Michael and I had been toying with the idea of a blog – on and off – for some time, when Barbara emailed us a few weeks ago about her dream … about starting that evolution with her …. and then we all started thinking a little more seriously about such an undertaking, and sending fast and furious emails back and forth.
Like any venture, there were all those questions: Would anyone read it, what do we have to say that anyone else would care about, and then there was that whole issue of a collaborative blog – three people, writing about three different things, with three points of view? And, well, why not? Barbara, as those of you who know her know, has a great sense of humor and fun, is adventurous, knows something about just about everything, and can express herself clearly, succinctly, and humorously. And actually, we’re hoping to get to know Barbara a little better through this blog, too.
We all worked together in the Everglades (and I sure miss that yin and yang life of Everglades in the winter and Montana in the summer …. not to mention a road trip down and back), and re-connected through Facebook, and have had fun following her adventures in Mexico. Michael is the funniest and kindest person I know and the second-smartest, and sees the world through a Far Side kind of lens that keeps me laughing all the time. And me? I’m all into the sensuousness of the world – of food and travel and just in awe of the wonder of it all (remember Franz Kafka from high school – that passage about just sitting and waiting and the world will writhe in ecstasy at your feet? When I stop and pay attention – well, I’m just in awe at the ecstasy of the world), so maybe I have that perspective to add to the three-faceted view of our blog.
The bigger question, though, that I think we all three had was – Why Does it Matter if we do this blog? Or do anything, for that matter. And that got me to thinking about one of my favorite authors, Diane Ackerman. As the aspens shimmer like candles in the amber light of fall here in Montana, I am always reminded of this passage of hers from “A Natural History of the Senses.”
“That evening, as I watched the sunset’s pinwheels of apricot and mauve slowly explode into red ribbons, I thought: The sensory misers will inherit the earth, but first they will make it not worth living on. When you consider something like death, after which (there being no news flash to the contrary) we may well go out like a candle flame, then it probably doesn’t matter if we try too hard, are awkward sometimes, care for one another too deeply, are excessively curious about nature, are too open to experience, enjoy a nonstop expense of the senses in an effort to know life intimately and lovingly. It probably doesn’t matter if, while trying to be modest and eager watchers of life’s many spectacles, we sometimes look clumsy or get dirty or ask stupid questions or reveal our ignorance or say the wrong thing or light up with wonder like the children we all are. It probably doesn’t matter if a passerby sees us dipping a finger into the moist pouches of dozens of lady’s slippers to find out what bugs tend to fall into them, and thinks us a bit eccentric. or a neighbor, fetching her mail, sees us standing in the cold with our own letters in one hand and a seismically red autumn leaf in the other, its color hitting our sense like a blow from a stun gun, as we stand with a huge grin, too paralyzed by the intricately veined gaudiness of the leaf to move.” So, as Ackerman says, it probably doesn’t matter whether we do this …. but, still, I’m excited …. to be one of her intricate watchers of life, to light up like wonder at the gift of each day, and maybe share and exchange the abundant grace notes of life – ideas, music, books, observations, recipes, etc. – through this blog.