Friday, January 20, 2006

Not at all about food

I was inspired by a post in Grateful Dating about blogging.

I had a conversation with my friend Engaged Girl about my diaryland site and another site that J and I have for our friends. While someone posts quotes of funny things we say, noone actually WRITES anything except for me. Since Engaged Girl is a writer, I wonder why she never wrote anything on the blog. She said she was too scared to. I find that so weird since she has an MFA in creative writing and works as an editor. In the past I have encouraged other people to start their own blogs and all of them have said that they were too scared to have other people read their writing.

I heard it again and again. Scared. From people who were great writers. It makes me think, what we all do here in the blogverse is an act of bravery. I know we're not firefighters saving children but I think what we're doing is important.

Both of J's grandparents left writing for their children and grandchildren. His grandfather left a full on memoir and his grandmother wrote some very personal thoughts on books she read. Even cookbooks. I devoured both of these collections of thoughts. I was so grateful for this glimpse into their lives. And the thing was it wasn't enough. His grandfather mostly wrote about his life on the farm and the houses and jobs he had. And his grandmother's writings were so all over the place about grief, art, women, and men.

I think we are doing something so valuable by writing here. They say history is written by the winners and I wonder what if all people had access to share their own history. What would we think of history if the barriers towards being a part of history, gender, poverty, ethnicity, being on the wrong side of a conflict were removed and we heard that story. For example, my friends who grew up in Virginia joke about the Civil War being called the War of Northern Agression. They tell me it was taught that way in school. That's a whole other part of history that I never had access to.

I don't proclaim that our history here is complete either. I know I leave out a lot on my site. It's a very specific piece of who I am. But there are fewer holes for my grandchildren to fill in about me. There are fewer holes for historians to read about who were are.

That is an act of bravery. To risk scrutiny and criticism and spam and weirdos to share our stories. I applaud you all.


Jamy said...

When I first showed my blog to my brother, he told me I was brave. I wasn't so sure about that, but maybe we are.

Thanks for the nod and an interesting take on the topic.

dharmaqueen said...


Stef said...

This is a great post. Well said.