Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Bigger Picture: To know and be known

I should have expected it.
But I didn't.
I should have known when Heather asked the 27 ladies at Cupcake '10 why they blogged that her question would be the raindrop that overflowed the flood gates* drenching us all in emotion so thick it was hard to move from our circle of chairs at times.
Because, if you know bloggers -- bloggers who happen to be women, that is -- you realize Heather's question wasn't really about only blogging.
Her question may have seemed simple and straightforward, but you cannot ask a woman why she blogs without hearing who she is come pouring out of her lips. You cannot ask why a woman blogs without unveiling stories; and stories, in my eyes, tell more about a person than simple adjectives she would use if you asked her "what makes you you?"
So many shared stories. Some of these women -- some complete strangers until that afternoon -- divulged more than just the headlines of their lives -- told the story of their lives, unraveling a little more of their hearts with every sentiment expressed.
I don't think any of us expected to be sitting in that circle for the two hours we did. But we should have known.
Because, honestly, I cannot remember the last time someone asked about me. You know, not about my boys or my husband or me the mother/business owner/wife/babywearing leader -- but me holistically. Me solely. All of me -- that person I've spent my whole life discovering all while adding and subtracting different titles that either fit or didn't fit all of me. Not just about what I do but who I am. And I have this feeling, based on so many heartfelt, honest responses, that most of the other women in that room hadn't been asked about themselves in a really long time -- or maybe ever.
And, nearly every woman, realizing that, seemed to speak so genuinely from her heart. And for each woman genuity sounded so different yet so similar. We laughed deep soul-laughs until our eyes watered. And we cried painful, heartfelt tears. And we nodded vigorously in agreement. And we leaned forward, eyes wide, surprised. And we closed our eyes and felt our arms tingle in goosebumps as we related. And we gulped back lumps in our throats as we listened and let each others' words sink deep. I'm incredibly privledged to have listened to your stories.
As I shared, I gave more than what I normally give here on my blog. I gave my unedited heart. I gave my unrevised story. I gave the real me. The whole me. The authentic me. The me God so lovingly hand-crafted, not the one I've tried to create. The me who doesn't speak quite as eloquently as she writes because well, I'm a writer, not a public speaker.
It was terrifying and freeing. Strange and lovely. Complex and simple.
And it was real.
As I drank in the stories others told, I also realised I had been neglecting something really essential -- my gift to not just tell my stories but stories of other people, usually the ones who have meak voices.
So as we continue to share life together through our blogs and Twitter, I look forward to sharing more of the unscripted, unedited, hand-crafted-by-God me as well as the stories of others who need an outlet.
And I'm looking forward to knowing the unscripted, unedited, hand-crafted-by-God you. So won't you tell me; why do you blog?

**Much like Maggie's post made it impossible for me to not write about this experience.


  1. I started blogging as a healing process to get through the grief of losing both my mother-in-law and my father in a two week time span. It turned into much more than healing though- yes I've begun healing (there are still some open wounds there) but I have joined a community of women whom I have come to know and love. I believe we know each other better than I know some friends in real life because through blogging we pour our hearts and souls out. Is everyone being honest? It's hard to say, but I know that some of my friendships that have been formed are more true than what I thought were friendships IRL.

  2. I so look forward to reading more of this from you Hyacynth. Really :)

    And why do I blog? I need a latte and a big piece of cake to get through it! To be heard, to show the me that I don't think anyone has ever gotten before. To be real.

  3. beautifully written. just like you!

    so glad i could share that experience with you at Cupcake! Hopefully again soon!

  4. Lovely, lovely, lovely. I'm all teary over here.

    Thank you.

  5. This is your best post yet and they're all amazing. What an experience for you and for everyone else you had the privilege to be there! Why do I blog? To get IT out there, out of inside me. It's therapy really isn't it? Whatever's on mind mind, from the simple to the complex from the exciting to the mundane. I am not as authentic as I would like to be on my blog, true, but it serves a purpose and in the absense of all my flesh and blood friends, it provides me with the important connections that make my life in a distant land a lot less lonely :-)

  6. Beautifully written (and making me sad and jealous again I couldn't make Cupcake '10!)

    I blog because I moved and had no one/no where where I could be me, and speak what was on my mind and not worry about burning bridges that weren't yet built...

  7. So wonderfully said! I don't think I realized it until reading your post but you are right, it was probably the first time in a very long time I have been asked a question about me and it felt great to be asked and to hear others!

  8. I'm finally able to go through and read everyone's posts about the weekend....I'm sure everyone is feeling that need to decompress and get back into the swing of things like I am...I barely remember what I said during our 'circle time' but I do know that I blundered my way through it, talking about what I do, not who I am. It's been tempting to write a "If I had one more day with my fellow cupcakes" post to share what I didn't get out in those couple of minute but there's always next time right?

    It was a pleasure to hang out with you on Sunday morning especially!

  9. You have such a way with words. This is beautiful and captures my emotions on this past weekend so aptly.

  10. ome of my friendships that have been formed are more true than what I thought were friendships IRL.

    Work from home India


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