Friday, November 22, 2013

Why I Tell My Tales

"I will go before you and make the crooked paths straight."
Isaiah 45:12

When I started blogging, over six years ago, it was a fairly solitary pursuit done in relative anonymity.  Initially, I had one faithful friend, bless her soul, who stopped by and left supportive comments so I wouldn’t have to face the echo of my own voice alone.  She kept me company until someone else showed up and eventually, more people began to stop by to visit me in my virtual home and she slipped quietly out the back door.

It’s been an interesting journey, so far.  My blog has been hugely cathartic for me, on a number of occasions, helping me to sort through difficult emotions, make choices, and come to terms with situations beyond my control.  There’ve been moments of frivolous fun and celebration, as well.

I imagine myself at some point in the distant future, an old woman sitting alone with porridge on my chin, reading through years worth of accumulated blog posts, a vast collection of my own memories. Blogging has been a way of charting my course through life, in recent years, my own personal Captain’s Log, if you will.  I don’t have children, so perhaps, in a way this has been an unconscious way of leaving my legacy behind.

It’s odd to me that I would take so well to this particular form of journaling and on such a public platform.  Over the years, I’ve attempted to keep a diary and have successfully maintained a routine of sorts for short bursts of time with different methods of free form writing.  Perhaps it’s a byproduct of aging, but more and more I find that I need to write my truth, to get it out in print, in order to fully exorcise whatever demons or fully realize any revelations I’m currently encountering.  Just this morning, as I was clearing away my breakfast dishes, I was turning the details of a particular set of circumstances I’m currently struggling with over in my head and the thought came to me, “How can I write about this?”

I do believe that we are not alone on this journey.  All along our path we encounter different characters, whether for good or evil.  Some challenge us and some offer respite from the hardships we may be facing.  Occasionally, we happen upon a little roadside inn and once ensconced in the common room, warmed by a roaring fire, a hot meal, and the rowdy talk of fellow travelers, one voice may rise above the others and command attention merely by the nature of the tale they have to tell.

There are many in that room who prefer a quiet table in the corner and I find no fault with that.  I tell my tales, not for accolades or sympathy, but rather because I have to give voice to what is crying out to be heard.  I tell my tales for that one person in the room who recognizes herself in me and needs to know she’s not alone, that others bear wounds and scars as a testament to their days on the trail, as well, and that though the road is fraught with danger, another has walked a similar path and made it out alive. 

 Lonesome Road
by James Taylor


Grace said...

I envy you your courage to tell your tales in a public forum. I have notebooks filled with my tales and in those notebooks they will stay - small bits have made an appearance on my blog over the years but there is no record of them - the delete key and I are old friends.

Write on!

Jean Nelson Paintings and Photography said...

I am one of those people who sit 'quietly in a corner' and just 'listen' to the tales I read on your blog, rarely offering comments, but thoroughly enjoying the stories and company. As one who has traveled a ways down life's road, I find that more and more, I look outward at the joy and beauty around me, and less at the images within. You are one of the 'sights' along the path that I enjoy. Thanks for sharing...

C-ingspots said...

I've found over the past several years of reading your posts, that your words frequently speak to my heart. You've made me smile, you've certainly made me think; at times you've made me cry, but I always feel a kinship with you and a sense of having met a soul mate on this journey we travel. You are not alone, but it can be a solitary pilgrimage at times. I write for many of the same reasons as you, and oddly enough, my husband and I were just speaking about our legacy recently. We have no children together, but he has 2 sons. I wonder if I will have made any real impact on the world, and hope that through my blog, people I otherwise would never have known; will have known me, even if just a little. I enjoyed your thoughts today and appreciate your writing so much.

Caroline said...

Could have written you words! I too started out about 6 or 7 years ago (wow…that seems like a long time!). I too wanted a place to have a voice. I have been through so much…major moves, a divorce, depression, ay yi yi! And why write about it so publicly!? Some would think I am nuts (my ex hubby is one!). But alas…I thought…there are others who need to read my words too…to know they are not alone. To know that we all need encouragement on our journey in life. Some of my posts are very sad…and I write those so people know they are not alone when they suffer. My space is sacred and I share enough…but not too much either. But I think I share enough to care. Because I do care…I care for those souls that stumble upon my page. Maybe they will read something and it will change them for the better. And I blog because I need too…I need a creative outlet.

I am so glad I have met you on my journey…perhaps we"ll meet in person one day!!!

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

I think that there is a feeling of community in blogland that is somehow easier for us solitary types to relate to than that found in the 'real' world. Your words often resonate with me Carolynn and I am very glad to have found you in this particular common room where I can have a 'cuppa' and listen to your voice. Keep on telling your tales, we are listening with nodding heads and understanding eyes. Deb

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Your writing is so true to the heart, and always perfectly expressed. Although I haven't been on the journey the entire time I am happy that you found me. I looked up your first comment you left for me on my blog, [you dropped by after reading a comment I left on Pioneer Woman] and I am so glad that you did.

Your writing, and photography has always inspired me, and I hope that you will continue on for many are a true, and dedicated blogger.


Carolynn Anctil said...

Grace: It would probably surprise you to hear that I'm actually an introvert and a very private person. *smile*

Jean: Your presence is felt nonetheless and I'm very glad for your company.

Lorie: My husband has two grown daughters, so we also have that in common. *smile*

Caroline: I do believe we're kindred spirits, friend. What fun it would be to connect one day in person!

Deb: The community you mention has been an aspect of blogging that I never anticipated. The support, wisdom, and genuine caring to found here is second to none.

Jen: You were one of the first blogs I visited that truly blew me away. Having had the absolute honour of meeting you in person and developing a continuing friendship, I can attest to the grace with which you live your life and number you among my many blessings.

altadenahiker said...

Blogging, both giving and receiving, has enriched my life and made the world smaller, more intimate. It's a place to develop impressions and ideas we've been tossing around in the mind for years and years, and also a place to park an undeveloped thought that others will help us more fully realize.

I've made new friends, friends I value and trust, through the process of reading and writing blogs -- and that very much includes you, C.

Carolynn Anctil said...

Karin: It's a little like modeling clay, isn't it, this working with ideas and shaping them into words that convey a thought. I so enjoy your artistry! How's this for a small world - I was commenting on something a friend posted on Facebook and another of her friends asked me if I was the same person she saw occasionally on your blog. *smile* Intersecting lines.

augcott said...

What an awesome post. Thank you for sharing and being so honest.
BTW .... I absolutely love James Taylor .... what an awesome song!

diane @ aug's blog

Sharon said...

Carolynn, we are traveling together, my friend. I have no doubt we will meet up someday and share our stories over a cup of coffee:)

Beth P said...

You take my breath away! You speak with the words I feel but often can't express, or choose not to say. I am indeed one sitting in a quiet corner drinking in the atmosphere and listening unobtrusively to the conversations. I am warmed by the fact that I am not the only one like this... and to have found another as I is a blessing and great comfort. It is often all too easy to think we are alone... you have shone a light down on the darkness and helped me crawl out of my corner...

I haven't been by for a bit having things running through my head and requiring more attention than I cared to give but some how deep down I knew I needed to... I am grieving with you for the shocking loss of your beautiful little kitten.

I love your writing and your blog... thank you for being there my sweet blogging sister!
Beth P

Carolynn Anctil said...

Diane: Thank you. This song by James Taylor is one of my favourites - so soulful and the melody feels a little like a hymn.

Sharon: Oh, wouldn't that be fun!

Beth: Thank you so much for your generous words of support and encouragement. I hope the struggles you're having now find a quick resolution.

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