"I will go before you and make the crooked paths straight."
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.
by James Taylor