I’ve made it no secret that I’m not fond of social media. I have stopped and started Twitter accounts so often it’s impossible for anyone to find me. Too often I find myself getting into arguments with strangers (who may not even be real people). I’m trying again, this time hoping to avoid that fate by limiting who I follow, especially in the political realm.
Upon my return to Twitter, my stepdaughter Sarah told me about one Duchess Goldblatt and sent me a link to a New York Times article about this mysterious, sage, and very anonymous persona that has hooked thousands of followers.
The Duchess, for the ten people who don’t know who she is (I am late to the party) is a fictional 80-year-old author who lives in the equally fictional Crooked Path, New York. She dispenses cleverness and wisdom in every post. She is a major fangirl of Lyle Lovett, and over time the feeling has grown mutual.
Duchess Goldblatt recently came out with a memoir, Becoming Duchess Goldblatt. She has written the book as the person behind her creation. In stories both funny and sad she tells of a life that had fallen apart: losses of job, marriage, and friends in a short period of time. The Duchess started as a way to help her cope, and ended up helping her heal.
Though I knew little about the Duchess before buying the book, I was enthralled with the writing. It’s an easy read, but I still found myself putting it down from time to time to absorb her words. It’s likely I’ll browse back through it another time or two. Despite hiding behind a fictional character, the author behind the Duchess is an incredibly authentic human being.
The Duchess says her Twitter feed is a refuge for the broken-hearted. For me, her feed and her book have provided a bit of light in these dark times. As we continue to tend to ourselves and each other, we need to find that light wherever we can.