I follow 49 blogs. I don’t know if that sounds like a lot of blogs or like I’m not really trying. It is tough to keep up with everyone but I regularly review the list and cull the ones I don’t read, which typically results in my following and reading blogs that I really want to read every day.
I was out of town this past weekend so had a ton of catching up to do.
I know Magically Mad’s name is Jill. She has been married since she was 17 but I don’t know how old she is now. She has five kids. She has at least two teenage daughters. Magically Mad Jill had a horrific childhood and suffers terribly from the demons in her head. She’s funny. She’s smart. She’s recently been in a hospital for psychiatric care.
Yesterday morning I was reading Magically Mad. She had an awards post and she had told me I was going to get one so I had to go check and I did! I kept scrolling through her posts I had missed and I realized something wasn’t right; the tone had changed and she was quitting. I was puzzled and nervous. I thought maybe for the summer? or she didn’t want to write anymore? And then she spelled it out for her readers, Sunday Jill tried to kill herself.
Yesterday I sat at my desk reading her lonely, angry, despairing post and I cried. I cried for Magically Mad and her kids and her husband and her lost childhood.
I don’t know her. I know her writing, at least as much as I have read in less than a week. I know her words. I know some of her stories. Magically Mad is an overwhelming and frightening blog, but it is mesmerizing. I physically recoiled while reading A Little Kid in Boston. Jill has a gift and she has a curse.
Yesterday, I kept going back to Jill’s post and checking the number of comments and it didn’t change for hours. Where had she gone? When the comment number went up, I went and checked but it wasn’t her; it was someone else reaching out to her. I prayed she hadn’t finally succeeded in ridding herself of her pain but I would understand if she had. Nothing. I don’t know her but I prayed for her and I cared what happened to Magically Mad Jill and her children. I dreamt about her.
I’m sure there are plenty of people out there reading this thinking, “Jeez Maggie, get a life. Stop cyber stalking a blogger on the other side of the country.”
Oh well, that’s what I do. I haven’t met Magically Mad but I have lived in Boston and she is from Boston and lives in the ‘burbs somewhere. I am a mother. I’m Irish. We have things in common. And I read her words and her pain and I felt for her. Her writing makes me care about her and I’m not the only one.
I teared up with relief this morning when I saw she had posted.
People tease me about my little blog community but it is what it is and I like us. People tell me, “You know if you really met them, you probably wouldn’t like them, have anything in common, etc.” I get that. But maybe we would.
When I was in grade school, I had a pen pal in Ireland named Brona Conway. I have never met Brona but she was my friend for years. I still have the letters.
So what is this community? Aren’t we like pen pals?
We are all writers, perhaps not published but we need to write and so we do. We write stories. We write our truths and our lies. We write the good, the bad, the funny, the sad, the boring, the new, the old. We write words, we play with words, we speak as we type, we read and experiment and savor words. We pick our favorites. We have our cliques. We play games. We give, receive and create awards.
We support each other on bad days and celebrate the good ones. Marriages, careers, children, binges, purges, parties, funerals, gay, straight, young, old, black, white, left, right, mad, “sane”.
Sure, to some, it’s just a silly little blogging community but it is also just friends who haven’t met.