My first blog post
Five years ago this week was my first blog post. You can see it above, though the template was different. My sister Ginnie ("Bootsie" to me) was my first and only commenter for some time and the first person I knew who had a blog (the wonderful In Soul). Three months later, my "brother" rauf introduced himself from India, and much more of the world opened to me via his posts at Daylight Again. And so the wonder began. Let me wander as I wonder at the full hand of these years.
∞ I picked the name synchronizing after seeing my hand held device "synchronizing" with my computer when I linked them at the end of a work day. I liked the idea of bringing things together in some kind of unity. I changed it to synch-ro-ni-zing, adding the hyphens, to sort of help people understand that "synchronizing" is different from "synchronicity." This blog isn't necessarily about meaningful coincidence (synchronicity), but more about the intentional pairing of things.
∞ My blog is just as eclectic today as it was five years ago. You might find Paris paired with Bishop the barncat, memories of my mom with a walk in the meadow, or raptures over a sublime salad during a long, beautiful winter. I just tell you what's going on inside. This past year I've done that more in poems, because I've been writing more poems, a direct result of being freshly and deeply inspired by blog friends. You know who you are.
∞ Speaking of blog friends, I have met some of the most wonderful people of my life, here, in these five years at synch. There is more talent, imagination, insight, knowledge, wisdom, humor, experience, story-telling skill, beauty, strength and love here than anyone who doesn't blog might understand.
∞ As a result of these friends and conversations, I have changed. I have grown more confident, better at writing, better at photography, better at life, better at me! It has been like a non-stop class in the arts and humanities, critical thinking, communication, and the soul's journey. The world has shrunk, and so have I. I am less, and I am more.
∞ Blogger has gotten better and easier to use. I pay $3.95 a year for this space, since I overflowed my space limit sometime in the last year or two. I'd say it's a pretty darn good bargain. Compare it to, say, a Burger King Whopper ($3.29).
∞ Two years ago today I received the honor of Blogger's Blog of Note, eleven days after my friend Barry of An Explorer's View of Life received the same honor. I was fortunate to find him through that award, instantly enthralled by his story-telling sweetness. Of course we didn't know we would lose him the next year to cancer. I rejoice, and gasp, whenever I see his comments in old posts around the blogosphere. He is still with us, but I miss him.
∞ Vastly more important than Blog of Note, immeasurably more, is the reward of being together with you, in this heartland. Hear what Walt Whitman meant in his poem "Song of Myself," for yes, this blog is a song of myself! always about myself, because it is from my heart. Yet for me and for you and your blog, our songs are like his song. The song of "myself" is not just about me, but contains much more . . .
“ . . . in all people I see myself, none more and not one a barleycorn less
and the good or bad I say of myself I say of them . . .”
“I am large, I contain multitudes.”
“For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.”
And this from his Song can be our guiding light, because while we read each other's words (and lots and lots of books), as Rumi says in a similar vein, "Let the beauty we love be what we do. / There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."
"Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions
of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through
the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self."
A little gift of gratefulness
In the list of traditional gifts for [wedding] anniversaries, five years is celebrated with gifts of wood. It feels appropriate seeing the spruce bough in my first post, in light of this. And also in this light, I would like to celebrate my full hand of joy and gratitude by sending one of you a [humble] hand painted wooden ornament of a special bird here on the farm: a bluebird. It will look something like the one I painted for Peter's girlfriend for Christmas, below. (I just started tole painting, cultivating my dormant Swedish roots from Grandma Olive.) After wandering through the bag of friends who leave a comment at this post, I'll announce the person I randomly choose (with List Randomizer, so cool) on the anniversary of my blog on Friday, January 21. Then I will paint a bluebird, with you in mind specifically, whoever you are, and with the bluebird in mind in his round russet breast and shy, quiet presence. And I will paint meditating on the rest of you too, and the connections we hold so dearly in our hearts. This gift is a way to be reminded that we are physical beings, who touch and feel material things. The blog thing is real.
But even though our blogs are tangible -- seeming somehow indelible on the Internet -- and our blog friends are true friends, we and our blogs will fade one day like leaves of grass, like wood dust. But oh, my friends, we are also stardust.
Though I incorporated the crack in this slice of ash wood
into Andrea's painting, the disk I paint for one of you will have no crack,
I pray! Don found beautiful seasoned oak
and has already cut the piece.
This could be your piece of wood :)
-- about 6" diameter, with a bluebird from the farm.
I'll gladly mail it anywhere in the world.
(I have also created several other blogs. Oh dear. Yes I would create one a month just to design it if I had time to maintain them all. Currently: daily posts at RUMI DAYS and A Year with Rilke (the latter with Lorenzo of The Alchemist's Pillow) -- see sidebar for regular updates. These daily readings are nourishment for my soul.)