And I look back on a year of blog posts. Hundreds of blog posts. Posts about an old black lab, of firearms, and fun, and more saturated fat than should be allowed by law.
One year. Such much can happen in a year
For me it was the year 2014. One new grave, surrounded by flags. One wooden box, bearing in cold air a warmth that can't be replaced.
On each are short simple words that do not begin to carry the weight or the sharpness of their past. Which is why I wrote something longer than a blog post and placed in the grieving hands of my family.
But as a new author, everyone said "you need to do all of the social media"
I started Facebook. It's like the school yard with free ice cream and magic. I am having some fun with it.
But it also leaves me wanting for something---for it does not feel like writing. It's fun, but simply that---fun. To me, it's not flight or mode of combat, words that take on shape and form, Even as I shared in the laughter and offered short comforting thoughts, I missed those long tales that are born from a soul that's an irrepressible retailer of words, a shopkeeper of phrase, an enabler of intent. Facebook is like hanging out with your best friends with beer. Blogging to me is sipping single malt scotch in front of a typewriter, which is where many of my stories started.
Still, where else can you post a cat with a gun, riding a fire snorting unicorn.
Book #2 was born, out of a blog post that became a chapter, than another, and another. Because I am a writer and my world has too many words.
The year after that, Book #3 rolled out, my first fiction (dialogue. Ack!!!)
But for now, no book, just blogging.
I sit here now, no music playing, no noise---just the soft breathing of a dog and my thoughts, words almost imperceptible to the senses, hanging on the air to be plucked by my fingers and laid upon this white table. This computer is my accomplice, guarding me with its quiet accord, bearing with me the seclusion, the mystery. I should probably get up and do some housework, but while the words are still within reach, I am imprisoned by the very freedom of my hands.
I think of the classic writers - would Jane Austin been a hit on Pinterest? Would Hemingway have been popular on Instagram? How many Twitters to win a Pulitzer prize?
Creativity can be short bursts of color and forms and words.
But not in the world that I like to live in.
I am the run on sentence. I am the "too many commas". I can't take a morning standing out among broken trees, red and blue lights flashing as words pass over the forest floor like the sound of big guns and make it a quip. I can't look out upon the hills, the top of one wreathed in billowing smoke, as around me there are shouts and hollers, ringing out like war cries, yet spoken in hushed tones so as not to disturb the dead, and express it with a hashtag.
For words are my truth immense and they are my voice.
Blogging is dead.
It is not dead, it's strings of thoughts that you would have to travel far ahead not to hear, before you outrun the reach of a voice. You can turn off your modem, but the words still exist. For they are my words, and though confined to a virtual reality, they are words that exist, in my head and my heart, their tone from the stillness and gloom of a life with a past where my words were my one truth in each passing day.
I will still enjoy my Facebook, it's like waving at a neighbor you like as you pass each other coming out of your drive.
I'll still fail at Twitter and most other forms of social media. I'm just not interested in being connected to the whole world 24 and 7 and I'm perfectly happy being friends with only a few dozen people who realize that friendship is not a button, it is a gift.
I've realized that those that truly care for us don't require constant validation, and if I don't send someone a Facebook "Like" on some un-posted socially acceptable schedule, my true friends will just chuckle and move on. For I am a writer---that solitary person that stood in the corner of the school yard and just looked on at the popular kids. But I always had the words, even when I was too solitary to say them.
I can go weeks and weeks and not talk to people I love. I will continue to be bad at responding to emails. I will love a few of my friends more than I can ever say. There are a dozen of you I would take a bullet for. So, I say it on here, this is the place where I go to tell you the words that I meant to say, to offer a kind touch, or wake you up from some slumbering place where shadows may soon pounce.
It is what it is, a way to capture in words on a screen instead of a page, pages that can be held close in, or telegraphed to the world. It can be whimsy, it can be fun, it can be as disturbed as the mind behind it, or as calm someone one can stare at in wonder, words that reach out like a consoling whisper. It can be as intimate as a kiss or as impersonal as the wind.
It can simply be a piece of bacon and a smile.
Blogging is not dead.
It is alive when the muse fails and the hands stay still in the air with an honest idiocy of objective which made their fruitlessness both profound and poignant. It is alive, when the fingers dance over the keyboard in a frenzy, grappling with ghosts in one final act of common courage.
It is alive when the keyboard is silent and the house stills and the one you treasure more than anything on earth looks up from the smart phone that you will never own and says "I love what you just wrote".
Blogging is not dead.
It breathes as long as I do. Because I'm a writer and there are so many words.