A writer is nothing without a reader. I understand that for many writers the process of putting the stories inside them into words can be a wonderfully enriching and satisfying experience in itself, but the more I write, the more I have come to feel that the process of writing is a creative dance that requires a partner – reading, just as a heartfelt song needs to be heard and an exquisite painting needs to be seen.
This year, I have been writing every day about giving, and both of these processes have been satisfying in themselves. However, just as I can’t truly enjoy giving without knowing (or believing) that someone is receiving my gift, I can’t wholeheartedly enjoy writing without knowing that someone is reading what I have patched together out of my words, thoughts and emotions. Knowing that there are people out there reading my blog – some every day – makes this project all the more worthwhile as a daily practice, and though I am not entirely sure how many people are reading this blog on any one day, I am grateful to every one of you for taking the time to dance with me.
One in particular is Julia, one of my sister Roshan’s college friends who I met a couple of times over 20 years ago in London. She started reading the blog on January 1, when I blogged about Roshan, and she has been following since. I know this because she lives in Croatia. My WordPress Stats page lets me know where my readers are and I know for sure that I have no other followers in Croatia! For a while this summer, I noticed I’d lost my Croatian follower, so I assumed Julia had become too busy to keep reading this blog. This was completely understandable to me. Julia has two daughters and children can be all-consuming. However, one day a week or so ago, I was checking my Stats and noticed over 100 views that day in Croatia. Julia was back. The next couple of days there were another 40 or so views. I couldn’t believe it. She was catching up! I have a handful of friends and family members who have been loyally reading my blog every day, and I am surprised and truly grateful that they have stuck with me on this journey. But the fact that Julia, who I barely know, took the time to read months’ worth of blogposts blew me away. So, Julia, though it will be tomorrow in Croatia when you read this, I am sending you a little something – some earrings – in the mail today as a thank you for staying in the dance.