Thursday, January 29, 2009

a letter to anyone who cares

Hello Friends,

I've received many emails and comments asking how I am and letting me know that you miss this blog. I appreciate that so much. I thought I would try to update you all, and let you know what I'm thinking. Hopefully, as I write this, my thoughts will be more clear to me as well.

First of all, I want to acknowledge how amazing it has been to get to know so many of you. I think that I began this blog as a way to discipline myself to write and organize my thoughts, and the relationships that developed completely surprised me. I always was a little mystified by people who seemed to have meaningful internet relationships. I guess I was kind of skeptical that such a thing was even possible. I stand corrected.

Related to the relationships I've developed, I also have loved reading all of your blogs. You may think that I haven't been reading any of your thoughts since I fell silent, but that's just not true. I haven't been vocally present, but I have continued to stop by regularly, and I continue to be blown away by what you have to say. It has shaped me in ways that I don't think I can even fully appreciate myself. When I think about the direction my life has taken, I realize that I owe you all a huge debt of gratitude.

Another really valuable thing that came out of this blog was that it provided an outlet for some of the things that were floating around in my brain. I learned a lot about myself. I don't think I can adequately express how important that has been for me. I've written more in the last year than I have for probably the last ten years. I'm so grateful for that.

So, why have I stopped writing here?

Partially, the answer is that I don't really know. Have you ever just known that you had to do something (or not do something) but you couldn't really articulate the reason? There's a significant slice of this whole thing that I don't quite understand...I just know.

But there are some pieces of this that I think I understand pretty well.

First of all, I think I was a little too attached to the attention I got from this blog. I would post a blog, and the next several days would be an obsessive stake-out at my computer waiting for comments. I felt a little like I was in junior high waiting for a call from a boy. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit this, but I'm hoping some of you are out there nodding your head in recognition. Anyway, this was just not good for me.

Another negative thing that developed for me is that I felt more and more pressure to maintain all of the virtual relationships, to the point where I noticed that it was interfering with my ability to really be present to the people around me. I was always a little distracted and anxious. It was taking more and more of my time and attention. This is not anyone's fault, and it's not anything that anyone was demanding of me. It's just a personal vulnerability in me. (I tend not to notice my limits until I've crossed them...or obliterated them.)

I guess the last thing I'll mention is that I was feeling a very strong need to organize my life in radically different ways. I was feeling a need for much more space and quiet. I needed to find ways to descend into my inner life and really listen with patience to what God seemed to be up to. I needed to attend to the structure of my days and nights and notice what that structure was letting in and what it was keeping out. I'm still very much in process with this. It's been very, very good. And it's given birth to all kinds of challenges and possibilities.

There's more to this, but I can't possibly make all of it understandable here. There have been health issues and enormous family shifts and changes in my job and my significant relationships, all difficult to put into categories of "good" or "bad", so I'm resisting the urge to characterize things that way. It's life. It's what is here in this moment right in front of me. I'm trying to show up for it in ways that move me forward.

I hope that helps anyone out there who is wondering about what happened here or who is worrying about me. I'm still here. Thank you for caring.

18 comments:

  1. I was here. I am listening...........

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  2. i suspected you would be. hi.

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  3. Terri!
    I completely resonate with everything you said. I've considered stopping my blog for that very reason (or those very reasons). Maybe I'm not brave enough yet. Or maybe there's still enough reasons to keep blogging for me.
    We miss you.

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  4. Terry, reading this was like getting a huge breath of fresh air. There is something about your writing that is incredibly life-giving. Your blog, ever since it began, has provided some incredibly wonderful blog-reading experiences.

    Yes, I definitely know that feeling of having to start or stop doing something without really knowing the reason why, only that it's supposed to happen. (I guess my video post kinda testifies to that.) I really think that's the dance of the Holy Spirit with us ... his nudgings and promptings that we respond to without having a full comprehension of what he's up to. It's kinda cool, actually, since it makes sense that God is so far outside our ability to comprehend ... how cool that he condescends to let us participate in what he is trying to bring about in our lives. (Even though it drives us nuts not to know what it's all about for a long while sometimes!)

    Wow. I so respect what you shared about needing to attend to the relationships and responsibilities around you with greater presence and needing to create space inside your world for attending to God with greater presence, as well. Descending into the silence is something I'm learning to do, as is finding a new rhythm. I love it, too.

    I'm not sure if you're planning to maintain this blog or shut it down eventually, but please know that your writing is, again, so incredibly life-giving. If you don't maintain a blog, I hope to get to read your words in other ways someday.

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  5. I hear you. I, too, have had similar thoughts over the last months. Your words refresh and give life to so many things here...I feel overwhelmed when I try to think of everything I want to say in response (that's why I never emailed you back, by the way...I'm sorry for that). So I'll leave it at this: I love you, I miss you, and I hear you.

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  6. heather: that's kind of the question i'm sitting with...are there more reasons to blog than not to blog? i suspect i'll be coming back again and again because there really have been so many good things growing here.

    christianne: i think maybe you understand me more than most. thank you for your many kindnesses towards me. i'm still really interested in what went down when you visited philly. i hope to be learning from you in the future my friend.

    sarah: i know exactly what you mean about feeling overwhelmed and unable to express what you're thinking. i can't count the number of times i've visited your blog or others and started to leave a comment and just given up because i couldn't nail anything down. i'm still struck with the common experiences we seem to all be caught up in. (oh, and i have absolutely loved your honest reflections on the process of writing...so beautiful.)

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  7. Dear Terri,

    I feel very connected to you though we have not met.

    Your words resonate with me.

    I went through a period where i stopped blogging... It was a very busy time... but it was more than that... I needed to internalise... to turn around...

    Its something which i still need to do each day...

    I hope that you will do what feels right for you...

    You have so many gifts... not least of which is your ability to write to the heart of things with great clarity and fluency...

    Your life is powerful and there are so many things which you have to teach those around you about integral living and the way of truth and love...

    Perhaps what we need is not to stop 'blogging'...or 'telling our stories'...but to find a new relationship with blogging...

    A way where our blog remains our tool...and not our prison...

    Easier said than done...;)

    Your voice is a blessing to the world my friend,

    Thank you for the love and light you have blessed us all with...

    May your road be paved in that same tender grace,

    Maithri

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  8. Hi

    Its good to hear where you're at. And I, for one, was nodding my head in agreement.Blogging, for me, was very attention consuming.

    Take care

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  9. It's great to hear from you again, Terri. And it's also amazing but not surprising that I've been dealing with some of the same issues. I, too, dropped off the blog map last summer. I not only had a block on what to write anymore, I felt pressure to write out of not wanting to fail my "audience" (all ten of you). What I felt, I felt i couldn't write because it was way too angry and TMI.

    I also found a new preoccupation: Facebook.

    I am even worse about waiting for feedback on posts there than I was about blog comments (and I was bad). The validation I crave from that little red notification box popping up (and the higher the number in it, the better!) has become almost frightening to me. I, too, have compared it to a regression to high school - especially since my latest surge in activity has stemmed from "reuniting" with h.s. classmates. Many of them were merely acquaintances at best but now their every comment I hang on for approval. I'm also pulled by guilt in 241 different directions to respond to everything I see. "Well, she commented on my photos, therefore..."

    And the time spent on it is staggering. My wife is not amused. Perhaps I need to take a long break myself.

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  10. Terri
    in reading these comments, it seems you have become a trend-setter for bloggers anonymous. I am feeling the withdrawal symptoms kicking in.

    Who ever coined the phrase "parting is such sweet sorrow" should be stoned to death for false prophecy. There is nothing sweet about it.

    Was that a Shakespeare thing? Blast! The damn poet! (one last obscenity on your blog) The devil made me do it. You see this laughter? very fake. But then you see through me sometimes.

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  11. Maithri: i feel that connection too. thanks for the kind and wise words. you're a dear man, and i hear what you're saying about changing our relationship to blogging. it is easier said than done. i'm pretty sure i'll keep coming back...i just have to figure out how to do that well.

    dean: long time no hear my friend. hope your life has settled a bit since your life took that sharp turn. peace.

    sharp: oh my goodness...i had to delete my facebook. i never quite got it. but now my husband has a facebook account and he's reconnecting with friends from high school too. lucky for me, i had no friends in high school. ;)

    tammy: i do see through you. i'm sorry you're sad. anything i can do?

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  12. i guess there is to some extent that point when one just need and have too take a break. like you i have never thought of gaining any meaningful relations in the net. i always regarded it as virtual but as time goes on, i feel and felt the connection.

    you are one of the amazing person ive beenin touch with virtually. i like the way you express, i feel your warmth.

    im also not as regualr as i used to be having been caught up by life and must-moments. but i like the fact that form time to time,there are people like you taht i can exchange views with...

    hugs,hugs, and hugs :)

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  13. you are loved.
    so much.
    missed...to the extremes!
    here, there,
    everywhere.
    always in my heart! xx

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  14. Not a thing you can do Ter unless you have a miracle cure for love song cancer.

    I have SOOO many things I SHOULD be doing at the moment- studying for tests, writing papers.....and the list does not stop there.

    I guess Nathan was WRONG everything has not fallen at the feet of that 4.0 I will tell you a secret, he does not know everything....I just let him humor himself.

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  15. li: i love your beautiful heart. maybe someday we'll get to meet in person. i love your eye for beauty and your light spirit.

    linni: awwww. same to you, dear. you're lovely.

    tammy: i'll be sure to avoid mentioning that to nate. and about that miracle cure...you know what marcell would say? you need to get out your big can of "stop it!"

    but seriously, take care of yourself. i just popped over at your blog and saw that you've removed it. it made me kind of sad.

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  16. I hear you about letting the blog take over... it totally ruled my days in the beginning. Nice to hear I'm not the only one :)

    Nice to read you again, Terri.

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  17. I get all this ... totally get it. I used to obsess a lot about a post every single day -- it was like a job instead of an outlet - now I only post when I want to - and worry less about "blog approval" than in the beginning. It is oddly very seductive, that is so weird to me.

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  18. i love you.

    and i found myself nodding a lot as i read this.

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