Blogs used to be The Way. A gaggle of us remember and know this. How we used to set up a blog feed and, every morning, click to see if all of our favorite sites had been updated. Before Facebook and texting, this was the method in which I kept up with my friends. I read their birth stories, and celebrated milestones with them, and wept as babies were born and as babies died, and nodded in time with their keystrokes when they ranted about the darker depths of motherhood.
Blogs were a living, spinning story. Sometimes, in the tunnels of grief, the story seemed to have the ability to create larger blank spaces between the words. Those spaces were sacred missives and chiseled headstones with names worn from finger tracings, and translucent ashes dusting rivers and canyons, and an exhale stuck on the last goodbye spoken; waiting, waiting, waiting to release.
Blogging was my entry into public writing. It served as an outward way to process my feelings around the unexpected turns of Kaia’s birth. Deep into the night, the screen became my gas lamp and I wrote by the light and dark of it. So many of us wrote and wrote and wrote. We backspaced and hovered on delete and published as if our heart depended on it. I think maybe it did.
We wrote for any and all reasons, a practice in and of itself. And so many of us sharpened our saw and experimented with the craft and made connections not through “likes” but through stories;
The nostalgia is there. And the stories are still there. And I could go on about the “good old days” – a decade ago when I first began blogging and the unlearning of the corporate writing that had stifled me. The thing is I also love Facebook but the transition does seem a bit symbolic of my parenthood journey; the slow, ripe, juiciness of first time parenting that went along with slow writing. And then the quickening pace of life that comes with another baby. And another, And another. And the quickening of technology and (dis)connectedness and button clicking to signal approval.
And, yes, I do feel like the stories are often lost in the brisk, crowded use of hashtags. It’s as if the mortar is gone between the bricks, the living, pliable sand spread by hand before the whole house is built, before the whole story is told; the connective tissue that keeps us fluid and moving.
I never made promises to myself about the frequency of writing. How do you schedule a story? They come in the middle of a monsoon downpour, or as you slice the sandwich bread into triangles, or when your words taste like a funnel cloud.
But I feel the pull. Maybe it’s the traid of my kids’ birthdays that we celebrated this summer coupled with the silence on these pages of the past years. The desperate need to document. There is a missing, a space waiting to be filled.
The sands of time filter through the hourglass; heeding the pull. The tide keeps ebbing and flowing. The stories keep unfurling.