Thursday, November 8, 2007

I Made It This Far...

My Fingers Hurt

After looking back at all the blogs I have posted, this seems like a logical stopping point to reflect on where I have been and where I am going. Life is an evolutionary thing and we often don't realize that what we are doing will take us in directions we never envisioned.

About 15 years ago, I started writing my autobiography. At the time I thought that it would be a good idea to write down who I was and what I had experienced, just in case some archivist came looking for me after I was dead and buried. Something to tell folks that I was here and the things I learned along the way before I returned to ashes and dust. The project never went very far, but it was a start. (actually, I still have to get back to the early years and fill some things in).

Then, about 10 years ago, while suffering through a bad marriage and an even worse divorce, I started keeping a journal. This was more therapy than anything else, so that I wouldn't lose my mind. Writing out my thoughts and doing a lot of hiking during that time kept me from going insane. I still have all those journals. They are in three binders, in the garage, all type written on various machines and computers. I didn't think about it at the time, but they were the ongoing autobiography of my life. When I am in a nursing home someday, I am sure they will make interesting reading.

With a drop in my stress levels, I slacked off writing in the journals. But as the stress of marriage faded the stress of work and society started to creep in. I was beginning to have a hard time dealing with the idiots and hypocrisy of modern urban live. After a while it got so bad that I felt that I needed an outlet. Right about that time, I discovered BlogSpot. This was around 2003, and blogging was just starting out. It wasn't the big thing it is today. I opened up an account and starting writing a few things, but didn't really know what to say. Mostly I just ranted. It was good for me, but no one else really found it interesting. I didn't do much with my blog for the first year or so.

Then in 2005, I started looking for a more creative outlet to express things to my friends and took a different tack in my blogs. Instead of ranting and complaining all the time, I started trying to relate observations and concerns with the experiences that almost everyone has in their lives. This was a bit of a breakthrough, because it was my first attempt to write something as it relates to the reader and not just to myself.

This also coincided with my move to a new home with my future wife. This home was closer to my office and allowed me to walk to work instead of drive. Walking to work gave me the opportunity to ponder things a lot more and be stressed less from commuting. This helped me to remember a lot of things that eventually found their way into my writings. I also started doing some photo essays that began to appear in my blogs.

Right around this time I started looking for more feedback and discussion regarding some of the things I was writing. While a lot of friends read what I posted, few ever responded. I signed up for an account on MySpace and started mirroring my blogs there. MySpace offered a great forum for folks to talk and discuss things, but the ineptitude of the site, not to mention it's juvenile layout and constant spam eventually forced me to leave. I learned a lot from some of the great writers and poets on there, but I assumed there had to be a better way to write and communicate without all the bells, whistles and distractions of MySpace.

That assumption proved correct when I started delving into options offered by Google, specifically iGoogle and the Google Reader, which allows the user to collect RSS feeds of specific blogs and news pages on the Internet. If any of you don't know what RSS feeds are, you should. They are the new way to get specific content that you are interested in delivered to you, without having to go looking for it. I have set the Google Reader up and I am still tweaking it a bit, but it appears promising. I have subscribed to about 20 blogs from writers all over the globe and read them daily (if I have time). Hopefully they will read mine. Time will tell, it is a community and I have just changed addresses, so it might take a while to settle in.

In summary, I never realized that starting that autobiography would end up with a blog that is read by people all over the world, or that I would ever write some of the things that I have posted. Technology and life have a funny way of mixing things together in ways we never imagined. I always assumed that the Internet would bring about a form of global consciousness where we could all relate our experiences and understand each other more. Endless porn sites, ebay and spam have dimmed those hopes a bit, but the light is still there.

In case you want to catch up and read some of the more insightful works that I have posted, here are the links to them. It is sort of Bruce's Top Ten. When I go back and read them, I am amazed. I never thought I could have written these works when I was starting out that autobiography. I guess I have grown up a bit, but I am not old yet.

Days of Future / Past


The American Journey (A Photo Essay)

Dead Butterfly

Fading To Black

Running Home In The Dark

Permanent Ink


Phoenix Ashes

The Burning Man Blog