Wind rocks the little cabin back and forth howling nature’s fury. The old woman notices the tumult around her yet remains unimpressed. She sits in front of the fireplace rocking to the rhythm of the wind. A tree branch snaps, causing you to jump in your skin and look to the rocker for some sort of comfort or escape plan. She turns to face you; her blue eyes, once vibrant, are now murky and dim. Taking a deep breath, she finally speaks, her voice edged with experience and regret.
“I’ve seen some blogs,” she says.
Other writers project their writing persona as younger, smarter, thinner or more athletic. When I look in the back of my head, what do I see? An old woman, weathered from the journey, solid and steady – a combo made of my grandmother, Mother Abagail from The Stand, and Merlin from Excalibur. So, reading this blog don’t be surprised if you get hillbilly wisdom, visions and biscuits or the charm of making.
And – I’ve seen some blogs.
I read blogs from beautiful female ministers that flow like a natural spring, bubbling over rocks splashing wisdom and cute anecdotes all over my raft. They work hard to take everyday events like making pancakes for their children, or forgetting the dry cleaning and then smoothly segway into the mysteries of faith or why prayer still matters. As sneaky as a stranger with candy, these women charm you into strengthening your faith.
I read blogs from a collection of young male ministers (they would be soooo horrified to realize there is a collection of them because they work hard to be unique) who all want to project their progressive rebel selves into the electronic conversation. “I’m ordained,” they shout. “But, I’ve also got a tattoo, or a beard, or I watch Netflix shows with lesbians, or play games with dragons. I’m all about GLBT rights and social justice but I also love my conservative friends and disagree respectfully. I break bread with people who aren’t like me. I’m not your daddy’s minister.” But when you separate the wheat of the chaff of their attention needs, I have to admit – they say some spiritually amazing things, and they can change your life.
The one minister whose blog I would love to read doesn’t write a blog. Go figure. So, I just watch her life, following facebook like it’s a star in the east. It’s a good read.
I read blogs from artists who spend all their time talking art-school mumbo-jumbo about theory and the “artist’s responsibility to the universe” and manage to overshadow the fact they haven’t drawn/written/painted new work in almost a year. I also read blogs from working artists, who post once or twice every six months, because they are working.
I read some mommy blogs. Like seaweed or jellyfish, you can’t surf the blogosphere and not run into a few. I read how hard they work, how tired they are, how rude the rest of the world is to them, how much fear they have that they aren’t doing a good job and how pissed they get when someone external suggests they could do better (or differently). I read about all the incredible insights that bubble out of their children like water from a fountain with sticky hands and mismatched socks. I read them because I don’t have children, and I’m not too patient about “mommy culture.”
I hate eating with a friend and having someone’s cherub screech with such a high pitch I feel like someone jabbed a sharp icicle in my ear. I tire of being in line in the store and listening to a mom negotiate with an eight year old who shouldn’t be running the family. I know that sounds entirely soulless. Moms, if you’re still reading – I also don’t like chocolate, being touched or the sound of wind chimes. So, I’m clearly a messed up being. Your blogs remind me to do better. You’re alright. And, you’re right. People are rude, and shouldn’t be. You’re a good mom. Keep going.
I read blogs about batman, beagles, bacon, drink recipes, The Pittsburgh Pirates, personal journeys, music, movies, exercise, modern science, ancient worlds, politics and books.
I’ve seen some blogs. So, what could I possibly add to the blogosphere from my point of view? Not a darn thing. It’s been covered. There is nothing so deep, so funny, so challenging, so horrible, or so inspiring that it hasn’t already been said at least 20 times by someone else.
But, in my head – there’s a quiet part. The things I don’t say. The world through my eyes – messed up lens and all – things that I meditate on, chuckle at or cannibalize. I’ve come to that place, space and time – where the old woman in the rocker of my mind can read the writing in the fire and knows – It is time to say the quiet part out loud.
It’s not my first blog. Over the years I’ve written a sermon blog (the most popular of them all, which is weird. Who likes sermons?), a garden blog, a kayak blog, a movie review blog, a blog for a charitable idea that didn’t take off, a blog on celebrity culture called “If I went to lunch with…” (the four people who read that blog loved it – but when it takes more hours to write than people to read – it’s time to re-evaluate) and a meditation blog. Yet, it is the first blog uniquely dedicated to the random, common, quiet thoughts I process. If you ever see me somewhere staring off into space and say, “What the heck is she thinking?” – This blog’s for you. If not – well, then – this blog’s for me.