The vitality of blogs and blogging is a topic that has been floating around the matrix for quite some time. It is something I have been chewing on and bemoaning as I find some of my favorite bloggers drifting away from their creations, for various reasons. Perhaps it is rattling just me and my old fashioned ways, which is humorous as blogging is coming to feel more like letter-writing habits of an elite class of 18th or 19th century thinkers when considered alongside Facebook or Twitter or the general habit of texting versus - gasp! - real emails!
I am a relative juvenile when it comes to blogging. This little habit of mine has been in place for 3+ years, begun well after what seems to have been some kind of golden age of blog writing. Do you remember when you would find a new blog writer whose words or images or life snagged your attention? How you would then spend hours pouring through their archive of posts, like reading a serial novel a la Dickens in reverse? Piecing together how the blogger arrived at the point when you first joined them, as if unraveling their narrative would perhaps shed light upon your own?
Call me antiquated, but I still love a good blog. Not the flashy, highly edited and styled blogs that exists as storefronts for online businesses (and I have a version of that myself, so I'm not throwing stones here) but blogs that are like someone's kitchen or dining room table in that they reveal whatever is currently central in a person's life. Yes, that may mean loads of sappy poetry-prose illustrated by equally vintage-golden photographs of flower arrangements, kittens, sunsets or flower arrangements (check, check, check I've got them all!) but I rather like the idea that anyone can post whatever they deem of value in their lives and for whomever they are hoping to communicate with because at least there is an intention to share and maybe, just maybe, communicate.
I can look around my home and see evidence of bloggers' influence. The first blogs I read were knitting ones, reviving and augmenting my forgotten yarn skills. I can pick up any number of hats, scarves or sweaters and tell you which blogger introduced me to the pattern. If I was a motivated blogger, I would share photos of those pieces with links to the original spaces where I discovered them - another aspect of blog reading I enjoy: the experience of discovery. Alas, it is late and I am being a lazy but honest blogger so I'll spare you the trip down knitterly lane.
I am grateful to the group of bloggers who shared their adoption journeys so candidly and publicly, for it was those stories that gifted me the ability to know something about the process and to envision and believe we were capable and indeed eager to pursue it as a means of creating our family. So many new perspectives, creative ideas, books, philosophies on living and family, along with a sense of community have come about due to this thing called blogging.
I know the discussion has raged on about sanitized blogs: people carefully constructing the image of themselves and their lives that they want others to believe. Isn't that another form of fiction and if we don't see through the ruse, doesn't the artifice eventually become wearying and we move on? Yes, there is the whole comparing-my-life-to-that-prettified-life-and-finding-mine-lacking hazard, but honestly, I never stay long at those kinds of blogs anyway. I mean, they are like Glamour or Elle magazines and I don't buy those either (except when needing collaging materials.) Maybe the Martha Stewartesque crafty blogs warp my sense of what is achievable but even those I know only photograph the cleared table with said project, ignoring the chaos behind the camera (count me guilty as charged!)
Here's the thing: I know we all edit and select what we want to publicly share but hasn't that always been the case? Friends come over and I shove the clutter of mail and papers into a drawer, stash my bins of supplies in a closet and give a quick wipe to the countertops. And maybe I am just quirky, but what I choose to blog about is not so much what I want you, dear reader, to see and know about me as much as it is what I want to explore and understand about myself.
A friend recently asked me how blogging differed from keeping a journal. I've been chewing on that question for awhile now as I realize I much prefer my blog to anything I've scribbled in my journals. In fact, I consider my blog to be a more accurate reflection of me and my life. When I write in a journal, there is no audience so I should be free to express all my thoughts, dark and light, crazy and mundane. Maybe it is because I write for only myself, I never push myself to fully develop my ideas, thoughts, opinions as I do when I write for this space. The knowledge that someone else will read my words compels me to gather my thoughts and work my way towards some kind of understanding or perspective. I force myself to clarify what is often murky when I start out writing. A kernel of a thought or idea brings me to the laptop and as I write, I dig into the jumble of my thoughts, seeking to uncover some deeper meaning, seeking to understand what it is I truly know and believe about myself and this journey that is my life.
That any of this would be of use or interest to another, well, I don't know. I hesitate to say "I don't care" but truly I do this for myself and if it amuses or benefits another in some way, wonderful. Still, I show up here for myself. This space is a place of accountability. It is my form of mindfulness I guess. It is a lot of work. If no one reads my words, would I continue? I would like to believe I would because I do this first and foremost for myself. The historian/academic in me does this with a thought towards the future and the possibility of these words enduring so that some kind of snapshot of the life and mind of one 21st century Joy Warrioress mama/artist/dilettante will be visible. I do this so my girl may know her mama in a way that I never was able to know my mother.
All pie in the sky, I'm sure but I also joke that I was attending yoga classes back when people wore sweatpants (no Lululemon techno-intelligent fabrics back then!) and I will still be on my mat when the herds have moved on to the next trend. And while the world lives in the sound-bites that is Facebook and Twitter, probably morphing into space-age virtual texting via brain-graphs, I probably will still be here blogging with my lap blanket, pot of tea and the fading afternoon light reminding me it is time to get up and back into the life that so compellingly caused me to pause and wonder and write.
I now return you to your real life. Thank you for viewing my brain lint!
I was just interviewed by a dear friend, fellow Joy Warrior, sister-of-my-soul Jane Cunningham for her series SHEros which you can read here. Of course, Jane is my SHEro and she continues to inspire me with her work, including a new e-course for 2013: Choosing True Over Nice as part of her Women's Soul Workshops. Thank you Jane for so lovingly witnessing me.