There are well over 100 million personal blogs. Seriously. Where have I been? While I hammered away at books, put out a magazine, and ran a farm, I kept seeing something out of the corner of my eye.
Because I already had an outlet for my photography and writing, it took me forever to turn and look. Okay, should I? Would I love it as much as I love creating books and magazines? Just to be sure, I blogged in private, unplugged. After close to four weeks, I stopped my twice-daily entries when I left town on business.
That’s when I got it.
It, my blog, my journal, had become my friend—a discipline, a comfort, a routine. I’m probably genetically predisposed to journaling anyway. My mother wrote in a journal every day of her life. Her compendiums are one of the most precious gifts she left her children.
When you write about your life, you step out of your life. Looking back in from the outside gives you pitch-perfect perspective. Putting your life on canvas, on display, not only gives you undisguised vision, it gives you a second set of eyes—the eyes of others.
Here’s one of the ways that works for me. I produce a magazine. Every two months, it becomes a rather permanent part of the human record. Half way thru the two months in between issues (I do know the tru spelling of through and I also know I could have said “one month later,” but that isn’t quite right either), I’ll meet someone, let’s say an executive from a chain of retail stores. I know somewhat what she does and what she’s about, but when I get home, I leaf thru my magazine (the same issue I gave her) again, as if I’m her. Why do I do that? I’m not entirely sure (Dr. Phil?) but in doing so, I feel closer to her. We’re “talking” again. After our chat (really just me alone on my couch), we both know each other a little better.
During this second “conversation,” I’m more aware of her. She did say she’d like to retire to a farm someday. Did I respond properly to that? (Here she is with me again, giving me a second chance.) Phew, I did … right here on page 74.
In that ponderous recap we do after meeting someone, I did okay, but the next time I see her (in person for real), I’ll make sure I respond more thoroughly to her love of heirloom quilts. But wait, I already covered that. In a past issue. I’ll write her name on an envelope, put a stamp on it, mail her another issue of my magazine tomorrow, and our consanguinity deepens.
Consanguinity n. kinship, blood relationship, family tie or connection, common ancestry or lineage, cognation; filiation, enation, agnation, sibship; relationship, connection, association, affiliation.