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.
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.
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'