I want to thank those of you who take time to comment on my posts, because I sit most days, and wonder why I do it. At first it was a marketing idea. I had a new website. The strategy presented by my marketing guy was that I’d write a blog, lots of folks would read it and my presence would pour into the universe bringing new clients, while enriching their lives and mine. That never happened. I don’t think I’ve gotten a single client from my blog and it certainly did not bring the viral fame and fortune promised as it tweaked and twittered and facebooked its way into life. Funny, really.
Last year, the blog owned me. I went through each day searching for content and felt terrible when I came up with nothing. This year I have a more relaxed view, because you all obviously missed the memo about making me rich and famous. Now I’m over the moon if someone leaves a comment that says they actually read the damned thing. (Today I had 3 comments, an all-time high.) Thank you, thank you!
I was afraid of comments when I first started to blog, thinking the grammar geeks would leap forward, swiftly draw pens from their pocket protectors and reprimand me for poor grammar or word usage. That didn’t happen either.
My most popular post was called, My Grandmother’s Hair, a piece describing a visit to my grandmother near the end of her life. That piece got lots of email comments, not blog comments, but emails. Grown men told me it made them cry and my friend, Pat in New York said she put the piece in her family bible for her children to inherit. Now that’s pretty special.
When I wrote my book, Wolf Medicine, I wondered again at the effort and reward ratio. I spent several years birthing that book, and the financial return is usually enough to buy myself a cup of tea, or on a good month, an almond croissant and a cup of tea. When Big Bear, the man on the cover of the book, died last year, I attended his funeral. It was held on the top of a wind-swept mountain near Mill City. I was making my way to the gravesite when a woman I had never met approached, asked if I was Karen Banfield, then threw her arms around me weeping. “I can never thank you enough for writing that book,” she said. “Now he will always be with us.” At that moment, with her tears wet against my cheek, all the work, hair-pulling frustrations and lack of profit made it completely worthwhile.
It’s dark in Oregon now and nasty, wet and uninviting. Four o’clock in the afternoon feels like the end of the day. I close my door and don’t want to venture out. I’m tucked in a hillside house with a warm cup of tea and a blanket. And I want to write to you. And you know what? I love it when you write to me too.