Archive for January 7th, 2023

People often use the titular expression as a generic expression of gratitude, but when I use it I mean it literally.  And by “you” I mean my loyal subscribers and readers who, even if they don’t actually subscribe, have always been generous when I ask for help with a specific expense, such as travel for speaking or a budgetary shortfall like the one I faced in the autumn.  Every month I see notice of incoming subscriptions from my stalwarts, some of whom have supported me in this way for the better part of a decade.  And when I ask for help with a specific goal, it rarely takes more than a few weeks to hit it.  I don’t know if that’s normal for blogs, but I do know that without that unflagging support this one would’ve folded years ago.  It’s not the hosting expenses; those are relatively small and I have no problem justifying them to myself.  No, it’s the sheer amount of work involved.  When I first started writing The Honest Courtesan, 40 was still visible in the rear-view mirror and I had years of pent-up anger and creative passion with which to drive my effort; now 60 is perceptible on the horizon and, as is the way of the world, my internal fires no longer  blaze as brightly as they once did.  If I thought nobody was reading this and few cared about my work, I would’ve closed up shop long ago.  But if there’s one thing being a whore has taught me, it’s that people value the things they pay for.  Whenever I receive a subscription notice or a contribution to one of my fundraisers, it sends me a message loudly and clearly: this reader cares about you and thinks what you’re doing is important.  And when I’m tired or feeling down, such gifts and their implied message give me a lift and keep me going.  There’s something beautiful, magical and a bit awe-inspiring about this kind of generosity; as I pointed out a couple of months ago, I haven’t paywalled this blog and I’m not going to even threaten to paywall it, because it doesn’t feel ethically right to me.  And yet, y’all give me what I need to be able to treat this as a part-time job without any kind of direct exchange or PBS-station-style-bribery on my part.  I can’t even begin to tell y’all how much that means to me; I’m not often at a loss for words, but my powers fail me when I sit down to try to express my gratitude.  In fact, I sometimes worry that y’all may feel I’m ungrateful or take all this for granted, and I cast about for some more concrete way to express it…only to realize that nothing I could come up with would express it any better than demonstrating my commitment to our implied pact by making sure that there’s a new post every day, and by reminding y’all that I’m only an email away if you need more direct (and, needless to say, discreet) advice or professional expertise.  But now my words are failing again; I feel the ones I’ve written here are woefully inadequate to express my feelings.  And yet, they’re the only ones I have, so I can only hope that y’all can sense the depth of emotion behind these all-too-limited sentences.

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