When I was a young college girl from middle America doing a social work internship in a blighted urban community at an all -male correctional facility, I spent most of the time in wide-eyed learning mode. My mentor, and everyone else who worked there, never tip-toed around words, in fact they had very colorful speech that was punctuated with every profanity I had ever heard and then some. I remember once making an observation, thinking, wow, I can't believe I am seeing this, understanding this. I was immediately shot down with cynicism, and this response, "Yea, well that's pretty ------- obvious; that isn't anything new under the sun." I shut my ordinarily shy mouth and kept most of my observations to myself for the duration of the internship. Of course as time went on, I saw that this mentor was right, I was not saying anything new. I was just giving airspace to all that had been said before and before and before that too. But my mentor was also wrong, because it was new to me. It was a revelation that had just dawned brightly under the sun -to me - and in giving life to it, by announcing it, I was adding to the affirmation of it being so.
With this in mind, all you seasoned bloggers, please take kindly to today's observations, since I am very new to any blogging community and posting these reflections are baby steps for me. But I have learned some things here already.
For starters, I really enjoy poking around other blogs, listening to people across the ocean talk about the very things in my heart, looking at photographs of some one's backyard and feeling like I was there, experiencing it with her, a stranger, yet new "friend" in this sphere.
I wonder what entices most of us, to share what we do, what we know, what we feel, what we dream? I felt a little full of myself, beginning this blog, too self absorbed. Who after all, if they ever found my blog in the first place, would care what lurked in my middle-aged heart? But I wrote it anyway; I'll write it again.
When I began posting on here, it was to reach out to some others who might be where I am; to maybe offer a little insight, a way to connect. But it was also just for me, a way to talk so that I would have to listen to myself. I think I often didn't want to hear what was in my own heart, lest it be too painful or pathetic. But so far, in the few posts I have braved, it hasn't hurt that much at all.
I know there are those whose first goal here is to monetize. A lot of us, I think, wouldn't mind that being a consequence too, if we ever had the time to figure it all out. But that goal cannot be what is calling most of us to share on here and in turn to follow each other.
So maybe, a lot of what is going on is a sort of treasure hunting - the treasure being beauty in its many forms whether that be in the simple pleasures of being human, the wonder of the natural world or even in the darker side of biting sarcasm.
Good cooks on here share the most fundamental of treasures and recipe seekers delight in the collecting. Crafters share the simplicity of the seemingly complicated, the methods, the instruction, the materials needed, all secrets that could have been kept but are generously set free for discovery by like minded creators. Politicians, poets and reformers give voice to the often ugly side of human nature or the plight of the hungry, the sick. Their work to enlighten others about the tragic, is beautiful effort, their persuasive ability, a treasure. Artists hold up their work, for recognition, for admiration, but also to show what they have found, the treasure they have discovered in the design of that old iron gate. See here? See this scroll? See the way the shadows sleep inside the curvature? The photographers among us show the beauty they have found in their own feet amidst autumn leaves, the patterns of brick on a favorite building that others have walked by again and again without seeing; the shutter clicks and gives glimpse to what would have been missed if not for the treasure seeker and their eagerness to share.
And what about the hurting among us, those who are healing or have healed, and want to share their introspection, their ah ha! moments, the bittersweet and the painfully beautiful moments of life? Some writers uncover treasures of the human spirit and by way of word, want to give shape, to the beauty of their growth and the new-found fullness of their lives.
And all of us in doing any of this, by making a record of it, have made it real, have created the opportunity of it being found. Taking our own thoughts, feelings and talents and offering them up for discovery gives us a chance to touch other lives in a remotely personal way.
Nothing new at all under the sun in this observation. But it is new to this brand new blogger, just wanting to give space, to give form, to the pleasure of treasure hunting with you.