Monday, November 9, 2009

I Blog Because...

There have been a number of posts revealing the basic truth about the blogger, blogging, and other aspects of gardening that I have been inspired to join the ranks.

I blog because I came to a point in my life where that was what I needed and didn't even know it for quite some time.  This has been a year of big transitions for me. I have been a dancer most of life, but thought I might need a better way to make an income as I grew older, so I went back to graduate school.  I came to Los Angeles for the graduate program in Russian at USC.  I loved all things Russian after living there and wanted to share it with others. It was that simple to me. But not that straightforward in a graduate program.

Salvia chiapensis

As I grow older I realize how little I really know myself. I had been doing artistic work for over 25 years and chose to go to graduate school. I had forgotten why I decided not to do just that after I completed undergraduate school in my twenties.  I decided then that I wanted do all things artistic.

From the start graduate school did not agree with me, even though I did well in classes and papers.  I love writing and researching. I thought I could manage on that.  But I longed always for something more expanding.  I gardened then out of survival. My garden was my piece of art. And I naively thought that could be enough.

By the time I had worked on the dissertation for some years, I had to admit that this was not what I should be doing. It was all so intellectual and theoretical. My real joy was the garden, as I had no other outlet for my creativity.  So I stopped working for my PhD, short of finishing, because I could feel my real self melting away. I was getting sick more often and my physical endurance was fading.  I read the signs and quit.

Ornamental cabbage with Bellis daisy

I didn't know what to do with myself after that.  My health was shot. I had to sleep for hours during the day.  I read, worked in my garden when I could and played internet solitaire.  I did this for months, berating myself for not finishing the dissertation, while, on the other hand, realizing I should never have started it.

I finally started a journal about my garden.  What was lacking was someone to share it with.  I didn't really know what a blog was then. I'd heard of it, but didn't know what was in one.  I began to search the internet for things to read about gardens. Newspaper articles, how-to sites, finally coming upon some blogs, still not knowing that they were blogs.  Every so often the fleeting thought crossed my mind of sharing on the internet also, but just as quickly the though passed.  I didn't think I could.

In one of my searches I found blotanical.  It was a gullly-washer.  I read so many sites about gardening. And they were called blogs. So that was what a blog was about. I could do that--- or could I? I thought blogging was something teenagers did.  Dare I share so much with so many strangers?  Publish on the web?  The questions swirled.

Gulf Fritillary

Then it came upon me one day. I could try a blog and if it didn't work for me I could delete the whole thing.

From the start, choosing the blogspot, deciding how it would look, I became obsessed. I wanted it all done yesterday.  Finally I was ready to start writing.  I'm still not sure how to write for a blog.  I love writing, so I write what comes to me.  After all, there is not competition here.  I push a button and what I wrote appears on the web instantaneously.  The publisher won't send me back a refusal letter.  And I became so attached to writing on this blog that I wrote every day for one week. I'd write about anything garden. Since I couldn't get out much, I focused on what was before me. The small area I garden. And as I read other blogs, I saw that one could garden on a balcony and still have enough to share with others. Blogging fed something in me that had hungered for some time.

I've been tempted to copy some of the style of others, since I didn't really think I knew how to make a winning blog. There I go again. Winning!! That is not the point of it all for me. Writing, having a passion to share, finding readers.  I'm still finding my blog voice, but I think this will be here for the time being. It has given me a new direction while the rest of my life sorts itself out. I think everyone has their own story to tell about the blog they write.

Why do I blog? I don't really know. The descriptions I give to my blog change daily.  I just know that each time I write and then push that button, I know I have done the right thing. 

I have started. And I am still here.  Why do things happen to us in life? How are we led from one stage to another?  The love for my garden just bubbles up in me and now I can share it with other bubblers.

Passiflora 'Lady Margaret'


Joanne said...

Excellent post from the heart.

Why indeed do we blog perhaps many different reasons and ways we come to blogging but sharing with others adds to the pleasure.

I am sorry to hear you are restricted at getting out.

kclily said...

Bravo!! Great writing. Thank you for sharing why you blog. I felt like I was in your life for a moment. Love your blog so keep on keeping on.

Anna said...

From one bubbler to another I am glad that your blog has bought you so much pleasure :)

Kiki said...

Wonderful post! I relate to alot of it!Whatever reason.. or why you blog..however it evolves for you....just keep creating truly is a pleasure and delight reading your blog..and watching your garden grow..!and are just simply Fantastic! Happy to have found your blog..beautiful pictures by the the butterfly!

Nell Jean said...

Blogging fills a void. It can be private, or not. Sometimes I read a post from someone I don't know and wonder, "why did they say that?" Then I remember it is their blog, not meant for me to critique, but shared thoughts, just shared. Even if we copied someone's style of blogging, we would still imprint it with ourselves.

When I first joined Blotanical, I scrutinized the most Faved blogs to see what made them popular. It isn't a template, colors, picture styles, or presentation. It is the individual and his/her interaction with visitors.

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Marydelle, Everone seems to be searching for their own voice, the media in North America makes it hard to find that sometimes. I think that you voice is perfect the way it is, very warm and inviting. Please don't change!

azplantlady said...

I think you blog for the right reasons - it is what you want to do.

Because of that, you should write it the way you want - you do a fantastic job and I love following your posts :)

susie said...

Nice post, when I started blogging, I just wanted to share a little of my passion for the garden with others. I had no idea how many people are out there blogging, let alone how many garden bloggers! It is interesting & fun to see & hear what others are doing in their garden & life. We all have different personalities, politics, lifestyles, religions, experience etc. but we all have the love of gardening & plants in common as a bond.

Rosey Pollen said...

Thanks for sharing and being the wonderful person that you are. I have loved your blog from the beginning. We are fellow bubbblers.

Rosey Pollen said...

And did I forget to mention your photos on this post are amazing?

The Violet Fern said...

I am so glad you began to bubble and blog so I could read your insights. That Passiflora photo is beautiful.

Jane McBride (Dig-it) said...

We blog because we must. We are enchanted with gardens and nature and how can we not share?

Wendy said...

This is a great story. I have also felt more fulfilled since I began my blog. There is definitely a creative process that I bet is satisfying.

Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

This is such a heart felt post. It's so important to follow your heart's desire and it sounds like you are. I blog for many of the same reasons that you do. I need it as a creative outlet and to connect with other people who have the same interests as I do. I've met so many wonderful and interesting bloggers - such as you! And every day I learn so much from others and get inspired. Thanks so much for sharing your story. -Jackie

James Missier said...

I too had many thoughts about blogging and also like you had the thought of deleting it.
I realise that its all one step at a time. I didn't realise that Garden blogs can really make an impact in creating a network of gardeners sharing each others joys without any strings attached.
And that is truly a great thing.

Keep gardening & keep posting, its joy created & shared, a dance, an art & truly a piece of from your garden - a beautiful Blog.

Vickie's Michigan Garden (my backyard) said...

Mary Delle,
Thanks for coming to my garden. Oh to have your beautiful weather every day -I'm glad you came to blog -We meet so many nice people that we wouldn't have met before this way. I love it.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Congratulations on writing your blog. I'm so glad I found you, and that you are finding your voice. I hope you are also recuperating as you write your heart and soul upon these pages ('er posts). I, for one, will read whatever you write.~~Dee

Jo said...

It's really interesting to know why or how someone started blogging. For me it was to record my progress when I took on a new venture (my allotment). I really enjoy visiting your blog, you write some very interesting posts. I have left an award for you on my blog, I commented in the previous post but don't know if you've seen it.

calann621 said...

I enjoyed reading about your path here. I am learning a great deal from you.

I was in the news business and wrote some, especially in the early part of my career. But most of the time I was an editor. So being able to write a blog has been such a release. My words, my terms.

I started out with an old-style southern memory blog.
Then the gardening began permeating my cells. So I decided to expand into that area. Now the first one is neglected. But I imagine I'll go back to that one as the days grow darker and colder. I need that one too.

vrtlarica said...

You have a lovely blog, both writing and all the lovely pictures that I enjoy very much!

When I started blogging it was just a way to have all my garden ideas, reminders in one place... Now its much more - Im discovering other gardens and blogs, and its all new world for me.

Just keep on blogging, I do enjoy reading your posts!

fairegarden said...

A wonderful revealing post about your life and emotional journey to blogging! I loved reading all the background and agree wholeheartedly about what discovering garden blogs and joining in the fun can do for us as human beings. The sharing and connecting is marvelous and very hard to explain to non blogging friends and family. Congratulations on finding this niche! :-)

Mary Delle said...

Thank you to all who commented on my story about blogging. It is very special to have found a new community of bloggers, who are so supportive. Your comments have encouraged me and given me company I didn't know I had. Thank you!!!

lynn'sgarden said...

Hey Mary Delle,
SO enjoyed learning about you! My reason for blogging was to start a journal for my new passion... daylilies. And that was just a year ago! Now it's more about communicating with friends and sharing the joys of our lives...very therapeutic to say the least!
This is a great post with wonderful words and beautiful pictures! Ya done good!! :)+

T Opdycke said...

I loved this post. Whenever someone puts their soul on view, it's touching and comes from a place many are not willing to share. You're journey toward living an artistic life inspires. It's hard to go a route that others do not understand and it's soothing to know that we are not alone. Thank you for sharing an intimate look into you.

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