I don't mean to omit anyone. Have to tip my hat to Birdchick, who got me into this in the first place, asking me to guest-blog in December 2005. To which I replied, "What's a blog?" There are a lot of good bloggers out there, some great ones, too, but most of them seem to have moved on to other media, other stuff, to life itself, not describing life. I'm all for that, in theory. I just can't seem to do it. I would have been a great shepherd, or lighthouse keeper. Put me in a pretty place, give me something to do (clean the salt spray off the lens, birth a lamb or trim a hoof) and man, I'll hang in there for you. A decade. Huh. Well, you have to stay somewhere, and here's mighty fine.
But we aren't given to know anything, really; we can't know that ten years later we'll still be faithfully keeping this thing, this weB LOG, having learned all the ins and outs of what to say and what not to say; when to rant (never); when to reveal our deepest, most vulnerable side (never); what to write about. Only the good stuff, thanks; there's enough sadness and bad news out there to paint the globe matte black ten times over.
And keeping it to the good stuff turns out to be easy for me. Every day, I see and photograph things that I'm still, ten years later, dying to share with you. Holes in the landscape, sky eyes, mirrors on infinity.
Blogging fills a hole in me somehow. I'm a compulsive sharer. I'm reminded of that on the now rare and much-treasured times when I can climb the tower with Bill or ride, hike, or run around with my kids. And it's all, "Look at the light!" or "OMG the Three Graces today!" or "Wait 'til you see this sassafras in winter!" "Turkeys!" "Redtail!" "Come down to the greenhouse, there's a flower you MUST see!"
I wonder, if life had dropped me in a city, I would be able to love it like this. I kind of doubt it. I worry sometimes that I'm turning into a recluse, because my favorite times seem to happen when I'm alone, and then I go out for a run and some (more) solitude and wind up yakking for 45 minutes with some person or other I've gotten to know on my dirt-road routes, and breathe a sigh of relief. Nope. Reclusive, maybe, but not a recluse. Whew. And they seem happy to see me. So, apparently, not a weirdo, either. Always good to check now and then.
You help with all that. You're out there reading, and you're out on the dirt roads with me, too, appreciating these landscapes, these trees, these skies, the animals I've come to love.
Having found a porkchop bone somewhere, and going to find a place to bury it. Got a stick in the bargain.
After the bone burial. December 23, 2015. And of course, I had to wash his face and rinse his eyes out. Twice today. He was in a thing-burying mood. Bill calls him Frost Warning, for his white eyebrows. And just this week, I think, Chet's eyelashes went white. His winky has always been white, glory be! And we love him more than you could imagine, with all his quirks and oddities and that wonderful energy and silliness, still shining so brightly.
Though I almost never read back through it, I'm thankful to have this record of a life lived in the hills and hollers. I sense that, should it survive and remain accessible (always a question with online information), my kids will go back to it to remember how things were and how they looked, what we were doing. Maybe they'll show it to their kids. It's a book, a real-time history such as no scrapbook could ever match. I catch Liam mining the archives all the time, looking up his birthday posts. For that, I'm thankful. It gives me a catch in my throat to see him looking up his own history. And I've used it when I'm at a loss for a subject for those ever-approaching column deadlines, and I know that there are books and books written here that I'll never have time to assemble.
Creature of the moment. It's tremendously difficult for me to write about anything but what's happening now, what I'm feeling and thinking now. For that, blogging is the perfect outlet. I know that some get impatient with me for not spinning travelogues of my insanely cool trips to Central America and South Africa, but the truth is I can't do it while I'm traveling, and when I get back with ten kazillion great photos, all the things that are happening in my little Ohio home, right now, always seduce me into that long embrace with the land right under my feet, now, with the clouds floating over my head, now, with the deer walking lightly into the clearing, now. I think I know him...and I look back in my blogposts, and yes, yes, that's him! Ellen's child! And what cotinga or monkey or eland could be more wonderful than that?
I did 64 blogposts upon returning from the trip of a lifetime to Guyana, and I still wonder how the hell I pulled that off. I want so badly to do it for South Africa. Please know I'm trying to get to it. It's all too wonderful, too big, and oh look at that cloudscape! Hanging out clothes at Christmas time. It's all too beautiful.
|photo by Shila Wilson|
December 24, 2015 Post # 2047