Mais oui, c'est vrai! And 365 days and 575 posts ago, I would not have believed the dramatic impact blogging would have on my life. I could not have imagined the wonderful friendships formed with kindred spirits from this worldwide community of writers and artists.
I could not have predicted the exchange of ideas, information and art that has resulted from blogging. I could not have dreamed I would pick up the poetry pen again. And I certainly didn't think I'd write haiku for the first time since I was 12 or 13 - and discover it comes rather easily!
I wouldn't have expected that I'd wake up every morning and race to the computer to see what you've written while I was sleeping. And that still in my pyjamas I'd sit at my desk for hours, reading and writing, hating to wrench myself away from the blogosphere.
When I started Paris Parfait, I'd never seen any blogs other than political ones, which I began reading in the run-up to the 2004 American presidential election. I created this blog to force myself to write every day, but really had no specific direction in mind. I figured I'd sound off about issues of the day and post some articles and photos about living in Paris and buying antiques. I didn't dream that earlier this month the popular political blog Crooks & Liars would link one of my pieces and I'd be practically jumping up and down with excitement. As my husband wryly commented, "Why are you so thrilled to have your work included on a website called Crooks & Liars?
Within this year of blogging, I've had the pleasure to meet five fascinating women bloggers who came to Paris: Ali of From Austin to Africa, Brasil to the Bay; Laura of Laurelines; Susan of Soozphotoz; Nina of Milla on the Milky Way and Judy of Kats-in-Klompen. And in April, I'm expecting to meet Maryam of My Marrakesh, in September, Rel of Under the Microscope and sometime this year, Colette of A Bird in the Hand, among other bloggers traveling to Paris in 2007. And I'm hoping to meet bloggers in London during my next jaunt.
I've been touched by your many kind and encouraging comments, particularly about my pieces focused on social and political issues. I've been blessed and comforted by your warm words, cards and email while I was facing health problems. And I've been challenged and inspired by your powerful writing and your amazing art - but most of all, by your willingness to share your thoughts, talents and energies and truly engage in the world.
More than anything else, the blogging community reminds us that we face many of the same issues, no matter what part of the globe from which we hail. The collective power of the blogging community is a positive force in a planet fraught with negativity. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for embracing Paris Parfait and including it in your reading. Merci bien!