Friday, June 25, 2010

While I Have Your Attention

One of my cyber friends, Sandra, shared good questions and comments following a recent post. I'd like to add a bit to her thoughts.

Once I got the hang of blogging -- using text and illustration to communicate short bits with an audience -- I realized that I love the opportunities this medium affords. It's nice to be able to write a short note about whatever is on my mind, without having to use an outline or make it fit a certain word count. The photos add a lot, both in terms of what I can express and what the reader can apprehend.

There is a lot of stuff I don't share on this blog. Most of the time, I don't identify specific people. That means I don't have to ask permission to use their photographic images (at least I hope that's true) but I can post a creative visual feature related to the text. I don't write about details of my own journey, but I can use this vehicle to communicate general situations or concerns from my life.

When it comes to journaling, I have realized over the years that I go through seasons of heavy writing and other times of sporadic entries. I'm okay with that. When I have a lot of emotional "processing" to do, I get a pen and starting writing in a journal. Since this blog doesn't have a wide audience of people who are counting on me to brighten their day, I'm okay with not posting any more often than I have a post-worthy idea. So, to put Sandra's heart at ease, I won't be giving up either form of writing any time soon.

Oh, and about my audience... I see who you are. Yes, you over there in India! And you in Sweden, and that other visitor in New York, and the one in Brazil and another in Japan and... It's fun to look at my Sitemeter stats and then pull up Google Maps and guess at your precise location. Maybe you live on that street, in one of those quaint little houses, or way up in that big apartment building. On a good day, I'm getting about ten hits here. Ten! Underwhelming, I know. Most of those are one-time shots, never to return. If I were working to establish a platform as a writer, this would be a huge problem. But I'm not counting on this blog to get me anywhere, so I'm okay with this, too.

So, long posting short, thanks for stopping in and reading. I'd love to get to know you better, especially if this is not your first visit. If you're cruising through, hitting that next blog button, thanks for making it this far down the page without even a photo to ease your pain. It was nice being read! I have been privileged to make a few friends here, and it would be amazing to meet them face to face someday. Fun to think about that!

See you in the blogosphere.

P.S. to the guy who offered to interview me on his blog review site -- Thanks, but I'll pass for now. I was thrilled to be invited, but my ten visitors a day wouldn't bring you enough traffic to make it worth your time. Sorry!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Clearing Our Heads

Actually, only one of us needed head-clearing, but both of us needed a good walk. We did our four miles (give or take) but took it a little easier than usual. I stopped to take pictures, and the Rufus took those opportunities to get his paws wet, hunt tiny woodland critters, and look for more tiny woodland critters to hunt. He's such a... well, a dog.

The head-clearing was much needed. Eldest son is moving ahead in his journey, trying new things. Middle son is currently on a plane to Tokyo for an 18-day adventure. Youngest son turns 18 next week. It's time for me to fully, finally, relinquish the parenting reins and let these young men be young men. All of them.

It's not that I don't want them to grow up. I look forward to them someday finding their soul mates and starting families. It will help when they're able to leave my house, eh? But when I got married, my parents didn't exactly know what to do with themselves. Dad called me almost daily for the first several months. There was nothing much to discuss, but that's how it was. I won't do that to my kids, but that means I'd better do what I can to grow up myself into this new adulthood. I think I can do that.

While I'm growing, here are today's photos for your enjoyment. Note Rufie's concentration on the meadow view. He was thrilled.

Hey, does anyone know -- is this a Nootka rose? Sorry the photo's so washed out. I'll try to fix it later. There are two varieties of wild rose on my walking trail; the other one is darker pink.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Need to Write, But...

The other night at a 12-step meeting, I bemoaned the fact that I haven't used up even a quarter of my personal journal pages this year. In 2009, I filled a whole notebook, and it felt good to know I had written (and processed) that much "stuff". I like to journal; I like the feel of pen on paper, the look of my words on the page. It's a great way for me to mull over the half-formed thoughts blobbed in my brain.

This year has been different. I still have a lot of stuff to process. But I'm talking about things a little more, and Rufus and I have been walking a lot. We try to get out at least three times a week for about an hour of fast walking. It's a great time to be a little closer to nature as we walk on car-free trails. I'm working on remembering the plants my Gramma told me about many years ago, and I hope to learn to identify more bird songs. But mostly, it's relaxation for the minds and exercise for the bodies, and the Ruf and I love our walks.

I guess I'm a frustrated photographer. I love to capture the moment, but a cell phone camera isn't the best tool. Many of my attempts fall short. Once in a while, though, I hit on something beautiful. When I get a really good shot, it often ends up either on my computer desktop or on my cell phone screen. Here's what I've got on my phone right now:

And this is a shot I took tonight, now blown up on my desktop:

Back to writing about writing, as my title suggested. I'd like to leave a legacy in words, a written account of my journey. But these pictures represent the song of my heart. Maybe I'll write more and explain this more fully later.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Just for Diane

I don't have a fetish for this kind of thing or these places. No matter what my friend thinks, I don't spend my days checking out new and unusual facilities. But...

In our quest to find non-automobile walking routes, Rufus and I took The Dad to a park in Seattle. We walked a 2.5 mile loop along the lakeshore and saw wonderful old vegetation and a panorama of civilization. At the beginning and end of the walk were these facilities for our convenience. I love old, unique architecture, so here they are:

This reminds me of the witch's house in Hansel & Gretel -- which is why Rufus was afraid when I disappeared.

And a detail from the other one: