Sunday, June 01, 2008

Two year blog anniversary


Sometimes it is about the tiny details that shine upon a closer examination of a larger picture.

Details that grace the rhythm of life, like the tiny hearts that embellish the scalloped edge of a coleus leaf.

Other times blogging is about the unexpected, the turning points that punctuate life with color and echoing layers of motif.

Blogging is taking the time to see both the long view, and the up close views of life.

It takes a passion to write where I went, what I saw, what I heard, how it felt and what I think it might all possibly mean.

Blogging is the new form of an ancient art.
Journals and letters, the forefathers of blogging, have flowed from writers throughout the ages. In those writings, people of all persuasions have sought to wrestle with words to record their observations and experiences.

Right now we are reading the book John Adams. As we read the letters penned by Adams and his wife, we found ourselves transported into their times. Last night we read the letter that Abigail wrote John wherein she described the anguish she felt as she heard cannon fire in the neighboring town, and rush to climb a hill with her son in order to see what was happening afar.

Writing about....

Where she went, what she saw, what she heard, how it felt, and what it might all possibly mean.

As she penned the letter, she recorded her thoughts, and wondered what was to become of the world because of that battle at Lexington and Concord.

My own writing....well, happily much more mundane. I began to blog hoping that blogging would be a springboard for further conversation between my friends.

It didn't take long to discover that would not be the case.

Instead I found that I was writing monologue for my own enjoyment, capturing moments of my life and experience via word and picture for my later consideration.

It was upon later consideration that I discovered something new: that my memory is an unreliable thing; I've learned it is inclined to forget. It has only been one year since we went to Switzerland; when I revisited the time via my blog I was surprised to find that I had already forgotten many details about our adventures.

If I can't remember something as extraordinary as a trip to Switzerland, then what are the chances I'll remember the lovely moments of ordinary life?

So the blogging serves as a memory aid for my unreliable mind.

(Wish I would have been blogging for some of our other travels...and think how blessed are the younger writers who keyboard into eternity their reflections on their weddings, pregnancies and child rearing.)

For the most part though, blogging has been the challenge and training needed for me to seek out and become more aware of whatever in life is:








thought provoking
(and yes, fashionable...)
I think every life can be enriched by actively seeking to find such things.
And so, two years later, I'll continue to blog. Perhaps though not quite as often or as regularly as in the years before. I need to make a few changes in my world, in order to find more balance.
I have realized that while I treasure the brief comments of my readers (and yes, I treasure my reader's blogs as well, and find myself referring back to wit and wisdom shared by fellow bloggers across the globe), I find that I am yearning more for dialogue than my current series of monologues.
At times I have written my thoughts, and wondered if I was a madwoman speaking to an imaginary crowd. I wondered what thoughts or rebuttals might have been shared if comments could have be spoken face to face rather than tapped out into a tiny electronic square.
Perhaps it is selfish to want more; isn't it enough that my writings were read, and even more so enough that a sentence was sent in response? Greater writers and journalists than I have managed to continue writing while being the recipent of far less!
I realize that I must try to find people and places where such dialogue is natural and flows readily. I want to be able to share in other's lives, and go beyond the short visits to the limited spaces that are opened to visit via blogdom. In short, I need to forge deeper friendship in real time. Friendships that share auditory laughter and yes, disappointments, fears and frustrations. Friendships that dare to confess aloud both the hopes and failures that are common to daily life.
When I read a blog and laugh, I wish the writer was laughing with me as well. When a blogger is silent for a time, I wonder if the silence is to make space for good times, or a symptom of dark times that is swallowing up the creative flow. Sometimes I ask, via comments, knowing I may be exceeding the bounds of the blogging space. I remember though, it is a real person writing, and real people deserve my concern and care.
A few fellow bloggers along the way have opted to add venue for deeper discussion; emails and phone calls enrich the relationships. It has been a blessing to have a note asking how I am faring, or a private comment about something that really is best not shared for all eyes to evaluate.
I welcome those who would wish for more to send me contact information; perhaps we will find we have even more in common that we thought! (Just use that "Do not publish" phase in a comment to send an email or phone number, I will respond in kind!)
I also have realized that while I began blogging with a committment to write daily for six months, that I did so planning on using the blog as "finger exercises" such as pianist might perform before tackling a larger composition. It didn't take long for the finger exercise to become my only writing; and often became sloppy writing at that. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I used my pictures accordingly. Not such a bad choice really...but the true writing, the grappling with words and phases to convey images and thoughts was given a lick and an unfulfilled promise.
A post here rattled me out of my rut; do not read it if you are not seeking to write beyond blogging. For those of you out there who do seek to polish your writing skills, Ms. Hobb's post will provide a lively correction to some of the questionable habits adopted because of blogging. After reading her post, I realized I must make amends, and use my writing time wisely.
The signature phase of any two year old is the adamant, emphatic monosyllable NO!
Will this apply to the upcoming year of blogging as well?
I think not...not when there are still pictures and stories to shared and recorded for future enjoyment.
I simply hope that I will find that I grow and branch out in my life, and that the growth and new branches will enrich me and will be reflected happily within my blog.


Vicki said...

Congratulations on two years of blogging! I'm still so glad that I came across your blog! I've learned much and made a friend. My own personal blogging has been hit & miss of late, but I think I'll soon get back on track...once we're over with this never-ending-move. (ARGH!)

Are you back to feeling 100% yet?

Lovella said...

Jill, congratulations on your second year of blogging. . ( I think). .
After reading the little "do not blog" clip, I'm not sure that congratulations is what you are hoping for. Perhaps people like you, who have the ability to sit and write a manuscript should do that.

I also have felt that dissapointment of realizing that the people I was hoping to reach with my daily journal, haven't responded. What I have found though, is new and wonderful friends who enjoy the same hobby I now do. I think I have made some real connections and I think you have too. Was all the effort of your blogging worth that? Only you know that. I would certainly miss checking in with you in this way.

I do understand how vital real relationships are to women. We NEED to talk to real people. They help us keep balanced.

I think you have done an amazing job of your blog. Your writing is wonderful and the history you have recorded of your family is truly priceless for those who come after you.

Well done!

Miss Janey said...

Congratulations! May your blogging go on and on...

Lin said...

I also say congratulations on making it two years. I actually only made it about two or three weeks, and then fell back into the habit of reading the writings of others. I really am not sure where to find the two blogs that I had started... or how to access them.

I haven't found the "do not publish" mode that you are speaking of. I guess, since I am still new to blogging, I need to dig a little deeper.

I am so glad you are doing so much better. I am now nursing my children, who were riding home from church in a separate car yesterday. They were in an accident on W. Lake Houston Pkwy. Bianca was the only one hurt...she was taken to the hospital because of gashes on her eyelid and brow, but later released. She had strange breathing, so needed to be evaluated. That took about 8 hours out of the rest of the day. So we have some really sore children here. I am so grateful to the Lord that they are only sore. The wreck was pretty bad. The car is gone. We won't get that one back. But they are all alive and no one was hurt in the SUV. I am just so grateful that there was no loss of life.

Jill, your blog has actually been my sanity factor at times. There have been times when I start stressing out and I read your blog and suddenly I feel at ease again. Usually these times have been when you show pictures of travels, or especially when you show unusual shots of everyday sites. The close-ups of plants and animals are so soothing to the soul. I've been able to get so much out of your blog. Keep typing.

Lin said...

Okay--now I read the link. I still love your blog, even after reading all about why to write instead of blogging. But if you must be a writer, then write...just keep us posted on your blog!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Vicki...I am feeling quite chipper, but all is still not functioning quite as it should. I still have tenderness on the left side of my abdomen and there may be a blockage/adheasions/diverticulitis/things that go bump in the night...who knows.

I will see the GI doctor tomorrow, and some tests will likely be scheduled to figure out exactly what is going on. Apparently there was a need for me to heal a bit before they started poking around.

running wildly said...

happy 2 year anniversary! It's been a great ride, hasn't it? Blogging is entertainment all on it's own.

Sara said...

It seems the completion of your first two years of blogging are bringing some reevaluation and changes; I can understand your hunger for face-to-face friends and interaction. That is vital to our wellbeing; we were designed to function best that way. May the Lord bring those things into your life!

However, I am also happy to know you will continue your blog; you would be missed if you did not. Perhaps "balance" is the key word here. Or at least, that is what I've come to realize in my own blog career...and I am trying to keep blogging in its place and not let it take over my life!

You are in my prayers and thoughts, for your healing process, for someone to develop a meaningful friendship with, and for your writing is always an adventure, isn't it!