Fragments “came together”, so to speak, in the spring of 2002—for a variety of reasons, a history of belonging and writing and journey of self-knowledge and sharing that I have embellished with photographs over the course of the past 15 years and literally millions of words.
And that journey has morphed through several molts over those years, not always for the better, and especially since social media eclipsed the “blog with comments” format and the shrill pundits have proven the squeaky wheel theory true.
And so, as you few remaining blog time-to-time visitors will attest, Fragments care and feeding have bordered on cruel neglect, increasingly over the past two years. During that time, the morning spaces I once filled with blog topics I excitedly and expectantly shared with “my blog friends” as wife called them has been filled instead with ambulance-chasing the bad news du jour, writing about same for Facebook, medium.com or some other mostly invisible place, or doing the work of civic duty I have willingly shouldered.
My server host is building down. Since 2005 I have had local tech support over lunch at the Floyd Country Store and reliable housing for Fragments, and been spoiled by such conscientious care, even in spite of more than my share of fubared archives, hacked code and other oddities of dysfunction under the hood, promptly repaired, and life goes on. But not any more.
And so I have to decide if 15 years is the good fight, tie the blog up in a bow, and send it to the attic for permanent disregard OTOH, I might keep it on life support with the thought that, if I did ever complete “the book” I intermittently work on, that I would have the blog as a platform for sharing and for getting the third book up into the radar.
That promise is much less likely to be realized than it was for Slow Road Home published in April of 2006 when blogs were vital and populated with special-interest readership and felt like community. That books was literally group-edited by more than 40 readers I’d never met but felt I knew.
I don’t know how I found so much time for the work that went into Fragments, only that it was my purpose and mission there for many years, because I could sense that the work matured me as a writer, photographer, researcher and citizen, so it was not a waste of time, regardless of what I have heard from some very local authorities.
Now, maybe Fragments is coming apart. I have a few weeks to decide. And then, if life goes on, I’ll need to do the work to make the paid blog hosting earn its keep in some way—even if only in renewing the self-satisfaction I once felt just knowing I had done the best job I could to be authentic, vulnerable, personal, honest, entertaining and at times, a bit provocative and obnoxious.
Thanks for traveling with the Strange Farmer all these years. However it turns out, I have few regrets and lots and lots of future nostalgic reading to recall this one place, understood.