I've spoken freely, especially of late, about aspects of the blog-world that leave me feeling weary and jaded. I find that when I think about big things, I'm overwhelmed to the point where I now longer see the point in participation.
And while blogging can exacerbate all of that, there are moments when it's beautifully small. When I receive certain comments or e-mails and I find myself believing things that were only the smallest hopes tucked away in a corner of my mind.
I'm both wary of and hungry for the power of readers in this respect... to leave me feeling fully understood or, sometimes, fully alienated. I try to protect myself from it. But it's also the nature and sometimes the beauty of what we do on blogs; connecting suddenly and profoundly to people unknown to us.
Ruth Andre e-mailed me after I published this post. The image was one I had instagrammed in Ireland. I remember wanting to fall into the sea as I stood there; one of those moments when I was unnerved by my lack of fear, by my own craving to swallowed whole by the sea.
I hadn't said any of this, but Ruth saw something in that little photograph too and was inspired to paint it as part of her "painting a day" project. And then she e-mailed me and offered to make me a gift of the painting. I cried when I read her e-mail and saw the painting she had made.
Her painting arrived last week and I feel very privileged to have it. Thank you, Ruth.