community, a structure of belonging.

This outpouring of love is like nothing I’ve known.

Henri Nouwen has written that “Community is not a talent show in which we dazzle the world with our combined gifts. Community is the place where our shared poverty is acknowledged and accepted, not as something we have to learn to cope with as best as we can but as a true source of new life.”

This is Community. Yes. Oh, yes. A structure of belonging.

There are hardly words to express my thanks to everyone involved–so many people have shared this, so many people we know and don’t know have given. People have made and sold their art for us. They have opened lemonade stands. And created Team Brilliant t-shirts. So many fairies and unicorns and love. It is such a sign of hope in a world of pain that we take care of each other, still.

Today, I sat weeping as an anonymous donor contributed $25,000. This community had been watching for that moment, because if the donations reached $50,000, this donation would be made by someone known only as The Unicorn. And seeing this community watch for that moment when The Unicorn would appear was, on a different scale only in terms of distance, like watching the first moon landing when I was a kid–a shared experience across many borders.

For now, I am practicing something that is very, very hard for me: accepting the help of others. And allowing that giving to be transformational, not transactional.

I love this note my friend Jodi Cohen left for me on Facebook after watching this video: “thinking of you, your pink nose from crying those important tears. you are loved you are loved. the hardest part, for me, of performing, is at the end, when i have to stand there while people applaud. i can’t do anything but be. it is hard. but….and….it is part of the experience.”

“I can’t do anything but be. It is hard.” That is exactly it. When I give a speech, I bolt off the stage rather than stand up there while people applaud, and it is the same here for different reasons. But…and…it is part of the experience.

And for now, a thank you to Amy McCracken and her band of agents and unicorns without whom this would never have happened.

This video would be longer–if it weren’t for all the sobbing.


Patti and John


  1. Kim Mailhot August 19, 2012

    My heart always knew magic was real. Now I have been a part of magic in action. Transformational.
    Love you, Sobby, Beautiful, Magical Writer-Lady.

  2. Keltcie August 19, 2012

    <3 Love. We are all one.

  3. Billie Oakley Stingley August 19, 2012

    love, hugs and blessings! along with tears.

  4. Maureen August 19, 2012

    I’m so pleased you can concentrate all your efforts now on getting well. We whose lives have been touched so often by what you’ve given us delight in giving back. Community indeed is a gift.

  5. Anke Martin August 19, 2012

    I hear you about accepting support and help. It is hard for a strong individual! But sometimes accepting is a good choice. Opening up for support from others who really want to give you something voluntarily.
    Smiles, Anke :)

  6. jill August 19, 2012


  7. Dawn Benner Stryhas August 19, 2012

    A few years back, I traveled to Morganton NC to visit my parents and brother, where I grew up and they still live. While on that visit, my mom told me that a classmate of mine named Patti Digh ” Remember her?!” had written some books and was doing quite well – had I checked any of her books out? I had not, but picked one up and promptly ordered all of the others! I loved reading them and felt inspired and thoughtful.. and then life happened and I did not keep up with my mindfulness and lightness of Patti’s philosophy- to live fully, love well, let go deeply, and make a difference. Time passed and I felt like i was missing something big…. I started realizing that I needed to reconnect with the people in my life, examine the thoughts that my mind assembles AND needed some support. On August 5th I turned to Patti’s blog searching for her ” straight talk about what is real and important” so I could start on a better path. There I read where she and her family were in need of some support….. and as it often happens, in helping others we help ourselves. Patti and family, you are surrounded by Team Brilliant, a community that sends love and support in many ways. Let yourself feel the waves of warmth for it is magical. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this experience.

  8. Viv McWaters August 19, 2012

    [...] seen friends reach out on-line and receive an outpouring of support, ideas, encouragement and [...]

  9. moomoo head August 19, 2012

    can i just say how much i love how much you appreciate my offerings? i feel incredibly popular right now… xoxo moomoo

  10. [...] Community, A Structure of Belonging from Patti Digh on 37 Days. “It is such a sign of hope in a world of pain that we take care [...]

  11. Heather August 20, 2012

    As a habitual refresher of the Indiegogo page I’ve been watching the magic unfold in 15 – 60 minute increments and celebrating each increase. “A shared experience across so many borders” is such a wonderful way to describe it. Watching this has been magical and taking part in it has been right. You have touched more lives than even this Team Brilliant movement reveals. The ripples of love, joy, and light, your work has started will forever be traveling the waters of this world.

  12. 51 Things I Learned in 2012 January 1, 2013

    [...] And by “the internet”, I mean “the people on the internet“. [...]

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