Depending on how you view things, I noticed that I missed a milestone of sorts with my previous post. This is Post 501 for me on this, the beginning of my fourth year of blogging. There have been several milestones along the way: getting visitors–surfers or anyone–period; getting a comment from someone other than family; I was elated when that finally happened regardless of my blase′ notation in one of my “about” pages saying something like “comments are not required but are appreciated“; I cheered out loud when I realized I finally had a random reader or two. Seeing my visitor’s log inch along in the single, then double, and finally triple digits until it got to 1000 was so exciting; now seeing it limp along to 6 digits–which, if the trend continues, is only a few weeks away. Maybe not worthy by some bloggers’ measures, but gratifying to me nonetheless.
In spite of looking forward to number 500 awhile back I upped and let it slip by me without notice. I’d assumed I’d say something but didn’t. All I can really add one post later is that, after three years, I’ve finally figured out (I think!) what my wintersong is all about and why I continue, even though sometimes I feel like a glutton for punishment–when life gets too hectic or posts seem ignored. I’ve never been able to pen myself in to a theme, so the best I can do is tell you what it isn’t about.
It isn’t about politics. There are many and far better political writers than I. It isn’t about whining about the ways things are, although I’ve done a bit of that too when I’ve felt despair over health care and greediness in this country–insurance companies and the ever-widening gap between the haves and have-nots, the I’ve got mine, you get your own and leave mine along attitudes being only a drop in the bucket of doom. That’s a good example of why I don’t usually write about things like that! Too depressing.
When I first started, still trying to figure out what I wanted to write about, I’d read advice about giving things away for free to attract people. The way I figure it, if they only visit to get something for free, they aren’t really interested in me or anything I have to say, therefore I’ve little interest in them. To each his own. I suppose if your purpose is to make money blogging and money is determined by the number of clicks on product leads or popups on your blog, that could be important. I’ve been approached by products wanting me to write for their product, but that isn’t for me. I just wanted to write. I wanted to write better. I wanted to share what I knew about writing and other pursuits I enjoyed–cooking simply, growing older, enjoying my worldwide wanderings by writing about them, or anything that happened to catch my fancy along the way.
I enjoy presenting some of my thoughts in a tongue in cheek manner, hoping it brings a smile to my reader’s face. Laughter is even better. Once in awhile, readers didn’t catch on to my farce. I’ve never been able to figure out if it’s my fault or the readers. If I pick up a book to read, have trouble sticking to it and eventually lay it down and never pick it up again, is it my fault? (Maybe I’m in a particularly busy point in my year.) Or is it the writer’s fault? If they’d just written it well, I would have been compelled to turn the pages regardless of how busy I was? I don’t know. At least now I don’t worry about it anymore. Too many books and too little time to waste reading books that don’t grab me and hold my interest whatever the reason.
I write quite a bit about days past. That’s no accident, because I think its each generation’s obligation to pass along the stories of how they lived and grew up to their own family. It may help others understand why you are the way you are. I believe in remembering where I came from, the better to appreciate where I am. It may not be important to all, but for some reason (genes?) that’s how I feel. I’ve known many others along the way–most of them writers, too–who would agree with me. If I can bring a sense of “Yes! I understand what you mean . . . I’ve been there, and I remember.” Whether it’s a happy memory or not, it serves to validate, and validation of our lives is what I believe is missing for too many people, especially as we age–as if our lives were only an accident after all.
Summing it all up, I can see that Blogs for me are a sort of replacement for the porches of our parent’s or grandparent’s and consequently realize what they’re so attractive to people of our generation probably as a result of our wandering ways. I vividly remember my grandmother sitting on her front porch when she finally had free time in her older years. Living alone out in the country where she may not have had real visitors for several days, she’d sit in her rocking chair reading and watch the world go by. Now and then a car or truck would pass by and the occupant, most often someone from a neighboring farm taking care of an errand that required a trip to town, would throw up their arm in greeting, and she would respond in kind. Waves required no stops, the fact that she was okay was obvious in the style of the wave–had she needed help, she would have waved him down or yelled out–so they could go on about their business and feel good that all was well in their worlds.
Even where porches exist, in this day and age most people don’t sit outside, or if they do, they don’t often wave to passersby anymore. They don’t have time, or privacy is paramount. Not wrong, just a different way of life. The way I see it is My Wintersong is my metaphoric front porch. I go there to reflect and “talk” or wave to my blogger friends scattered about the world, just to say I’m still here and I see you are too. I may not see you every day, but I’ll be by now and then to check on you. If you need anything in the meantime, just throw up your arm and wave me down.