I find my musings are coming to me fewer and farther between...thus, I post less frequently than I did when I first began blogging. I also note I am slowly approaching 600 posts. Perhaps that is a good time to draw to a close this venture into self-publishing.
I know that I could turn my blog into a collection of essays and self-publish. However, I am not so egotistical that I give that thought much attention. I am trying to save past postings, in an electronic file, so that someone--my children?--may some day re-read them. There's a difference between being egotistical about the value of what one writes, and wishing dear ones to be able to peruse writings in their own time. My writing is my voice. And someday someone might wish to hear me speak again.
We--in our family--have had just such an experience. I have shared the story of my mother's journey in the final six weeks of her life. She died after having had heart surgery which led, inadvertently, to her acquiring a staph infection that eventually killed her. But just before she went into the hospital, she led a seminar. Someone taped it, and after her death, gave my father the tape. He passed it along to me.
When I received that tape, now 20 years ago, I listened to it. It was bittersweet to hear my mother's voice--and her laughter. I learned things there that I had never known--for example, her favorite color was blue. I didn't know that--such a little thing, yet I did not know it.
Recently, we were preparing to go to the annual family reunion that my mother's family continues to hold. Part of the event includes an auction of items on which family members might be willing to bid. My husband had the idea to convert that tape of my mother's talk and burn it on a CD--which he did. We made 4 copies--one for me, my brother and my sister. And then one to take to the family reunion.
Well, the ensuing bid between two of my cousins ran up to $30--this in comparison to other items that were bringing $1 or $2 or maybe $5. The winning cousin, who had been named after my mother, was pleased to get the CD. But, it turned out, my oldest cousin was greatly disappointed. So, I asked her if she would share the bid cost, which she agreed to--and another cousin piped up "me too". So they all chipped in, and we made 2 more copies and shipped them off.
My mother's subject--Living Fully in the Autumn of Life. How wonderful. And how ironic. I am now in the autumn of my life. And I can have my mother giving me advice and pointers.
This year has made me more aware of my own mortality more than any other year I can recall. The recent bout with atrial fibrillation made me think how thin the gossamer web of life is, and how fragile. I find myself thinking, worrying, remembering, regretting, rejoicing--all at the same time, practically.
There are still things I want to do--things that I look forward to. So, I will lower the bucket deeper into the well of inspiration. And keep on keeping on.
I am so not in a blogging frame of mind lately. But I suppose I will keep it alive in some way. You do that too. Okay?
In reading this, I guess I'm left a bit confused as to your intent…are you or are you not going to carry on with your blog, however irregularly? I hope you do. But I understand your feelings that maybe the format has run its course and it's time to move on in a different direction.
There are days—periods—when I consider the same dilemma. I like the writing, enjoy posting and answering comments, but question the value to anyone other than myself. We want what we write and say and think to matter, to have meaning and value to others. Is this merely ego? Perhaps. Though it may also stem from a genuine desire to share, to help clarify an issue or right a wrong—even to simply entertain.
A blog can do that…sometimes. But I think the overriding worth is in providing a sort of window into our life, our world, as mundane and repetitive and ordinary as that may be. To be a little place along the winding road through blogdom village, where certain folks pause in their daily meanderings to see what you're up to, maybe exchange pleasantries, banter a bit, commiserate when needed, offer a word or smile or gentle advice. They're not looking for the profound, but the familiar.
I do hope you continue, because I like visiting. And you're right…someday, someone might wish to hear you speak. That someone may not come along for another generation—or a dozen. But when they do, they will find your words—your thoughts and conversations as recorded here—a treasure.
AC--I will do that too. Yes,I understand not always being in a blogging frame of mind. You have a ready-made subject with your wonderful grandchildren. And your camera work is always stunningly beautiful...a bit more to work with than I--I have only my wondering/wandering mind.
Scribe--sorry to confuse. I think I wound around within the context of the post, contemplating discontinuing writing (whew--too many gerunds in a row). But when I do think about giving up the blog, some thought pops into my mind that I want to develop, first for my own sake, and then to share.
Thus--the title, I will lower the bucket deeper into the well to keep the inspiration flowing.
Thanks for your encouragement, friend--I especially value it coming from you who knows writing and writes so well.
I always look forward to your posts and I will continue to do that even if they are fewer and further between. I do hope that the well will begin to flow more freely after the holidays.
My posts are far fewer even than yours, but I also hope you don't just stop. there wil be time enough for that later.
I enjoyed mother's talk, although inadvertently listened to it with the tracks set on "random" and wondered why the talk did not seem to flow as smoothly as I expected!
My mother is currently writing the story of her life and hopes to have it published by her 80th birthday in May. How nice to have the recording of your mother's talk. Blogging has taken a hit from Facebook, Skype and Twitter. I talk to my distant family almost daily on Skype and have less time for blogging. You should organize your posts and publish your best
NC MnWn--truth be told, part of why it is harder to get the inspiration flowing is that I have TOO many thoughts. I am so distraught at what is happening politically in the U.S.--the constant animosity and refusal to work together--that I want to pour out thoughts. But they get jammed up in the frustration at what all this means...so rather than make me express more, these thoughts mute my expression.
Daryl--only you...random setting indeed. I can understand why you would have been puzzled. Mother was a very organized person and no talk of hers would have jumped around.
Ruth--hmmm, trouble is, I think many of my posts are good--so I would end up choosing ALMOST all of them. There are a few that were very topical, or humorous, that I might leave out, but most I would want to include. That would be a way too long book for anyone.
I could relate to a lot that you said. I started my blog back in 2006 as a sort of diary of my life to leave to my children ... and I posted every day (WAY TOO MUCH). Now I make it about every 4th day and that gets hard too ... but I find that (at age 78) it helps to keep my mind alert.
I hope you continue too.
What a terrific post.
I would be very disappointed if you stopped blogging. I haVE always found your postings thoughtful and usually got a response from me. Also, I enjoy sharing in your life.
I am surprised you are reflecting on your demise. Your parents lived to an old age which is a long way off for you.
I hope you stay posting. I would miss it.
I appreciate all the encouragement from each of you.
Ginnie--I can relate to posting almost too much at the outset. Sort of got a lot of stories out of my system, so that these days my posts are more thinking focused than story telling.
Jean--thank you for the compliment. I think of you often.
Philip--the bout with atrial fibrillation caught me off-guard and got me to thinking. After all, we all rely on our hearts!
Island Rambles--so nice to hear from you. I still miss your blog with its wonderful photos. I stop by occasionally just to browse.
I have read your last paragraph several times. I feel much the same way.
It is one of nature's cruel ironies that at the same period that time itself seems to move faster and faster, I seem to take longer and longer to DO things. The stack of books I want to read gets taller, but I stay awake to read as I did before. That jumper in my sewing drawer has been waiting for buttonholes since September. Three down, 6 more to go. No hurry now--too late to wear it.
Anyway.... well said: let's keep on keeping on.
(Oh...have heard good things about Crocodile. I read Ann Patchett's new one a few weeks ago and liked it. Can't remember (sigh--that's something else...) is it State of Wonder? I think that's it!
Do, please, keep on. As we go along, we elderbloggers have formed a community of mutual support. If we mean to be honest about aging and to leave something of our experiences, then we must write about the occasional bouts of barrenness of spirit that come with aging. Our energies and motivations are now NOT those of any previous stage of life. If we pretend they are and only write about the good times or in the good times, we halve our service.
I'm trying to write on, too, even in the dry times. And I value your honest voice. Not to mention your book recommendations!
Kindred spirits, we. Your blogs do much the same for me--inspire me, amuse me, and help me keep on.
Thanks for being such good writers and faithful readers.
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