just checking in

Are you okay? Am I? It’s a reasonable question, even in the best of times. And, God knows, for most of us, the “best of times” may seem far away, maybe on a different planet, a more innocent, quieter, kinder place.

I was a pioneer blogger in the Way Back Machine of 2003, when what we called the blogosphere really did seem like a quaint neighborhood of nerdy explorers, slightly giddy with our newfound access to the Internet. Slow dial-up speeds notwithstanding, it was nothing short of a miracle.

None of the bloggers I knew were selling anything. We were adventurers, each sending out an electronic message in a bottle, thrilled out of our gourds when someone across the country or in some other continent responded with a hello back. The good old days.

You all know what it’s like now. If you’re here, are you okay?

Are you writing, making art, inventing things, teaching or mentoring, building something, composing or performing, or gathering pinecones or stones to adorn your dining space? Are you okay?

I have spent several weeks deconstructing all of my old blogs that have been set to “private” for a year or more. It took a lot of time to copy each one and save as a Word document, print out, and organize into ring binders. Some of my writing was published during those joyful blogging years.

My intention in this ritual was to delete each post once it was saved into Word and printed, until none remained. And that’s exactly what I did. The main blog and a couple of short-lived successors, disappeared post by post. I thought of the Cheshire Cat. I started with the most recent, then traveled back in time, all the way to 2003.

That reverse time-traveling revealed a powerful memoir. Emotions swamped me, stalling the process. But I finished yesterday, more than 2,000 printed posts stacked up on the dining table.

“Thanksgiving,” an inner voice nagged. “People are coming. You have work to do.”

All day long, I dawdled. All that was left of my life in the blogosphere was to hit a few final delete buttons and remove the master account.

Instead, here I am, tentatively reaching out into the void, wondering if a few kindred creative spirits are still in the room. I hope you are and that you’re okay, too, and ready to kick around some ideas with an old head like me.

One thought on “just checking in”

  1. I am SO happy to see you here, Beth! Now that I have this link, I’m reading from the first one (at the bottom) and making my way up. I clicked the link to follow you–Beth, I’d follow you anywhere–I love your writing. Yes, I’m OK, and I’m happy to know you’re OK and that Buck is thriving and that you’re still taking lovely photos and observing your world and sharing it. Feels a little like putting a note in bottle, doesn’t it, and tossing it into the sea. Great metaphor for letting go of expectations. We do what we do because . . . well, just because. And some of us are lucky enough to find the bottle, sit on a hummock of sand, and read.

    Liked by 1 person

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