Monday, September 13, 2021

Dear Diary

It occurs to me that I could carry on blogging, but without the sense of failure and embarrassment about obscurity, if I imagined this, the Blog, is my diary, a personal journal. Still digital. Still chock full of photographs, and me over thinking and over sharing. And, this would be the difference... I "forget" to change the settings to "private." It's a deception, a bit of duping my own brain, which, sadly, is not hard to do. Actually, it is the belief that I am obscure, well below the radar, that emboldens me to share ideas like this, revealing my (slight) obsesssion with my blogging, anonymity, and insignificance in social media, not too mention my highly questionable use of commas, everywhere. Is it too much? I mean, with the commas? Objectively, I really, really, really appreciate the anonymity, versus how terrifying it would be to be noticed, then scrutinized, critiqued, possibly trolled. The dread fear of someone disrupting my life, to judge my grammar, or use my posts in an article about how not to blog... I feel ill. I have been fortunate, I see that. It occurs to me, in this digital age of high speed exposure, that it could be time to go back to letter writing, and printing, to sealed envelopes, photo albums on a bookshelf. I wish I was not so enarmoured of how pretty high definition photographs look, formatted and illuminated on a large monitor, and the way words and expression, long descriptions, and transcribed details, minutiae, chronology, feel like a well ordered home, a place to catch me if I am falling. And, here I really put my heart squarely on my sleeve... I had hoped to feel as though I was successful, so that the ones who did criticize me would say, "Ah, she did make something of her writing, afterall." Or the bloggers, the good ones, the shiny ones, that could have reciprocated, or nodded my direction, might have included me, shared some of what they extolled and saluted, like "community" and "inclusion." I am closer than ever to a place I think would be good, where I value my writing and photographs more than recognition, and inclusion. I had hoped to be a part of something bigger, after all of this time and effort, but now, after all this time and effort, I may be happier to retreat.


angela said...

I think we all get like that at some point
I took a break for blogging for a while. But I like to look back and see what I was doing in the past
And now I have grandchildren maybe they will stumble onto my blog once I’m gone and see what grandmas day to day life was
All about
Don’t let the haters get to you
This isn’t for them
It’s for us

Janece said...

To my dearest, who has been a deeply valued part of my life for almost 17 years,

My neglected blog,, has a Sir Francis Bacon quote that I've take on as a tagline of sorts. And I know you are familiar with it from being such a kind and dedicated attendee to my URL:

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake…”
-Sir Francis Bacon

Also - I want to mention the title itself: "No Ordinary Moment"... I mention these things because there is nothing shared by you that is ordinary. Our online world is so packed with random content - it is terribly easy for the valuable, inspirational, and meaningful to get relegated to a digital corner of the internet. It's not fair, of course. And I hear you as far as wanting to be a part of something, to be included, treasured, and seen. And, I think there is real value in sharing yourself in a tangible form such as letter writing. And, I don't think you should abandon the call of the digital expression unless it is better for your heart and mind to do so.

We've talked about this before and it fuels me a lot. We aren't privileged to always know the way our words, our art, our photos, or our sharing has impacted, (or will!) and made/make a difference for someone else. I wish we could. I think our calling to share, that desire and need... it's there for a reason. Maybe the dear diary approach could be good too - in that you don't have expectations or needs around your sharing. You could let yourself off the hook, so to speak, and simply post an online (oh and it just so happens to be public... like a treasure waiting to be found by a passerby). Continue to do "what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand, and melting like a snowflake…”

One more thing comes to mind, the Dr. Who episode with Van Gogh. I've only ever seen one full episode of Dr. Who with my cousin (who is a big fan)... and this clip. This clip never fails to move me to tears. It's not that our art will ever be on the slightest scale of Van Gogh... but the principle is the same.

I love you, Natalie! You are a treasure through and through. Take whatever resonates from this and disregard the rest. ((hugs))

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I agree with you, Angela. I am not feeling anything too unique, and blogging breaks can do a world of good. And like you, it's the record keeping, and story telling that keeps me coming back to blogging. I feel so satisfied and almost relieved to find answers about where we were and what we were doing two years, ago or 12, and then I realize that if I stop blogging, I will lose the chance in the years ahead to have a record of our happy times, of things we figured out, overcame, celebrated. "This isn't for them, it's for us." Thank you... what an excellent reminder.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Ah, Janece, it is nearly our own special anniversary, isn't it? How good to be reminded, to think of it this way. What a remarkably fortunate choice that was... to pop over and visit the blog where a couple were celebrating the birth of their baby, while I was waiting out the final months of my own pregnancy. I was so curious and eager to see a newborn, to share in the joy I expected you were feeling. I am sure I could not have imagined where that was going to take me!
Thank you. I want to address every point and thoughtful thing you have put to words in your comment, and truthfully, I am still processing it all. You really made a generous offering here! Suffice it to say: It all resonates, and I am holding it, turning it over, and taking it in. I love you, and I love that we know each other.

Little Dorrit does... said...

I practice the same self-deception every time I press 'publish' - like putting a message in a bottle and throwing it into the sea. It's the sense of complete anonymity and obscurity that makes blogging possible for me.

Your bottles have only recently started washing up on my shore but I so enjoy the contents - I would miss them if you remembered to change the settings.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

"A message in a bottle." Yes! That's a good way to describe it. It's not easy to convey that... the idea that we are publishing something and yet feeling like it's not exactly public, and I agree that it is the belief (delusion) that we are unseen that makes publishing feel safe, possible. Thank you for reading what I share, and especially for sharing your thoughts, too.

Ruth said...

Dear Natalie, what Janece said. You are a treasure. I don't know any of the ins and outs of blogging. I do know that Chickenblog is a chronicle, a history, a reflection of a multi-faceted and talented person, and a good and generous life. An amazing accomplishment. If you are closer than ever to a place where you value your writing and photographs more than recognition and inclusion, that seems like a good thing. "Success" and acceptance are such nebulous terms.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Thank you, Ruth. You've consistently been generous and supportive about the blog, and that means a great deal to me. Of the few things that bother me about blogging, I will never regret starting, and I will always treasure what a great memory bank it has become... especially for recalling the very many good times we have enjoyed and shared. And now, reading these sweet comments, I naturally feel a renewed encouragement. I think it helps to check in with my motivations, and you are right: Success and acceptance are nebulous terms... when I define them through the many benefits and blessings I have enjoyed around this digital journey, the connections I have made, and have been able to maintain, then clearly it has been successful. Thank you for talking with me about these musings and reflections.

GretchenJoanna said...

One of my good friends, an admirer of my blog, asked me once, "What do you REALLY want to write?" My immediate answer:

"Letters to my grandchildren."

I wish I would write more of those.