She asks me how to tag the posts. I tell her any words that capture the essence of the content will do. She considers her options. “Everyone must use ‘gratitude,'” she says.
Afternoon light creeps in through the endless windows and churns to warmth the mango walls edged in cream. Her grown son is on the sofa doing his own work. He overhears our circuitous meanderings through the wilds of WordPress, and I catch him grinning. He takes a photo of us. We are too absorbed to look up to cheese for the camera. We manage to create her gravatar and a profile picture, and that bright smile of hers begins to leave its traces across the internet.
She is bubbling at the edges. Who would not be tickled at what we are attempting? She asks me to pause before tripping on to setting up an About page. In her notebook, she jots down “Gravatar,” and “Add Post” and “Dashboard.” She tries to number the steps, but sequence is not the way the interface works. It is cross-hatched and concentric (web-like, I daresay).
She recounts the story of the Young Monk, Old Monk , and we laugh as she peers into the screen trying to recall which button will get her to the page where a person just writes. She clicks her her first post to life. Her second and third, she whips right through. Less than an hour in, and my help is already unnecessary. I hold my breath as she hovers over the “publish” button. She clicks, and we both wiggle and pump our fists in the air.
Alive! The words are waking up, stretching out into the virtual world where anyone anywhere can stumble across them. It is a great contribution, this choice to learn past the boundaries for the sole purpose of marveling aloud.
She types in her tags. She chooses Gratitude.
I choose it, too.
I also choose Friendship. And Learning. And Perfect.
When the flower is sated,
the stunted fifth stamen,
secret and invisible below the bee’s belly,
awaits his departure,
then lifts like a drawbridge
and shuts the door.
From “Upland Suite” in Sun in an Empty Room by Maryhelen Snyder.