Saturday, December 30, 2006

Why I Blog


Back in the 50s the Moms in my neighborhood used to get together in the morning in someones home for coffee, or chat together over the fence. I lived in a new subdivision and all of the backyards were connected by bare fences, making it fairly easy to see a friend playing in their backyard down the street. We would climb and criss-cross over those fences and play in anothers yard. Who wanted to walk around the block? Anyway, I digress...back to the Moms. Today, you see young mothers, nannies, grandmothers, congregate in the parks, or at planned Mommy & Child activities. Women come together in church, or quilt club meetings, lunches - all sorts of ways.

But by far - this, these blogs, are my favorite "new" way to come together. Yes, we are all miles apart, isolated in front of our little computer screen, talking to a keyboard instead of a real person, but think about it. We are able to share our thoughts with anyone at any time - any person, anywhere that wants to listen to what we have to say.

I know far more people read what I write than comment on it. But those that do comment let me know that there are people out there who are listening. From them, I know that what I have to say has planted a new thought, given a smile or a laugh, or inspired a new thought or action.

I do this to talk to you, but more importantly, I do it for myself. It's my 21st century journal. For some reason, it's easier for me to keep this kind of journal than a pen and paper one. Like any form of journal keeping, these entries allow me to see patterns, draw conclusions and connect the steps of my day. When I wrote yesterday's entry, I felt it was about 3 different things - the lunch, the flowers and the sky. But reading the comments, and then re-reading it myself, I see that they are all connected. Beautiful! I love to be able to look back and see how everything is connected.

Let me tell you one more story today, and this is something that I just now remembered. I am pretty surprised (shocked) that I had forgotten what I am about to tell you. (See? this journal writing is pretty powerful.) When I first started creating Fragments, the very first ones each had a story that went with it, along the lines of what Brian Andreas does. Just a paragraph or two, often a personal recollection inspired by the photo on the Fragment. When they got to be so popular, I had to forgo the story because writing them took too long. But here's the catch - for me, the stories were the part I enjoyed the most. I thought no one would be interested in reading what I wrote unless they were forced to read it or happened upon it. I had a few repeat purchasers who told me that they missed the stories. Most people never even knew they existed. And here I sit today, having totally forgotten about them.

So what does all this mean? Well, I for one, have totally inspired myself to take up writing these stories again. I'm very excited about this remembrance. This could be that hole that I have been feeling with my art. And what does it mean for you? Well, that's for you to answer. But I hope that our little chat today over the virtual fence does inspire you to journal, either in a blog or a book. This is the perfect time to start. Make a commitment to yourself, a resolution. On Christmas day, after my 12 year old daughter, Kelly, opened the gift of a journal, my 85 year old father said, "I wish I had kept a journal. It's really the best thing anyone can do." It is. You never know what effect your words will have. If I hadn't decided to write this blog entry today, I might never have remembered the stories. What a gift to myself!
Do not trust your memory; it is a net full of holes; the most beautiful prizes slip through it. ~ Georges Duhamel

17 comments:

nina said...

lesley, you and i talk online almost every single day - without fail - unless i am out of town and have no computer connection. i feel completely disconnected without our talks, our ruminations. this thread that we have between us is very real, and i cherish it. as sterile as the computer is, i'm grateful for the communication it affords. your words rang very true for me today, and every time that you write. i love you. xo

deb said...

Lesley,
I am one of those regular readers who rarely comment but today I wanted to take the time and thank you for reminding my of why I blog too. I used to live in a neighborhood where I could step next door and share a cuppa and whatever grief we cared to bullyrag at the moment. I've gotten fairly isolated since moving and getting older and blogging keeps me in touch. Happy New Year

ornamentea said...

I also read your blog regularly and enjoy it mightily. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and images.

Natalya said...

Lesley
Thank you for keeping this blog. You give me the most wonderful inspirations!

Cathy W. said...

I rarely comment but I do read your blog daily. Thank you and Happy New Year. It does remind us that we are not alone in our interests and there is someone who understands.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lesley,
I just discovered your blog some four days ago, and I have been reading and discovering your art, and I am fascinated. I feel that the words you write come straight out of my pen, and that your mind thinks a lot like mine. I share with you the feelings and thoughts that I have never written down. Thank you for being a voice that connects what is human and feminine in a lot of women and also thank you for your beautiful and positive outlook on life. It has done wonders for me.
From an artist way back in Brazil,
Ahuva

Anonymous said...

dear lesley...you can bet that i read...& "listen" to your words...your thoughts...thoughts that take me onto questions i may ask myself...i agree that i am surprised at how much i have enjoyed the connections made through these electronic pages.thanks for inspiring me and sharing your kind words...happy new year...annie

Cindy O. said...

Hi Lesley,
I'm so glad you're here; I love your words, and they often strike a chord with me. As I get older (52 today--yikes!), I find that I'm also obsessed with getting down the stories of my life...those moments and times that helped shape me, and make me who I am today. Guess having a grandchild will do that to a person! Thanks for your post--I'm now inspired to do the same...Happy New Year!! xo cindy

Beate said...

Lesley,
I wanted to thank you for reminding my of why I blog too. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your wonderful inspirations! Happy New Year!!

Cakie said...

I love your blog for many reasons. 1)It touches my heart every time I read it 2)I keep caught up with your life and my nieces and nephews 3)It brings back memories from our childhood that I've forgotten and captures new memories, 4)It helps me know you better since we don't spend lots of time together, 5)The photos and art are eye candy and beautiful to behold, and 7)It inspires me to get off my tush! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, words, art, and wisdom with us all. Have a wonderful 2007 - and keep capturing the memories. Love, Katie

Terry said...

Hi Lesley,
You expressed, so well, so many of the reasons I blog. It has become a part of my life that gives me the chance to see the pattern of my life in a way I never saw it before. Thanks for sharing your life and work in the same spirit!

Denise said...

Hi Lesley, this is my fist visit here, I find your words are so true, I will definitely visit again. happy new year :)

Helen Suzanne said...

I don't often comment but I certainly read. do keep it up - it brings warmth to my day. all the best for 2007

Diane Duda said...

i'm listening.

Jan said...

Lesley,
I hadn't made the connection of blogging to days when we could see into our neighbors yards. We are so isolated with our wood and brick fences. I'm happy to be part of the virtual community that helps us re-connect. While I still journal best in my notebook (morning pages), I am inspired to begin to post more of my thoughts (musings) in my blog and not wait until I have finished piece of art to share. This connection is inspiring and life affirming! I wish you the best for 2007!

Kelly said...

Lesley-
I am very happy to have chanced upon your blog and am excited to come back regularly! Best for 2007~
Kelly

Hanna said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about journaling, I agree very much with you about how great and powerful writing can be! I too want to commit to writing more and better during this year!

Have a great crafty year!