Sunday, March 09, 2008

Crossroads

I'm at a bit of a stand at the moment, and I'm not sure which way to go.

I started this blog back in August of 2006 as an outlet for my writing. I enjoy writing as much as I enjoy reading, which is to say as much as I enjoy, say, breathing, or arterial circulation, or the uninterrupted functioning of my blood-brain interface. And the blog has been good fun, for a long time, and has been both enjoyable and a good outlet for built-up literate pressure.

But now I'm not so sure.

For one thing, I read a lot of others' work and realize that, frankly, they're a lot better than I am at this blog thing. Mostly because many of the blogs I read specialize in being one "thing" - Phil Carter over at Intel Dump does the military, foreign affairs and politics. So does Jeff Huber, Jason Sigger and "Fabius"...hell, and that's just a random slash at my bookmarks. If you want the domestic insights of a Jane Austen-ish sort you can check in with Carrie or "Mrs. Vandertramp" or, if you were lucky enough, a couple of delightful essayists whose blogs are hidden behind the veil of privacy but whose sensibilities are worthy of publication (that's you, by the way, C1 and AM...).

And then there are people who are really professional grade, like Karen of "The Naked Ovary" - required reading while we were riding the CCAA bus to Nowhere back in 2007.

So here I am thinking: who the hell needs another goddam crappy little blog? Others do politics, military affairs and foreign policy better, others do domestic life, emotional "interiors", adoption and child-raising better. Unless you're interested in my life - and, outside of my family, why would you be, why bother?

Not sure what the answer is. But I'm not feeling as excited about the blog as I have been, and I'm not posting as much. So I think that the answer is trying to knock on my thick skull. I'll get back to you in a bit.

Speaking of "my life", we had a nice visit last week from Millicent and Nola (from Different Dirt)Talk about a gal who is working too hard to blog... We loved seeing them; Millie was her warm and clever self and Nola was full of business as always. I enjoy Millicent's dry wit - she's never so brilliant as right after you've missed it - and find myself laughing (or thinking, or just agreeing) half a beat behind her. I wish I had that quicksilver intelligence and the ability to deliver it so gracefully. As you can see, the Peeper captures Mom and Missy's enjoyment of our guests.But Millicent as also racked by a vicious cough, the remnants of the nasty cold we have all had since some time back in February. And she sounded very tired; working full time and caring for a active little girl is tearing at her foundations. I found myself nodding at that, too: it's the hardest job in the world, and the rewards, when they come, are emotional and not practical.

I don't want to make things sound dire. Millicent is strong, Daddy Floyd is there giving both gals lots of love and support and Nola is a loving little girl. But I think they're finding what we and every other parent finds out - that raising these little people calls for more courage, energy and effort that you ever imagined.One thing that strikes me every time I see them together is the differences between Missy and Nola. Nola is Earth; burly, strong, determined, stumping about in a concentrated fury of intent - the girl is a cute little tremor of energy. Missy is Air; slight, silent, observant and pliant, watching everything with her thumb in her mouth and the other arm twined around Mommy or Daddy. I think they could be good friends, and learn a lot from each other, if we could ever make the time to see our friends and their little girl more often...

But it was lovely to see the two of them - and another pair of friends that dropped in a day later Friday evening for limongello and cheesecake. So after all this frantic socializing the weekend we spent doing lots of...nothing.Yep. You see the evidence. Sleeping as late as possible; puttering about the house, laundry (how many times a day does this family change clothes, anyway..!?), jaunts to the pool and the "coffee store" (Starbucks). The small change of family life.The one nice thing is that Spring is arriving in the Northwest. The above is the view from the Barbur Boulevard viaduct last Thursday at work. Below is the red flowering currant (ribes sanguineum) that has suddenly come all over blooms in the sideyard.
And the picture at bottom is Sam Collinsen (Sang-ko-lin-sin), the cement garden god in the middle of the vinca.

He's a quiet little warrior, unlike his fierce Manchu namesake, but he seems happy enough to squat amid the blooming groundcover and enjoy the warm sunshine of the first tentative days of Spring.

6 comments:

walternatives said...

i, for one, am very interested in your life, Chief, and that of your family. Granted, you don't need to write just for me, but if you choose to stay online, count me in as a loyal reader. It's an easy way to stay connected, I think - easiest for us to check in on each other. And I cherish having this portal. Why? Because I cherish y'all. I'm just saying....

Brent said...

I haven't always been a loyal or persistent reader, but I always enjoy your words. If we didn't talk so often, this would be my first line of information about your goings-on. So, I vote that you keep it up.

Remember, blogging is theraputic too. Do it for yourself first; your readers will follow...

Mrs. Vandertramp said...

I'm with Walternatives. One can't simply write for others, but if there's an ounce of outlet or therapy or just plain pleasure, don't give up entirely.

Besides, all the great ones stop for a while and then reappear, doncha know?!

On a serious note, and I've said this before, I think the more voices of reason and analytical thinking in this world, the better. I've chickened out due to my location, which makes me appreciate you and others like you all the more.

atomic mama said...

Well, for one you are too kind. Way. Second, your blog-work is nowhere near the category of "another goddam crappy little blog."

There are many who would miss checking in our your musings, but I certainly am not one to plead that you stay. Like Mrs. V. said, You've got to do it for yourself, because you enjoy it or get something from it in return, for if you do it out of some sense of obligation to others? Well, that becomes a huge mofo of a DRAG to the nth degree, with a dose of resentment on top...

Wait, where were we? Oh, yeah - keep on truckin', or not. We'll still be here.

Millicent said...

Yo Chief~

I like reading your blog. I like reading about what you did (or not did) over the weekend, what you're musing or fuming about these days and seeing pics o' the fam. Your perspectives on my sitch are also interesting. YOu blog a lot, and I don't know how you find the time, but I'm glad you do. Thanks for the burgers and the asparagus. It was much needed...

wzgirl said...

Chief - I know that I'm not a frequent poster, but I am a loyal reader o' the FDChief blog. I like that your expression is ((SO)) much different from any of the others that I read in bloglandia. Absolutely.

I'm with AM & will not plead you to stay as I feel that this sort of thing s/b internally motivated. Even if that is in knowing that at least a few semi-cool others are reading along.

Love the pics of Peeps, Maxine and Portland in general. I dream of living there. Honest. You've made me appreciate it even more with your expression here on the blog.

Best, you. xo