A while back I started wondering, as most bloggers do from time to time, if I ought to shut down my spot—move away from Bright Street. As 2007 reached its conclusion I received some strong impressions about the new year, and so I entered 2008 fully expecting that it would become a revelation of creativity and a year of at least a few long sought after hopes reaching fruition. Not that I know what any of that means yet; I'm still just going on feelings.
My energy is different this year. Sometimes it crosses the line into seriously manic territory, and that's not so good for me, but when I'm not at that agitated extreme, I am filled with ideas and feel a huge sense of urgency about a number of projects, a few of which are necessarily time-sensitive because they are for the press, and we have some deadlines. Others are just pressing down on me because I'm crazy, I guess. Or possibly inspired. But probably just crazy.
So in this flurry of aught-eight activity, my connection with the beloved blog world seems to be weakening. I said I had new energy, but the trouble is I'm no more fast or efficient because of it. I've run on one speed all my life: S-L-O-W. It's true. I was usually the kid in P.E. finishing up laps around the track in the highly uncoveted position of last. I type slowly. I read slowly. I don't think slowly—my brain moves recklessly fast at times—and sometimes my heart races when I'm stressed, but really, that's about it for me and speed. It takes forever to write one measly blog post, and it takes me longer to mull over what friends write and formulate my comments. I could be a gold medalist in the Slow Olympics. I do housework (if at all) slowly. I walk slowly. Give me any job to do; I can make it stretch beyond the limits of good judgement. I used to want to beat myself up for this kind of pokiness; I thought I should force myself to change and keep up with the world. Then I made friends with a woman from Jamaica who made me look like Speedy Gonzalez and eventually I realized that some folks just naturally move in their own separate time, and that's okay.
But. Warm fuzzy self-acceptance aside, sometimes I get so aggravated with the restraints of my own inborn speed, of time and energy reserves, and of the need for sleep. After the introduction of a bundle of new projects and ideas, my life has begun playing out like Rock, Scissors, Paper; something significant gets trumped in every round. Blargh!
I'm not going to abandon Bright Street and I'm also not going to abandon reading other blogs, but my habits have to change. They've already had to. Thank heaven for Google Reader; it keeps me in the know about just how far behind I really am. That's painful but helpful. For example, I see that I am now 36 posts behind on i i eee's blog. And the rest of you are also in that sad queue. Can you feel my pain?
(By the way, I just went to i i eee's place to nab that URL, and found she's posted one of my favorite giddy Bjork videos. To my great amusement, it pretty well sums up my gut feelings about 2008—"Something important is about to happen" and "It takes courage to enjoy it.")
Well, enough of that. Here's something else. I am still using Sitemeter to track some of the ways random people are finding my blog. This is called Free Entertainment. Here are some of the roads that apparently intersect with Bright Street:
how much is lortab on the street [this came from someone in a neighboring town]
lionel you have been hurt that much is clear who hurt you
surviving the applewhites:about the book [Korea]
"annual history" ward lds
talking to my friend about his terminal cancer
can you grow avocados in georgia
Living Snow Globe
names for Grandmamas
foot pedal transcription+honolulu
back on the change gang lyrics [Peru]
Camp Mia Shalom
agnes mae [Netherlands]
praised redemmer bring welcome lyrics
brian kershisnik woman walking dog
bright street pictures
"zone 3" "gang"
Miss you love letters to husband [UK]
when the earth begins to tremble
chair chicken wire paper mache [UK]
I am also keeping a tally of the special areas where Bright Street ranks #1 in the search engines:
"UNFINISHED BUSINESS "" OUT OF MY HAND" blogspot [Japan]
epiphany snow globe
"hudson's geese" recording [the ONLY result on Google]
bed bath and beyond azucar
What is Yammit?
daffodils safe sheep
And what would this list be without the perennial global favorites:
(I kid you not, these two referrals turn up all the time on Sitemeter, from a dozen and a half different countries. I am convinced there is some kind of club out there that I don't want to know about.)
And to clear that pleasant thought from the air, I will give you a quick list of 3 Beautiful Things and then wish you a grand day of finding your own small beauties.
1. I looked out the kitchen window this morning and saw shining fairy dust floating slowly downward all around the fig tree. I called Rob to come and look and he said, "This only happens when it's very very very cold." I'm not the princess sort, but I swear the stuff was magical and I was completely enchanted. I stood at the window and watched it sparkle and float till the sun shifted and stopped making the wet air gleam.
2. Yesterday in the doctor's office, another woman and I were waiting for our appointments. A third woman who'd just finished with the doctor unsteadily joined us on the couches while her able-bodied daughter paid her bill at the counter and made follow-up arrangements for her ailing mother. A young nurse stepped into the room and called, "Donna?" And the third woman responded with surprise while the one who was still waiting for her appointment caught her breath and looked up, also puzzled. Turns out both the women were Donnas. We all shared a laugh and Donna Ready for Attention went back to the examination room with the nurse. Donna Finished turned to me and asked, "Are you a Donna too?" I answered regretfully that I wasn't, but wouldn't it be perfect if I was? "It would be perfect!" the cheerful but very uncomfortable Donna Finished replied. When she left, I said, "Goodbye, Donna!" With a beaming smile, she asked me my name and said, "Goodbye, Georgia!"
3. I was at Macey's buying groceries two mornings ago. While I was unloading my cart, the bagger walked all the way up the counter to quietly slip in behind me and ask, "Paper or plastic?" "Paper, please," I said. I didn't see her name tag, but I recognized her. She is a thin, pale, older middle-aged lady who seems very shy, even mousy. She was slow with her work, but was painstakingly careful about the way she bagged my food; I noticed the way she deliberated and rearranged. I thought to myself, I could be here a while, but at least I won't go home with banged-up produce, as I sometimes do. (This is one of my pet peeves.) She seems like a person who feels embarrassed as a rule, and to let her know I was okay with her pace and style, I said, "I'm so glad you're being so careful with your bagging. I appreciate that." She stopped and looked up at me with a shocked face and went back to work, muttering a little self-consciously about the cheese and the eggs. A bag or two later, she looked up at me again and said with what seemed like a little unaccustomed pride wobbling in her voice, "Well, I've had this job for nine years. I guess I ought to know how to do it by now!" and she smiled like it was a new experience. We passed a few small pleasantries, I promised to look for her next time I came shopping, and as I left the store I was overcome with unexpected emotion and a sense of that woman's worth. Several phrases turned around and around in my mind: "A daughter of God just bagged my groceries!" "Someone very important just bagged by groceries!" "Someone noble, someone royal, someone divine just bagged my groceries!" It was astonishing. The feeling stayed with me a long while.