belonging

It’s Wednesday and that means I am bringing you another super blogger who I super love to be a Sluiter Nation Recruit.  Wait.  You don’t know what a Recruit is?  Well, check it out here.

I am beyond honored that my dear friend, Lori, is here today.  She is so very busy with her two blogs:  In Pursuit of It All and Your Child Talking.  She is hilarious, kind, and smart.  That’s right, she has the tri-fecta of awesome.  Oh, and did you hear?  She was one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year. Yeah, she is kind of a big deal.

But she is pretty humble about it all.   Instead she chooses to build up others.  She is by far one of the most supportive, lovely people I have met in these interwebs.  And I know I am not the only one who feels that way.

I am thrilled that she is here today…and you will be too.

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A girl walks to the library, shoes worn on the inner edge of the sole from her pidgeon-toed-ness, clothes faded, tight in some places and short in others, from many years of wear. Awkward in her loudness and uncomfortable in her roundness, she opts for the company of books over games where she is clumsy and uncertain.

 A young lady walks to the library, shoes several years removed from stylish, clothes selected carefully to avoid tightness over a body several birthdays ahead of her age. Awkward in her intelligence and uncomfortable in her maturity, she opts for the company of books over relationships where she is clumsy and uncertain.

 A woman sits in front of a keyboard, barefooted toes curled around the base of an office chair, clothes picked for comfort to prevent distraction from a narrative running in her mind. Agile in her vocabulary and nimble in her descriptions, a life-long love affair with words comes to passionate fruition as she pours out a memory of a life-changing gift.

A woman stands at a podium, shoes elegant and heeled, clothes chosen and rejected a half-dozen times in effort to manifest the perfect communication. Confident in her voice and buoyed by her community, she speaks words out loud to a welcoming audience of hundreds that she once upon a time meant for only two or three.

 I have not written yet about speaking as one of the Voices of the Year at BlogHer. Trapped in a paradoxical conflict between thrill beyond description for myself, and ache that what I had received others had not rendered me mute. But when asked to write a piece about belonging, this came pouring out.

If I could bottle that feeling – of sharing beyond giving, of connecting beyond commonalities – I would gather glass containers until I was dropping them and fill every last one to the very top. I would pass them out as fast as my hands could deliver, then I’d gather them back up, refill them all and hand them out again.

In a community of wordsmiths and writers where we seek to reach, to bond, to communicate and to express, every last one of us is worthy of such a moment. Every last one of us deserves a celebration and an occasion of reach beyond our grasp. And whether that moment comes on a stage with bright lights, in print pages turned and savored, or in the quiet lightning strike of strangers becoming united over a shared experience, it will come. We are worthy, and so it will come.

I hope I am there with you when it does. I will cheer, and I will stand. Because we belong together in this place, you and I. And we are worthy.

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Do you still have dry eyes?  You do?  Well, then you need more Lori.

Here is the piece she read for Voice of the Year at BlogHer.  I can’t read it without weeping:  The Red Underwear

This is the piece that inspired me to look at myself from Eddie’s eyes:  The Letter Your Child Would Write

A reminder that the small things in life are, well, not so small.  They are what connect the big stuff:  Pebbles

And to leave you with tears of laughter, a sampling of Lori’s amazing artistic skils:  BlogHer11 in Pictures

I know.  She is amazing.

I know.

 

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