Making the rounds these days in a "moveable feast" are posts from fellow authors and artists** on why they blog (with a universal plea for someone to coin a more elegant word for what we all do). So I thought I would add my own thoughts to the feast.
I blog because I am a collector, a magpie attracted to shiny things -- not all of them beautiful, but for some reason of interest. In the old days, I kept notebooks with photocopied images, postcards, and lots of little baskets filled with peculiar objects that had no function other than that they were interesting to my magpie brain and I couldn't bring myself to clean them out. I built a sizable bower around my desk of stuff (and looking at Terri's terrific series on people's desks and work spaces, I see I am not alone in this nesting habit!). But the internet is a huge forest of shiny things, of images, of people and places I might never have found on my own in the material world. So I have shifted my acquisitive self from the cluttered realm of my desk to the endless capacity of my desktop.
Over the last three years I have used the blog to keep together all the treasures I have found and from this internet bower, share them with others. Some posts and images are personal -- a copy of my father's name on a document at Ellis Island, the textiles produced by the women of my family, my grandfather's paintings, my garden. Some are quirky, like Samurai armor for dogs, vintage Mexican Paper Dolls, and my great grandmother's calling cards. Some posts have brought gifts, which I have re-gifted, such as the disk of 700 photos from Pinky Werner of Madrid, NM where my grandfather briefly worked, and which over the last two years has generated a renewed interest in the old mining town, especially among the descendants whose relatives once lived there. (Pinky's photographs remain to date one of the best visual records of Madrid and I have had the pleasure of not only sharing them on my blog, but donating copies of the disk to former residents, graduate students, and art institutions -- insuring for the future the history of the town.) Through posts on my grandfather, I was "discovered" by a maternal cousin Earl (another magpie!) and with his help I have been able at long last to fill in the complicated backstory of my mother's family.
So there it is -- I keep my treasures in front of me on the blog, sharing them with anyone who is interested..and delighting when they are. Nothing is lost -- I can use the search function to find an item from long ago (would that I could do that with my filing cabinet!). And I blog, because really, it's easier than having to clean my desk.
Art: Rubans Peale "Magpie and Cake," Toshi Yoshida, "Plum Tree and Blue Magpie," Eduoard Travies, "Magpie."