As many of you know, Whispers operates at a loss. A big one.
Between the cellphone bill ($200 a month or thereabout -- Roma locuta, moneta finita est), 'Net costs, various and sundry travel and other expenses, etc., the price of this work makes for a bit of a drain on my already strained financial situation.
Throw in a phalanx of student loan collectors coming out of walls for me, and it gets crazier still.... They'll probably be occupying my bedroom this time next week.
I've made no secret of it before, and the circumstances of these days are such that I need to repeat it again: these pages survive solely on the support of you, the readership. It's the only way I've been able to stay around this long, however alluring the notion of slipping away to some comfortable, quiet desk job somewhere.
(And, believe me, it's only gotten more appealing with time....)
You know well that I'm dead set against giving one pixel of this space over to advertising -- being accountable to all 6,000 or so daily readers, and them alone, is my pride and joy, however dreadful I may be when it comes to replying to e.mails (a sin for which I can't apologize and repent enough). I've likewise turned away strong advice to undertake a subscription format; viable though it'd be, I know that if I weren't the author, I wouldn't be able to pay to read it. Many of my contemporaries among us are in the same boat.
So, this is where you all come in. As always, the famous guitar case (the donation button along the right sidebar) remains open. And, in response to the e.mails asking if there's another (i.e. non-wired) way to lend a hand, just drop me a line and I'll fill you in.
Much as I try, I don't get to say "thank you" as often as I should: For the e.mails of all stripes which make my day, make me laugh, cry, think, scream and pray; for your stories, trust, confidences, encouragement, goodness/venom, love/hatred; for the many, many kindnesses and expressions of support I've experienced over the course of this ride; for the lessons learned: good, bad and ugly; and, of course, for the truly selfless and superhuman work so many of you do, which is a daily example, inspiration, the gold standard of what we're all called to be out there -- and even more proof of how far I am from being a worthy fellow-traveler on this road.
As there are lots of you and only one of me, I hope it's suffices to say my "thank you" the best way I know how: to keep rolling despite the obstacles, the jealousies, the long nights, the days when there's barely time to breathe, and especially despite my many faults, flaws and insufficiencies... with particular thanks for enduring those.
So please help if you can, keep the feedback comin' -- and if someone happens to have that elusive something called a "real job" to spare, let me know about that, too.
More than anything, the greatest gift I could ask of you all are your continued prayers, which have been a constant source of strength and uplift through many bumpy moments. As I'd like to do some longer-focus writing for the pages, not to mention get a bit of the rest I keep denying myself to keep up with things, don't say you weren't forewarned that (for once) your scribe's gonna make like a good Italian and take a low-keyed August. I need it.
Whatever happens from here, know that each of you, your intentions and your loved ones have my prayers always, and you've got the eternal thanks of a blessed and grateful heart.
God love you all.