas, and ways of being. i've read it several times, and finally slowed down enough to gather my thoughts and leave a comment last night. you honor me by including me and my words. i thank you.

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    evy, i can tell your voice is more than mere chatter. i know the feeling you describe (what do i have to say that's worth a tinker's dam), but trust me: you have things of value to say. i want to hear your heartsong.

    go. now. set you up a blog – it's easy. if you can read and follow directions, you can do this. (i am going to email you with links to help get you started.) don't worry about what you know/don't know, just remember: we learn best by doing. which is kinda my theme – degrees are nice, but life experience is where the real learning happens.

    and the books – further proof that we are kindred spirits. so glad you happened by. look forward to hear more from you soon.

  • http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com/ whollyjeanne

    evy, i can tell your voice is more than mere chatter. i know the feeling you
    describe (what do i have to say that's worth a tinker's dam), but trust me:
    you have things of value to say. i want to hear your heartsong.

    go. now. set you up a blog – it's easy. if you can read and follow
    directions, you can do this. (scroll down to see links to help get you
    started.) don't worry about what you know/don't know, just remember: we
    learn best by doing. which is kinda my theme – degrees are nice, but life
    experience is where the real learning happens.

    and the books – further proof that we are kindred spirits. so glad you
    happened by. look forward to hear more from you SOON.

    jeanne

    now about that blog that you're about to start . . .

    i am a wordpress girl – always have been – so naturally i'm gonna' steer you
    in that direction. there are other platforms (there's typepad at
    http://www.typepad.com/, but i hear people have more than the occasional
    problem with that platform. google also has blogger.) available, though.

    decide on the title of your blog, then go here:
    http://en.wordpress.com/signup/ to get your free blog up and going.
    seriously, all you have to do is read and follow the directions. the word
    “wordpress” will be in your url, and if you want, you can eventually get rid
    of that, but honestly, i see no problem with that. mine, for example would
    be http://www.TheBarefootHeart.wordpress.com instead of http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com.
    at this point, it's not worth the cost (though minimal) or trouble. just go
    with the free blog.

    don't let the perfectionist monster shut you down before you even get
    started. remind yourself that you will want to rearrange things as you go
    and grow. re-nesting, i call it. the main thing for now is to START.

    and be sure to email me and let me know when you're up and running.

    ~~~~~
    jeanne hewell-chambers
    woman, wit, writer
    http://www.TheBarefootHeart.com

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