A Brief Tribute to Viv
I have four blogs. Two supposedly for poetry, the other two for prose. I am working on the last and final section of my poetic memoir, but it’s difficult. It concerns the last eight years of my life and my experiences with responding to prompts. So, I’ve been gleaning these archives for material that can be added to the manuscript. But, each time I go digging, I find a comment that Viv left in response to my efforts. And each time I do that, I sort of catch my breath a bit, acknowledge the grief I feel, and try to continue.
Viv was one of the major reasons I stayed with the blogging. Yes, I got some satisfaction from the writing and the responses I finally started receiving, but when I began, I was speaking to silence. Found myself, just plodding on, hoping that some day someone would notice and leave a comment. Eventually, that did start happening. Then I found the poetry and writing prompt circuit. And suddenly I had an audience, and one of those first respondents, was Viv.
I loved that she lived in France, but had grown up in England. I am of Native American descent, mixed with French, and some Dutch from my father. When I learned that she was over ten years older than me, I was profoundly impressed. I had been thinking that being in my mid sixties might mean I was just plain too old to do this stuff. Quietly whispering to myself, that this techie thing is for the younger people, far more agile and energetic than myself.
She instantly went on my list of heroes. If Viv could keep up with this blogging thing, certainly I could put out a bit more effort. So, I did. And now find myself digging through an enormous number of poems, all written in the last eight years. Thank you, Viv. I thought I had accumulated a lot before I entered this particular arena, but have to admit that mountain has grown to an entire range of peaks and valleys with a well defined set of foothills moving off in the distance.
Viv let me know she admired my talents and skills, but wasn’t afraid to also let me know when I’d made a typo, misspelled a word, or used the wrong tense. I admired her ability to calmly point out the mistakes and simply move on. We never stop learning, and Viv, for the most part, was a good teacher. But then, so had I been before being retired. We really did have a lot in common.
She thought her own life rather dull, in comparison to mine. I begged to differ with that. She often praised my courage and honesty, while I praised her succinct, yet vividly detailed pieces. We both disliked wordles when they appeared on the scene, and had little trouble speaking of our angst, yet both continued to tackle them, finally admitting we were actually learning something in the process. Things like using words in fresh new ways, we’d never thought of before. Just a few months ago, she left a comment on my poetry blog about how I had become a Wondrous Wordler, and I laughed out loud when I read it.
I miss her. And each time I find one of her comments, have to take a moment to let myself know that a bright candle has gone out of our world. A bit of laughter that will never be heard again, has been silenced. Wit and love of language has left our stage of words. She is, and will be, missed by many. And yet, I can still see her, somewhere sitting on a wooden rocker, a half filled glass of wine in her hand, grinning, maybe even laughing a bit, as she leans toward me and says, “Did you dot all the i’s and cross all those t’s, Elizabeth?”
Beautiful post. I felt that with my very first comment. You wonder why you reach out with your words and then someone answers.
So poignant, my friend. I can see Viv in your closing description of her.
When I started blogging, YOU were one of my early encouragers, and I have written my own foothill since 2010. Online poetry blogging is what keeps me going. I am so grateful for it, and you.
Dear Elizabeth, What a dear and sweet tribute. It is hard for others to understand how important the blogging community is to so many. You are special, thank you for writing about the “wonder of Viv,” she certainly had her own wonder in her poems and her comments.