This week's Sunday Scribblings topic is Powerful. You can read other powerful posts right here.
Today is my 365th day keeping this blog. Has it been powerful, this keeping a blog? I'll address that soon. First things first, though.
When I started on October 1, 2006, here's what I thought I'd do:
1. I'll write every day. I decided to count on the blog to structure my life a bit and give me some discipline and motivation to write on a daily basis, no matter how strong or weak the writing.
2. Directly or indirectly, I wanted the blog to reflect that my way of seeing the world and how I experience things is grounded in having been born and raised in Kellogg, Idaho.
3. At the end of a year or so, I would see what I had and see if a larger project might come of this daily blogging.
I've been true to #1, I'd say, 355 out of the 365 days of the year, although sometimes retroactively. I sometimes write 3Beautiful Things the next day. Close enough for me.
Number 2 just happens. Even if my readers don't see the connection between something I write and Kellogg, Idaho, I do.
Number 3. Well, this coming month will be a looking back while I move ahead and see if I see anything worthy of anything beyond a web log.
Has it been powerful, this keeping a blog?
My. Oh. My.
I was a little naive when I started this blog because I genuinely didn't know that any one would read it. I wanted to write and I told my students it was there and some colleagues at Lane Community College, but I didn't know that others would read it.
But they did. They have. They do. I got involved in webwide projects like Huckleberries Online and Sunday Scribblings and PhotoHunt. People from these projects have visited and left comments and I've returned the visits.
But, I never imagined that I'd make contact with so many people in other ways. It's been powerful to have discovered writers like Student of Life and Momma's Gone Mad and others and to have correspondence with them, to even extend and receive their support about different things. Likewise with Katrina, Jbelle, Cis Gors, MarmiteToasty, Herb Urban and quite a few others. I hear from and write to my long-time friend Bridgit after we'd hardly been in touch. (Did I mention that Bridgit was a student of mine at Whitworth? [inside joke;)])
We've written or g-chatted or shared comments about Buddhism, baseball, depression, dogs, literature, poems, poetry, Christianity, Shakespeare, Marmite, and slews of other shared interests. It's been powerful to engage in thoughtful and liberal spirited conversations with so many good people.
I never imagined that starting to keep a blog would deepen the bonds in my family. My sisters started reading my blog. They learned things about me they didn't know. They wanted me to learn things about themselves I didn't know and to learn more about their perspective upon events we were all involved in in family life.
We started giving each other weekly assignments. We've done thirty-nine now and I don't see us stopping. It's amazing. I used to have at most monthly contact with my sisters. An email sometimes. An occasional phone call. My visits to North Idaho and Eastern Washington.
Through blogging, now, I have almost daily contact with my sisters, writing posts I know they'll read, reading their posts, giving each other assignments; our emails to each other have probably tripled, if not quadrupled because of our blogs.
When I visit Kellogg, or go to InlandEmpireGirl's in northeast Washington, we have deliberate sibling outings: no spouses, kids, or our mother allowed!
We never did this before. We never carved out time for the three of us, and now we grab our cameras, go up the river or go to Spokane, or CDA, and we laugh, eat, snap, admire, tease, and have a great time together.
It's because of our blogs.
The blog has also put me back in touch with people I hadn't had contact with for over thirty years from my high school days and people older than I am from Kellogg whom I never knew. I never thought I'd see Wucky again, or Marc, and the three of us had drinks last month in Kellogg together.
I have correspondence and comment sharing with Starr Kelso. Unbelievable. I hear from George Goetzman and we exchange Silver Valley stories. Delta Dawn and I have gotten to know each other in ways we couldn't have imagined. An old friend of my father's, Walt Gaby, emerged because another friend of my father's, Merv Hill, sent him a funny list I posted that Dave Oliveria ran in his Huckleberries column in the Spokesman Review. Walt has opened up to me all kinds of things I never knew about my father and his two brothers. It's blown me away.
In other words, it's not just been having readers from my family or my hometown or my home region or across the country or around the world find and read my blog, the most powerful experience has been the connections. I've never been happier.
It's the miracle of the Internet and it's a very powerful miracle indeed.
I look forward to year number two.
I'll keep saying to myself: Blog on, Raymond Pert, blog on!