Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Up, up and away

I originally signed up for Blogger merely with the intent to publish comments on my friend's blog, but a couple of months ago, decided I would give it a shot. But after I'd typed out my first post, which I recall as being pretty good (but which was probably no more than mediocre, hindsight being what it is), I tried to post it and suddenly, it simply disappeared.

That's actually one of the issues I have with blogs. I never thought I would actually start one. I suppose that I should explain this paradox, since here I am writing one. The best way to explain it is that I'm somewhat old-school. Ever since I was in the fourth grade, I've kept a written journal. I must have at least five or six mismatched books, filled with handwriting that has morphed from large, bubbly, juvenile markings to the current combination of print and cursive that I use today. Most people these days don't write anything, not even checks, and what I love about the written word on paper is the sense of permenance. Sure, it could be burned in a fire, or doused with water and destroyed that way. But a written journal has heft. There's a weight to a book filled with ink-covered pages. And it has value. Papers, letters and journals, even random scribblings, left by authors and humanitarians and scientists, presidents and criminals and kings, sell for thousands and are cherished by collectors and museums. Will blogs ever be so treated?

I cherish the journal that my mother kept the summer she spent as a Red Cross worker in Guatamala. In it I read about a woman who I love and know, but about a time in her life where I was no where near close to existing. And recently, I found a series of letters that my grandmother sent to my grandfather while they were engaged, while she was in Florida and he was stationed in Canada with the Navy. They're silly, hopeful letters, about her practicing cooking, wedding planning, the practicalities of obtaining base housing, everyday experiences, and her joyful response to the engagement ring he bought her. I only wish that I had his letters to her as well. But the ones I do have are a concrete link to them and they show how in love my grandparent's were, something that held true even when they were in their seventies, but in those letters, is still fresh.

And I think about the journals that I've written in, where I put down my troubles, joys, fears, struggles with my faith and ridiculous crushes on boys (probably more of this than any of the guys ever merited), and I know that someday my children will read them and have a good laugh, or at least come to know more about me as a young girl and a young woman.

So why am I condescending to blog, you might ask? Well, like everyone else, I also enjoy the convenience and speed of modern conveniences. I haven't been writing a whole lot lately, and I need to get back into the habit of doing it everyday. Let's call it an experiment. A flight of lunacy, if you will.

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