March 30, 2018

remembering wood-witches and poets I used to want to be

I remember the old days, wordpress days, when you could blog like a dream. I had a site once with five columns, like strands of shells and pale driftwood hanging in a window. Everyone was being wayward, creative, finding new trails in the forest, back then. Now we pretty much all do the same thing.

I miss the wood-witches who used wonderful old fonts to write about their wonderful lives. I miss the pebble-voiced earth poets who have no doubt moved on to more interesting things. There were people who had a way of putting together the barest elements and making something special. Now we can buy big, gorgeous, semi-professional if we want. And if we don't want, then we can stay on the fringes with our default templates and old-fashioned ideas and fewer comments.

I remember in particular one young woman who wrote a luminous, slightly disjointed poetry that was so impossible to ignore, I became a poet too out of sheer love for her words. She doesn't do it any more. She still has a weblog, writes stories, makes digital pictures; she has found her place. I don't write poetry for her poems either; every now and again I'll put some words together for twitter, but they're more solid and considered than they ever were. That's the thing - it's not just the internet which has changed, we have too. We've smoothed our dialects, focussed our visions. I rather miss the half-mad, excitable lot we used to be.

Of course we had to grow up. I rather envy those who have done it properly, leaving blogging behind. Sometimes I feel a little lost - slow adaptor that I always was, having finally understood what I loved best about weblogs, and now looking up to see everyone else moved on long, long ago to the next thing. But then I feel the same about real life.

I wish I could tell the woman whose name I don't remember that I'm grateful she taught me to grok the mama earth. I wish I could re-experience the first open-mouthed wonder on finding Rima Staines' blog. I wish I was grown up enough not to wish these things. Maybe I should just go write a small, aching poem.


A little background music for the new template, should you want it.

9 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean, Sarah. I miss the old blogs I used to love, I miss the way I used to blog myself...somehow I had more time...or less distractions. I miss Rima's blog too, it was truly a path into an enchanted world, a place I would have happily lived if it were possible. I don't do Twitter...I can't imagine putting all the things that fill my head, that are too much to put in a blog post, into a tweet.

    It seems strange to miss something that I only came to a few years ago...doesn't seem so long ago when you're a woman 'of a certain age' who remembers when the internet was a new thing!

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    1. I don't know how I coped before the internet - probably hard for many to understand, but I live in a small quiet country where kindred spirits are few and far between if you're not sporty and outdoorsy and secular. To suddenly have access to the worldwide community was a great blessing. Even if it did mean waiting for ages for the phone to connect ... and sometimes it took several tries ... and that awful dial-up noise ...

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  2. Back when I came to the internet my youngest child was two ... he'll be 16 in a matter of days ... astonishing how swiftly life changes, so slow to walk thru it, yet so brief when looked back at ... which is to say, I am startled at times at how the blogging community has swirled and shifted away from what it once was !! I still write, tho' I have changed too, I know ... {{hugs}} sarah

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    1. That's a long time! I remember your blog was one of the first I found, way back. :-)

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  3. I miss the way blogs used to feel--like a country village, like going visiting from cottage to cottage and stopping by for a cup of tea to see how the artwork was coming along, or how big the baby was getting, or to borrow a recipe for scones. I miss the humbleness of those cottage days of blogging, the uniquely painted front doors and the sense that people were sharing what truly mattered to them--from a place of joy. I miss the way that blogging was, essentially a conversation. Now, it is mostly a marketing tool with posts designed *to inspire* or *to build a brand* or *to increase views* or *to attract sponsors*.

    I feel lost, too. I have certainly lost any sense of "tribe", "village", or "community" I once had online. (The internet, these days, generally gives me anxiety.)

    I also think there has been a mass exodus of bloggers to instagram. If you have a cell phone, instagram makes it easy to post spontaneously, and instantly. However, without a cellphone, instagram is quite cumbersome. I have found that it is easier for me to share thoughts and pictures on my blog. And, a blog offers the greatest freedom of expression. I can control the size of my photos, the way they are arranged, the fonts and template, and most importantly, I can write as much or as little as I care to, in any style I wish.

    Although the cottage villagers are fewer and farther between, we are still out here. One way we can begin connecting again is by bringing back the "blogroll". We all had them on our blogs at one time; they were a lovely means to discover new people. But, then the minimalist look became de rigueur, and we all got rid of the very features that helped us connect with one another and that gave our cottages personal charm.

    As for me, I will never grow up.♥

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    1. I agree completely with all you say here. Sigh, happy days. I would have a blogroll and infact I tried to compile one just a couple of weeks ago - but I live in dread that I will leave someone off and offend them. I see several other people still have them in their sidebars - oh and if only Melissa Wiley was still in blogland, she would no doubt pop up here to join me in extolling the joys of the old-fashioned sidebar! - and I love to click links when I see them.

      As for the minimalist look, I agree with you about that too. For me at the moment I need it - I need to stop worrying about finding photos to fit to my post, for example. I will spend ten or fifteen minutes writing a post then half an hour trying to organise the photos for it, by which time the whole exercise has become a huge frustration. I want to get back to the heart of my blogging, which is the words.

      Hugs and love xx

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  4. Words and pictures have to be chosen so carefully these days. xoxo Su

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    1. That is so true. For example, I know politics in America and England are so strained, even those of us in other countries have to be careful what we say. But there is also the sense that people seem to like a higher standard of presentation now - matching colours, just the right amount of personality shining through, etc. Blogmums have to be semi-pro, it seems :-)

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  5. i was thinking just a day or so ago, how i am always late to the party...i discovered blogs not so very many years back, and it seems that no sooner than i find something i like, then it is discontinued. either the writer simply stops blogging, or she deletes the entire thing. occasionally someone piques my interest, but then will reinvent the blog completely---different title, different user names, different platform---so frequently that i lose track of where it's gone. at this point, i simply expect anything i find to be like soap bubbles, beautiful, changeful, and evanescent...instagram is no substitute for me, really. it's slightly better than nothing, but feels flat and insubstantial somehow.

    i find that i am rather nostalgic in general lately...

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