The power of presence

white rose

How much do you matter? You… the writer, the blogger, the quasi-anonymous shadow behind the words on the page and the profile picture that might be years out of date or show merely your cat or a sailing boat? Would anyone miss you if you didn’t post? Would anyone even notice?

Have you asked yourself those questions? Maybe you have had unannounced time away from the blog, for a holiday or through work or illness… did anyone stop by leaving ‘where are you’ messages? Or was there nothing until you came back… until the ‘we wondered where you were’s followed your next post?

And maybe you wondered whether it was worth it… whether you were actually really reaching anyone at all…

You may matter more than you know.

I cried today for a woman I never met and barely knew. A fellow blogger. A few comments exchanged, a little laughter, an odd email. I can’t say I knew her at all, just that she kept a parrot, laughed a lot and watched life through a lens with a greater zest and keener eye than most. That she was also dying simply added to her embrace of life, rather than taking away anything but time. Feisty, funny, stubborn as hell, I wish I could have known her. Really known her. Today someone kindly let us know that she had passed.

The tears were not for her death, but for those who will miss her. I know I will miss her wit and wisdom. I will miss too the beauty she captured through word and lens.

She didn’t post often by the time I was introduced to her, but I can honestly say that I was moved, either to laughter, wonder or thought, by anything she posted. Perhaps it was the known proximity of a death she never avoided acknowledging, but she brought a vividness to her view of life that was contagious.

When her blog went quiet for a long time, I wondered. I kept checking back, but felt diffident about leaving a comment, asking a question…just in case. My visits didn’t leave a trace, of course. She wouldn’t have known had she looked. I emailed then, but only once … silence came back. Nothing. I asked around. No-one knew. Then she posted again and we breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Then it went quiet again.

A handful of comments exchanged, no more than that. Yet this woman left a mark in my life that will, I think, not soon fade. It was a few words of hers that made me fully, consciously aware of how happy I am at this stage of my life. That in spite of the daily problems, battles and worries such as we all share, they are just a thin veneer over a deeper, happier frame of mind than I have ever known.

You may not be able to change circumstances… but you can change how you move through them by changing your perception. A few words from this lady grabbed me by the scruff of the neck one day and turned my eyes in a new direction when I was starting to let life get me down… and I remembered joy.

Just a few words…a handful of shared comments. No more than that.

So how much do you matter? More than you may ever know. Would anyone miss you or notice if you weren’t around? Yes, if you touch someone’s life and heart… There is no way of telling what may change a life, no way to tell what one person, amongst the many random people who visit your blog or read your books, may need to hear right then… words you have written, all unknowing, that answer the need of their heart.

You may never know.

But they will.

Only one thing is certain… if you do not write the words in your heart, they can never be read.

white rose

Dedicated to George Weaver.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Life, Rose, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

106 Responses to The power of presence

  1. Miriam says:

    Oh my, what a beautiful read Sue. Sad, poignant, truthful, thoughts I have often wondered myself. Yes we do matter, all of us, but often we think we don’t, yet our words do touch lives. I’m only just starting to realise how much. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

    Like

  2. This is a beautiful post.

    Like

  3. C.E.Robinson says:

    Beautiful thoughts, Sue! 💛 Elizabeth

    Like

  4. cepcarol says:

    Thank you. We all need reminders that we matter. And to tell others that they matter. You matter. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alka Girdhar says:

    I’m touched by your post! After being away from blogging for more than a month, I came back recently with questions similar to the ones you’ve raised in your post.
    In my come back post http://wp.me/p48sX4-2Yv I wrote a line “In blogging world, presence matters more than absence.” But of course as you too concluded, it’s this presence, howsoever small, that has a power to have long lasting impact on unknown readers.
    Few days ago I too lost an online friend who indirectly motivated me to start this blog.

    Like

  6. I ask those questions a lot. Thanks for a very touching and relevant post.

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  7. cepcarol says:

    Thank you. We need reminders that we matter. We need to tell others they matter. You matter. God bless

    Like

  8. Alex Hurst says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your blogging friend. Those are always hard. Someone in my writing group passed away suddenly in her 50s, and it shook the lot of us…. 5,000 in all at the time, even though she hardly ever posted.

    Like

  9. dgkaye says:

    Such a powerful post Sue. When I travel or life is sucking all my time, I fret over how much time I’ll miss catching up on blogs, more than I think if people will miss me. I’d like to think that at least one of my posts have touched someone somewhere, enough to remember me. I know when there’s a blog I follow and I haven’t seen that person post in awhile, I get concerned. I go over to their other social sites to see if they’ve been around there, and if not I feel a panic of an ‘old friend’ who may be ill or worse. Like you said, you don’t have to know them well or speak much, but they’ve left an impact. This happened over a year ago, one of my first followers, a dear man who posted his own photos of flowers with a quote about love or kindness every day. He was the first person who chose me for a blogging award. One day he mentioned he wasn’t feeling well and never talked about it again. Then one day there was no post and his blog was closed. It made me very sad, as though I’d lost a friend. 🙂

    Like

  10. Ritu says:

    That is so sad, and oh so true…

    Like

  11. Well said Sue – I know exactly what you mean…

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  12. jenanita01 says:

    We never really know if who we are and what we do affect others, sometimes just by smiling at someone in the street… Thanks for making me remember that Sue.

    Like

  13. Helen Jones says:

    Oh, this is lovely and so sad. We never know, do we, the difference we might make to someone’s day…

    Like

  14. adeleulnais says:

    Beautiful words with a message. I am sorry for your loss but please know that you, have touched me, with these words and i will remember them. thank you.

    Like

  15. InfiniteZip says:

    Amazing piece. The internet world is filled with so many that we are often it seems closer to than our own families. Through beauty and honesty we help heal each other in our own humble ways and when the silence hits, it is there that a piece of heart breaks a little with the emptiness that hangs in the air waiting. Bless you Sue for this reminder. Peace and love, Kim

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mary Smith says:

    Lovely post, Sue. I’m sorry for the loss of your friend but you will always have her near you as long as you remember her words and what they meant to you.

    Like

  17. InfiniteZip says:

    Reblogged this on Peace, love and patchouli and commented:
    On a day of love, a powerful piece. To,touch someone through words and art, to share a piece of yourself by putting yourself out there in the world, relationships are forged and when the page goes quiet and blank, a heart is saddened. You matter whether you believe it or not. Happy Valentine’s Day my beloved friends. Peace and love, Kim

    Liked by 1 person

  18. InfiniteZip says:

    Reblogged this with much thanks for your beautiful words. Inspiring in truth and love, K

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Le Fragi says:

    Thank you – thoughtful and sincere. G:)

    Like

  20. I do think quite a about the “Lives behind the writing” and how varied they are in circumstance and outlook. I have met some amazing minds here, and beautiful breath taking talents I would otherwise never have come across, but what there personal circumstances are is usually very hard to say. I’m sorry you have lost your friend and you prove the point that, in the modern age, some of the people you feel closest to are those you never meet.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I don’t think she had any regrets, Peter, so I’d rather celebrate the fact we were able to connect, however briefly, than regret her passing. I do wonder though how many of those who disappear from our screens have moved beyond that touch. ..but even so, the ability to connect with so many people is still wonderful.

      Like

  21. I understand the sentiment, Sue. I’m so sorry.💔 This is a beautiful tribute.

    Like

  22. Eliza Waters says:

    Yet again, you strike a chord of truth in our inner dialogue. Do we matter? Yes, we definitely do!

    Like

  23. Eliza Waters says:

    Thanks for including the link… valuable words and beautiful images she shared.

    Like

  24. TamrahJo says:

    I’ve tried to get better about not falling completely off cyber world radar – however, still work in progress – and by now, so many in my loving community here send emails that start with, “Hi! figure you flaked out again” instead of “OMGosh! Are you okay? Where R U??!?” – – sigh –

    Big Hugs your way – I, too, have followed and now miss those who aren’t posting from where they are at now – some of them had either legacy options in place or no one remembered to take down their free account and it hasn’t been removed by provider –

    Others? Online clean-up done by provider or family and I have only my memories of their creative works to re-experience when Life events remind me of them and their gifts – 🙂

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I’m easy enough to find if I ever go missing… and doubtless someone would post something somewhere if there was cause for concern.
      Yes, it is nice to have those online memories though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TamrahJo says:

        I’m easy to find – too! but when life’s river goes through the rapids, often the only thing I keep on raft during the journey is email – LOL I figure cyber-stuff doesn’t get water-logged/ruined and I can pick up and reload the cargo after I’m through the whitewater! 🙂

        Like

        • Sue Vincent says:

          If I turn my back on my inbox, it overflows 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • TamrahJo says:

            Not so much for me anymore – – I have spent last year tweaking my label/filter options in my email – which means – I can wake up to a whole unreads in various ‘folders’ – Promotions, Newsletters, Blogs – but I also know I only have to tackle the “AToDo” ones first – – 🙂

            Like

          • TamrahJo says:

            Case in point – a couple months of go, I took my mom to visit a friend in need and ended up spending the weekend in a home with no internet service, and smart-phone dead zone – when I got home Sunday evening – I only had 3 items in to do folder, and 7 emails in inbox – all the rest were safely stored in Promotions/Newsletters to be viewed when I could – 🙂

            Like

            • Sue Vincent says:

              I’d be phoning the ISP to see where they all were.. anything less than 50 over morning coffee would have me worried 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • TamrahJo says:

                Our local network is struggling with infrastructure to handle growing rural population that is changing from older, non-internet demographic to newer generation – 🙂 and because small area, not much competition to bring in ‘better’ that’s affordable for our median wage stats – 🙂 Local area experiencing growing pains and it just happens – 🙂

                Like

              • Sue Vincent says:

                My village is on the edge of the decent internet and mobile signal area… slow as a snail…

                Liked by 1 person

  25. …m’Lady, Sue… you are wont to deliver some exceptional posts… and this one is at the top of the tree… LUVVED IT! … as the closing words of the Desiderata say, ‘With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world’…:)

    Like

  26. Widdershins says:

    This why when I read a post and don’t have anything to actually say, I leave a ‘like’ so the blogger will know I was there and cared enough to drop by. 🙂

    Like

  27. socialbridge says:

    Oh Sue, this is so … words can’t describe it. xx

    Like

  28. Eileen says:

    this touched me deeply. thank you. there are times when i wonder if it’s just my need to express the inner journey, and though that’s of value too, I’d like to think sometimes we connect and know we are not alone in a vast empty universe

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      Although our individual journeys are unique, I feel that the human experience is a shared one and there are always points at which we connect, Eileen…and it can be of such value to read that we are not alone in our experience of life.

      Like

  29. I thought this post was going in a different direction at first and I really liked it as a thought-provoking piece. But this is really touching. You never know who is reading or how much your words impact someone. 💕

    Like

  30. KL Caley says:

    Wonderful, thoughtful and caring post Sue, you captured the answer to the blogging presence question beautifully. KL ❤

    Like

  31. Amanda says:

    I loved this.

    Like

  32. Reblogged this on graemecummingdotnet and commented:
    My plan tonight was to spend some time typing. I haven’t written a fresh, complete or original blog post for… well, it seems like ages. I’ve re-blogged a few posts I’ve felt were appropriate, and I’ve reposted a couple of my old ones, but I’ve devoted time recently to other things, so my presence has been fairly low key.
    With that in mind, I was contemplating how I should announce my return. Even as that concept drifted through my mind, I smiled. Who cares if I’ve been away? Who will have really noticed? I don’t have a massive number of followers, and many of those already know what I’ve been focusing on, so it doesn’t really matter.
    And then, as if it was planned, I read this post from Sue. Maybe there are a few people out there wondering if I’ve shuffled off this mortal coil. Maybe among those there’s someone who has been “touched” by something I’ve written. It seems unlikely, but I’ll keep writing anyway. So, watch this space. I don’t expect to be writing anything deep and meaningful in the next couple of weeks, but perhaps I should let you be the judge of that.
    In the mean time, here’s Sue’s beautiful post…

    Like

  33. TanGental says:

    You put it so well Sue (no surprise there). I’ve wondered occasionally at absences that are unexpected, checked around but it can feel uncomfortable because there’s no obvious way to check without, as you say, leaving a comment that might seem inappropriate. Not like a neighbour or a friend with whom there are other ways of contacting. We make friends on line without the customary tentacles of communication and absences can leave us at sea. Good reminder that we shouldn’t be embarrassed that someone has touched us that we care, even if the touching has been on a flat screen and not in the flesh.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I have friends.. real ones I have known for years… with whom I stay in contact online. Some of them, I have no idea who would…or could… let me know if things went badly for them. Then there are those friends whose presence is only known through online contact…including fellow bloggers… a sudden silence is always alarming and many simply fade into memory without ever knowing why. But what they give, day to day, will stay with me and what they teach, become part of me.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Pingback: It Matters – The Road to There

  35. I am so sorry for your loss, but how blessed this Earth was to have such a spirit walking across it. Huge hug Sue

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  36. what an incredibly beautiful post. thank you.

    Like

  37. oneta hayes says:

    Thanks so much for the follow on my blog and the like on Spring Swing. I came over to check your follow also. I will be back to browse in a few days. Right now I’m about to go out of town to be a grandma for a bit. See you.

    Like

  38. amanpan says:

    Thank you for the follow and nice to meet you. Lovely post and I am following you, as well.

    Like

  39. This is so lovely and heartfelt Sue, we do matter, each and every one of us can touch another’s life in a meaningful way. Words have that power.

    Like

  40. A lovely, sad, warm, meaningful post. The community here is as real as anything face to face. ❤

    Like

  41. K E Garland says:

    I love this Sue! I have thought these very things, actually. But I know that we’re all connected, and indeed if you’ve written something, and someone has read it, then you’ve/we’ve made a difference. Thanks for such a wonderful reminder.

    Like

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