My little corner of the blogosphere, the tiny portion in which I wander and occasionally participate, has been awfully blue lately – and I don’t mean the background colors. People are annoyed with Bitacle, people are being tyrannized by small children, people are under attack from pregnancy hormones. And, of course, anyone who’s been reading the past few posts knows I’m not doing so well myself – my suicide prevention training session today seems to think that if I were one of my students I (the teacher) might have to be a bit concerned about myself (the student). But I’m a grown-up, so no worries, right?
To combat these blogging woes, Mrs. Chicky (to whom I was referred by Her Bad Mother) has come up with a wonderful idea. She has challenged us – and by ‘us’ I’m including myself in the general sphere of all possible readers who might be interested in posting about this – to write a post expressing our excitement, gratitude, and general appreciation for a blogger we love. If we’re sitting at our computers avidly following someone’s writing, finding pearls of wisdom or humor or poignancy or truth in their words, don’t they deserve to know that? And don’t they deserve to know it long before they say, “The hell with it,” and threaten to ditch the blogosphere for good?
The answer, obviously, is yes. And so, despite my own gloom – or perhaps in the hopes of alleviating it – I take a moment to sing the praises of one Her Bad Mother.
I’ve spoken before about how much I admire HBM’s writing, but it bears repeating. I’m not sure I completely remember what first sent me to HBM’s site – probably just a random decision to follow a random link – but I do remember the first post I ever read. It made me tear up, it was so beautifully written. I could feel it, the emotions she expressed, and I know from experience how tough it can be for a writer to make that happen. As a reader, I appreciated the opportunity to share in something I could not directly experience; as a writer, I appreciated the skill with which she was able to craft her language and present her ideas.
Basically, I was hooked.
There were other posts to follow that would have me tearing up, experiencing joys and sorrows, and finding, in general, a woman to respect and admire and from whom I could only futilely try to learn (because of my own inadequacies, not hers). And then there was the Basement. For all who couldn’t speak in their own space, Her Bad Mother provided a refuge, a shelter. And I firmly believe many, many people have benefited from that safe haven, both those who have been able to share their joys and woes, and those who have provided a supportive audience.
She’s gathered, in one place, a list of ways to take action and make a difference in the world, in dozens of different ways. She’s gathered, in one place, a list of mothers to love and support across tremendous geographical divides. And she’s gathered, in one place, a list of all the ways mothers love their children – what that means, what that looks like, and why it’s something to celebrate, not fear. She is at the center of a wonderful community, stretched across this invisible tin-can connection of the internet, and she is constantly seeking to contribute however she can to making that community even better.
As for me, she is, as I said, a writer I strive to emulate; she is a scholar I respect; she is a mother I admire. Her posts, at times, have done wonders for maintaining my sanity. And in the past week or two, when my nerves have been frayed and my mind has been foggy and I’ve felt hopeless and scared, I have many times considered turning to her for assistance and support, because I think she’s just that kind of person who would lend it to me, an unholy mess of a girl she’s never even met. (Good manners, however, demand that I maintain a respectable distance from someone who would have every reason to deem me a stalker if I were to seek said assistance and support, but it’s the thought that counts.)