“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 . . .