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From The Archives: Light, Dark and 10 Years of Blogging

Originally Published May 2016

I'm very distracted this morning. I'm flitting between my phone, emails and a gazillion open tabs on my computer. I almost wish I could blog from a typewriter or a stack of blank papers... I think getting my thoughts down would be a little simpler that way. But alas, connectivity comes at the price of distraction, it's like the worst two for one deal ever.

I recently listened to the Robert McKee episode of the Beautiful Writer's Podcast and he commented on the digital world's desire to be liked and how online content shies away from anything dark. In an world where beauty is king, it exists in a spectrum of pretty, decorative, sublime and I'll argue grotesque.

Pretty and decorative, McKee argues, is what you get online. It's the nature of short form and it has one goal: to be liked.

cochonet rouge

10 years ago, I started writing online. It was a means to escape, connect and find something that I was looking for.  Cara, Annabelle, Sarah and a handful of other ladies blogged too. Home with two babies quickly became a difficult journey and our online connections were a way to maintain sanity. Most of you have been reading since then, and I can't express my gratitude enough.

This space has changed. It no longer features teacups and roundups. Or Anthro wish lists (ok, sometimes). There are fewer recipes and quick posts. Posting less, not as worried about the quality or presence of photographs.  I'm unwillingly opting for the 500+ word format, despite our online desire to abbreviate all ideas. Doing all the things you aren't suppose to do if you are trying to build something

Am I trying to build something? I guess so. But I'm not quite sure what yet. In the coming weeks, I might ask you to sign up for a newsletter or even migrate you to another landing page, all in the hopes of creating a bit more content for you. Eeek, I may even ask you to send this to a friend who might find the stuff I write about (I'm still scratching my head about what category I fall into) relevant in her life.

I heard somewhere that instead of focusing on building a new community, you should serve the one you have. And that is my intent.

What I thought would  be a place to document a crazy house renovation became a self therapy of sorts. I've tried my best to not bury my sorrows in bread (at least not too much) but rather I've chosen to air them out here, with you.

I have practiced showing bits of the dark alongside the light.

And so this place is not pretty, it's not decorative (not for lack of trying, how many themes have I burnt through?).

I've even made an editorial calendar at one point (write about the trend yellow!) until I realized that space is for dialog and exploration, not just about trending velvet and rosewater.  Although both of those (and many others) have their place here too, it felt dishonest to only blog about them, which is why I've always struggled a bit. So it's the sublime (the place that has the light and the dark, McKee argues) that's worth writing about. It's what makes your life, and mine, real.

Not perfect, not ornate, but beautifully sad for very good reasons sometimes and sometimes sad for no reason at all.

Most of the bloggers  I started reading, well a lot of them have hung up their writing hands for Instagram.  Some are still around like Angry Chicken and some have blown up and changed completely. Along the way...I've made new bloggy friends and have recently begun to crave a tighter knit blogging community, if that still exists somewhere. But blogs have changed, and this space will change one day too.

This winter was rough on my mindset, there is no hiding that. Self doubt, anxiety and borderline despair peppered the weeks and months. Yet feeling the ultra lows has given me a new appreciation for days that are spent reveling in the beauty that surrounds me, with little energy spent dwelling and worrying.

But spring is around the corner, and the kids have pulled their bikes out and tonight I roasted sausages while I watched them play with the barn cats. It was a calm evening, not a perfect one, the stings of an argument rang in my heart and the loose threads of work un-finished irked my gut.

But one of the highlights today, was spending some time here. Tending to the words and working the sentences, that mean so much in the moment, but whose fates are sadly ephemeral.

I don't know if any of you journal, but as ridiculous as it seems, when in moments of anger or doubt, or despair... put a pen to paper and see what happens...

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