Friday, April 13, 2012

Big Sticky Tootsie Pop Hug

I am a Tootsie Pop. A hard outer shell, with a soft and gooey center. My kids know this, so they have learned just how to patiently lick away until my gooey-ness is exposed. Sometimes, people with especially sharp teeth can just plow right into that gooey part without warning. I don't like that as much. But sometimes when the moon is right or if I've been listening to a lot of REM, I crack open that outer shell and give folks a view of the soft stuff. Really, and shhh! this is a secret, I'm mostly soft stuff.

I have spent the day getting ready to take my monkeys on a trip for a little breaking of spring, and to my delight, a large part of this day has been spent in communication with various stranger-friends who for no other reason in the world except that they're nice, have volunteered to guest post for me while I'm away. This is the sort of thing that reassures me about the future of the human race. Overly dramatic? Perhaps. Perhaps not, though. I was going to say that it's not like we're changing the world here. But maybe we are?

Technology and the internet and blogs and social networking all have their damaging effects on the world in one way or another. In the wrong hands, they can be used to tear down, to divide, to isolate, to disengage. I'm a hands-on kind of girl, so I prefer my life to be in 3D for the most part. But I also believe in the power of the written word. These words that we all work so hard to get down on the screen every day - most of us for no tangible compensation - these words matter. Sometimes they're silly, sometimes they're terse and driven by exhaustion, sometimes they're angry or moving or profound or misspelled or nonsensical. But always they matter. They matter to the lives that they touch, they matter as the tiny threads that weave people closer together, they matter because they're yours.

Six months ago I got my first actual reader on this blog. It was a thrill and a rush to know that some stranger out there read something I wrote and responded to it. To my amazement, some people responded again and again, and brought other people to respond as well. And now I have this little crowd of stranger-friends who inspire me daily, encourage me both directly and indirectly through their words, their tenacity and their dedication. That's you. All of you. You have changed my world.

So as I sit here, sleepy and satisfied, I want to say thank you. To all of you. Even if this is the first time you've ever read this blog, thank you. Thank you for having the courage to say things out loud, to follow your dreams, to think, to reason, to write, and to share. It's people like you who do change the world. Each time one of you reaches out to another person with a comment, an encouragement, a note, a laugh, or any of the other many things you do, you are making this world a better place to be. So thank you, from the bottom of my great big, gooey heart. Thank you.


  1. Hope you have a wonderful trip, Gooey Lou. :)

  2. Aw, you made me cry. You're so right on all that social media/3D stuff. and this corner of peeped who follow you, who write their stuff and share it ... A pretty awesome corner indeed.

    Have a great time and we'll all catch up on the flip side. :-)

  3. Thanks to you, Lou! And have a great spring breaking.

  4. You ARE a tootsie pop! I like that! And I always look forward to your words - whether they are in this blog or attached to some attempt on my blog. You are inspiring.

  5. I sometimes wonder if the 100,000th reader will feel quite as special as those first humble readers who didn't know us but took a read and stayed anyway.

    I know you're already back from your trip (I am SO behind!), but I hope it was as delightful as you wanted it to be.

    1. I wonder about that, too. I don't know if I'll ever even approach the 100,000 mark, so for now I will cherish all of the ones I have. :)


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