Blog as Selfie

Why blog? I am sure I’m not the only one who asks this question—one that fails to find an answer, even as we fire up the keyboard and fill more white space with words and pixels—about what, for what, towards what?

The buzzword in these days of ubiquitous personal technology is “self-documentation.” It’s all about me. That’s nothing new. But what is remarkable is the  divers ways and the ease with which we can do it and the widespread compulsion to start self-documenting with our morning oatmeal and stream personal factoids until (and including) the brushing of our teeth at night.

Is that what your blog has become? [Read More at Blogging from ME to WE]

Circling to Settle in

I feel a bit like any dog we’ve ever had. Coming to a potential napping spot, indoors or out, there’s typically a lot of circling–once, twice, sometimes more–before finally having the sense that this is exactly the right place.

So I’ve gotten up from one place that just didn’t seem quite right, and am not yet ready until I circle a few more times to say the blog layout and color scheme and pages are right and I can settle in.

Beware shifting templates and riptides.

Maybe it’s more like a plastic surgery make-over. I can’t settle on my metaphor here. So shoot me.

That said, please let me know if any of the new bits don’t work for you or if the page is slow to load or you have any other issues or comments for change.

Maybe it’s just that sometimes a little liposuction and collagen filler give us the sense that we’re starting over with a new body.

Nothing wrong here that a little digital botox can’t take care of.  We’ll be in the recovery room for a while and back on the wide screen with a tummy tuck and bee-stung lips soon enough.

Still Looking for the Point

Found this morning, while looking for something else on the hard drive: a first-month post from 2002 when Fragments was just an infant. Some of those hopes expressed here have been realized in most wonderful ways. But then, twelve years later, I’m still generating snippets and wandering, more often than not, in the Pointless Forest. Everything’s Got to Have a Point! 

The Point!, which spawned “Me and My Arrow” (later recycled in a popular car commercial), tells the tale of Oblio, a little boy born into a community in which everything–the people, the buildings, the animals–literally has a point. Everything, that is, except Oblio, who is hopelessly roundheaded and is banished to the Pointless Forest as a consequence. Eventually, after many odd adventures, Oblio and his canine companion, Arrow, return home, having learned that everything–particularly that which seems pointless–has a point, including our hero. (Quote source no longer living on the InterWebs)

Or does it? Listening to the music of my good buddy Harry Nilsson (author of The Point!) this morning, I wondered again, as I do every day this month, what is the POINT of this weblog? Why am I guilty of adding to the teeming sea of words that waterlogs our poor brains in this age of “information”? Hmmm. I am not doing it for the fame and glory. Far as I can tell, I get about 10 unique visitors daily (some are clones of prior visitors) and am ‘linked’ on, oh, about two other weblogs. There has been an occassional reference to some snippet I have written (I specialize in snippets, which are like haiku, except not as cerebral, without meter, and they don’t usually have a point).

ThePoint580I guess if Fragments has a point to this point, it is this:

It has opened my eyes and ears to things that before I would think: that’s interesting, I would like to share that with someone, no one is around to listen, forget it. Now, even if no one reads about my discoveries and revelations, these little brain cookies have the potential to be found like messages in a bottle by thousands all around the world.

Weblogs are about potential. “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” said Alice (or was it the Hatter, or…) Writing in a permanent, accessible and widely available form gives me a motive to write, and accountability to others–strangers, family, gifted writers. I confess to a long-latent urge to write, more than that, to gain a purpose for and an object of my writing. To find my POINT!

I can’t say that I have found that yet. But this weblog is a first step out of the boat onto the glassy sea of faith. If it makes me a better writer, even if it is only for my own satisfaction, then I am willing to get water up my nose a few times.

We are geographically and socially isolated here on Goose Creek. That has got to change. We must find community, connectedness and a place to serve. Granted, electronic relationships are a poor substitute for the protoplasmic sort. But the sense of being ‘in the current’ of the social phenomenon of weblogging honestly gives me a small taste of doing something communal.

Who knows how the web of connections via Fragments might open up opportunities to meet people in my county, region, state? Again, potential. Lastly, (and the congregation breathes a sigh of relief), this online diary thing can be a legacy of who I was, what I thought, where I lived, what my world was like…for my children’s children’ children. I know precious little of those who begat me. I never cared to look until recently, and now, most are gone along with their memories.

Trite perhaps, but I long for roots. Maybe fifty years from now, my great-great grand daugher will dig a CD out of a dusty trunk, copy it onto a microdot, and play it on her wristphone, and learn much about our times and own one link in her chain of ancestry. I will have given her roots.

Digging in Another Place

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Back twelve years ago this May, I ran across a quote–“old Chinese proverb” most likely–that explained why I suddenly (but after years of dissatisfaction) left at least a job, if not a career in health care. It said something like this:

“Man, not finding treasure, does not continue digging ever deeper in the same hole. He finds another place to dig, and he begins again, hopefully.”

It’s not a perfect fit for this post. I’m not about to pitch it in and leave blogging. Quite the contrary. I’ll dig on at Fragments, but I’ve started two new holes, you might say–two new subdomains!

One, that I have not touched yet, will be for images. I need to settle on a WordPress template especially for photographers. I need a printing and order fulfillment relationship for sales–at this point, for the photo-notecards some you local folks have seen.

The other site will be for the purpose of exploring and writing about topics that are too broad or too “serious” for Fragments.

Most folks who are faithful to Fragments (mom and a few others) much prefer the nature, place, pets and seasonal slice of life topical posts. I like writing those. But I feel frustrated when I don’t feel I can reach beyond the up close and personal. So…

I have only just begun a new blog I’m calling “Life, the Universe et Cetera” as I think that will be inclusive enough to cover it.

I have a long, long way to go before settling on a theme (just previewing the present one, populating it with a couple of reposts from here). And then will come the sorting out how the three sites interact and how to best display the longer, serialized pieces and images–which will probably take a year.

So for those who are still reading–click over to the new site, if you wish, and read a new post I’ve had in the hopper for a month–about the big Methane Burp building in the gut of the Arctic tundra. As critical issues go, this one is in the top five on my list. Earth Burps Last at Life, The Universe et Cetera. 

Click the tabs up top (PLANET, PLACE etc) to drop down the subtopic categories I’ll hope to flesh out over time. We’ll see how it goes.

Or, go for the thumbnail headshot of Fred at Twenty–in the middle column of the home page. Stud Muffin.

With You, in a Box

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In the round-about way this webby world provides, because Pete Seeger died this week, we found last night over dinner a YouTube of him singing with a lanky, awkward young Johnny Cash and June Carter. From there came more June Carter clips, including one of her on the Merv Griffith show, where her new book was featured.

The book’s title is “Among My Klediments.” (more about the Appalachian word derivation later.)

June went on to describe the Tennessee mountain word in a similar way to this definition from the Dictionary of American Regional English:

“A klediment can be almost anything that has earned a right to be a part of things close to you. It can be precious antique furniture gathered from grandmother, pieces of china, little handmade doilies, the straw mats on your floor, or the pricilla curtains you made yourself. A klediment can be a thing you love.A klediment can be a thing you just won’t throw away. A klediment can be a person dear to you.”

We all have these precious things. They might make no sense to anyone else. There is a story, a bond, a permanent significance to each. What are yours?

I gave myself the thought assignment of packing up my klediments–only as much as I could carry out with me in one box. What would go inside? Continue reading With You, in a Box