Sunday, April 5, 2009
A HUNDRED AND COUNTING!
This marks my one-hundredth blog posting—a milestone of sorts, though nothing to get excited about when compared to the efforts of my favorite fellow bloggers, many of whom have posted their way several times beyond this paltry score. Yet, it is more than I thought might prove the case when I first began—a real fear which I admitted in my very first blog entry. All previous attempts at journals, diaries, and similar forms of regular record-keeping over the years have, one-and-all, petered out in appallingly short order. It is because so many of you have read and commented that I’ve continued—and it’s this friendly interchange and support that has made the whole business so much fun. Of course this blog isn’t really a journal, though given the bulk of my chosen subject matter, it can’t help but follow the course of the seasons and their effect on me and the world around my riverside cottage. And in truth, it’s more of a nature blog than I intended…though I probably should have known better. What I’d originally envisioned was something a bit meatier—commentaries and essays rooted in ideas and beliefs, philosophy and arts; a deeper delving into the interconnections between life and the shape of spirit and individuality, cast against the matrix of daily activities and the natural world. What I wanted to avoid like the plague was a nature column which was nothing more than a recounting of scientific knowledge. (Plieated woodpeckers are the largest woodpecker in Eastern North America. Their wingspan can exceed 30 inches. They hack out characteristically rectangular holes in trees to find ants.) Facts, facts, facts. And nothing much more. I don’t like reading nature books that prove more textbook than tale. They are valuable, certainly, and necessary; and I do think any good nature writer has to keep up with the current field of knowledge. (And yes, I have shelves of the things, have waded through most, and refer to them regularly. ) But I don’t so much want facts in my recreational (as opposed to research) reading as I do essence. Tell me a story, work the facts, if germane, into the narrative. I really don’t care how much you know about plieated woodpeckers—and I truly don’t need to have every scrap of that burdensome knowledge passed along right this moment! Entertain me, make me think. The world isn’t a bundle of facts but of things, events, a past, present, future, with love and death and mortgages and recipes for apple pie. Get some of that in there when you write about pileated woodpeckers and I’ll be a lot more prone to read your stuff. In the end, I guess I want to know about the writers behind the writing. I want to know what they think and feel, what moves them, their beliefs and notions, likes and dislikes. I want to feel like we’re sitting across the campfire from one another, talking, telling about this or that, recounting something we found interesting or funny or tragic—with life and personality and nature resonating throughout. More than anything, I want to be who I am on this blog—to be honest and open, to relate my experiences and ideas. I don’t expect you to always agree, and you don’t even have to like me. I don’t like myself sometimes, either. I’m still learning the ropes of blogging; still trying to accomplish my original vision. I hope, one of these days, to be able to write another piece like this marking my 200th posting. I do sincerely appreciate each and every one of you who give up a portion of your valuable time to stop by the riverbank and read the latest dispatch. Unseen lurkers and regular commentarors, I thank you. As for what's ahead, we’ll all have to wait and see…for as the Book of Proverbs wisely reminds, “thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”