Friday, May 15, 2015
I've Missed You
I have a notebook I bought on 24th Street, back when I lived in San Francisco. My first entry was dated some time in 1995, right before Clare and I moved in together, after I'd left my travel writing job and was struggling to find my way in high-tech.
The early entries were full of frustration and confusion. Applying for jobs, being unhappy with my work, feeling like it was my fault, that if I just worked harder, I'd like it more. Then, turning the pages, I come to the spark of a dream to move to Maine. And then the move, and our early life here, the beginning of the farmhouse renovations, my launching of a new thing I called "Knitter's Review."
As time passed, the entries slowed. I was happier, I think, so I needed the notebook less. But every year, twice a year, on New Year's Eve and my birthday, I would make a point of pulling out the book and adding an update. The notebook is now 20 years old and still has empty pages waiting for me.
The surreal part is opening up this time capsule and reading what I wrote before, what was worrying me, what I was hoping to achieve, where I hoped to be. The angst seems to be subsiding, the humility and wisdom gaining, ever so slightly, with each year.
Returning to this blog after a little more than a year, it feels like opening that notebook and reading the last entry. I'm glad it had to do with that chowder, because it remains one of my favorite go-to recipes. I made some just a few weeks ago. I still haven't tried it with fresh corn, but it's on my list of things to do this summer.
Reading my words, looking at the pictures, I felt overwhelmed by a feeling of having missed it. I've missed you.
Blogging is in a state of flux. Some have already declared the blog dead. We're all about blips now, about instantly disappearing Snapchats, videos on Instagram (15 seconds) and Vine (6 seconds). Words? Keep it snappy, 140 characters or less.
What's happening to us? In 2014, the average American attention span clocked in at just 8.25 seconds. To put that in context, the attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds. As a writer, I wonder where this leaves the written word. As an easily distracted person, I confess I adore scrolling through my Instagram feed, looping my favorite vines over and over again.
I have no answers. All I know is that I've missed this place, and I've missed you.