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.

18 comments:

RubyC said...

I don't do the twitter thing, and I still enjoy blogs. We do miss the blogs. Glad to have you drop in on us.

Mary Ellen said...

Glad you came back. I like blogs. I like writing. Twitter and Instagram have their place but they can't (don't?) replace longer forms of communication. Here's to regaining our collective attention spans.

Donyu said...

Face Book is nice, but the blog is a meal, not a snack. Thanks for the check in.

Debbi said...

So glad you're back. This lights a little fire under me to get my blog updated. Thanks for that!

YogaNan knits, too... said...

Never stop! I would miss your insight and wisdom.

Felix said...

A wave of love is sweeping through the blogosphere - it's something to do with stumbling across old articles, long pieces, opinion pieces, personal pieces, beautiful pieces of literature stranded back in 2008, 2009... and re-reading them and feeling that way you do when you connect with old friends; your old blog posts included. I think that happily - as with old friendships (the ones that endure) - blogs can pick right up where they left off. Whenever the time is right X

akabini said...

I love the words, personally. The medium is so flexible - adding to your reflections with photos, links... And while I'm guilty of neglecting my own blog for the sake of Instagram, I do open my 'Feedly' every morning and enjoy the prospect of spending some time in friendly people's minds. It's my version of the newspaper, really. We can share so much more with each other (and reflect more deeply with ourselves, as you say) in this format.

Whatever you want to say, honey, I'll be here to listen. With a cup of coffee.

scifiknitter said...

It's always good to read the slightly different voice that you use in this writing space; it's a gentle voice that is in love with the beauty of every day and our "ordinary" lives.

Deborah Robson said...

Since Bloglines went away, I've had trouble maintaining contact with blogs as I used to. (I know there are alternatives, but none has "clicked" for me.) That said, there are still blogs that I like and it's still a form of writing that I find useful. And I suspect I have a slightly longer than 8.25-second attention span, although sometimes I have to work at it. Good to "hear" from you here again.

PghCathy said...

I did a double take at the date. I check at least once a week, hoping for a new post...and I almost missed it!

I need words; pictures are nice, but words touch me much more. I saw an interview with David McCullough & he was lamenting about how future generations will know what's going on now. Few people write letters, journals or diaries. 140 characters doesn't allow for much.

So nice to hear from you.

WendyKnits said...

I've missed you too. I do wonder about the future of blogs. I used to blog 5 days a week without fail. Now it is down to once or twice a week. and I know a lot fewer people are reading.

Anonymous said...

I am on twitter & instagram & facebook, but I still love reading blogs and I've clicked on your blog at least once a week for the last year waiting for an update. :) I can't tell you how happy I was to not see chowder! :) Although I love that recipe and have made it several times. Even my son liked it! Thanks for posting again. I hope at some point, we will tip into the other direction and start writing letters in beautiful caligraphy.

Theresa said...

Having linked into your blog for the first time about a year ago I kept looking for something new. I almost removed it from my favorites. Each time I checked it was the last "chowder" post, was so happy and thrilled to see this latest one. Glad all is well and look forward to maybe more frequent posts. Love your Knitters Review, find it so very helpful for everything knitting related. Stay well and happy.
Theresa

Manise said...

Glad you're back! I love reading blogs. So long as you keep writing here I'll keep coming back to to read. :-)

Jan said...

We're here! Thanks for this blog - I enjoy a good meal with good company - so much more fulfilling than "just a snack". It was a pleasure meeting you in Monterey last month.

Mimi said...

Glad to see you back. I still like the blog format. Happy you haven't given it up!

Dianne

muttikins said...

I think it's like your hometown. You can't miss it until you go away, can't appreciate it until it's been gone for a while, and it grows in stature when it's been found again.

I love finding a blog and going through all the archives because that's what gives me the backstory. We all want to know the backstory, the kind of things we learn sharing a hot beverage over the kitchen table and enjoying the company.

I hope to be blogging as long as I can, because someday there'll be a reader who wanted to know more. You are magic with words and it is good to read you again.

Liz xo

Rebecca Shaw said...

I missed you too! I also like blogs - a little frequent peep into someone's life, finding community, inspiration and sometimes a new perspective to common interests. You never feel quite as satisfied with Instagram kind of like a text message is so less personal than a phone call. Keep sharing!