Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why Am I Doing This, Anyway?

A blog is an interesting form of writing because it is often personal and could easily slide that slippery slope into diary territory.  As voyeuristic as we can be, though, a diary is private;  A blog is thematic and public.  To that end, I have abstained from telling stories about my children's orchestra concerts, scraped knees, first time on a bicycle, schoolmate crushes, or homemade art projects.  I've kept away from describing date-night with my husband, the times I'm a flipping crabby mess, the pool that's going in the back yard, or the gripe I have with that lady who stole my parking spot.

Unless it's somehow pertinent.
 (my dogs, Kernel and Walnut.  not exactly pertinent, but they make me happy.)

I've also tried to maintain a sense of humor and a positive attitude, as much to inspire it in myself as in others.  No one's life is really as serene or pointedly dedicated as it looks in a blog, and we are all far more dynamic than one little Web site could address.  Still, the idea of using writing to cultivate what is most cherished to me is rewarding, and the idea that others might benefit from the reading is sugar on that cookie.

Wishful Thanking Farm is an idea.  It's the place in my heart where I am most myself.  In this place, time and I move at the same pace; I'm neither behind and stressed out, nor am I smugly bored.  The answer to every problem comes to me naturally, and it always answers the question, "Well, what would happen in nature?"  If one of my sons needed me right now, I might be bent on having my way, finishing my post.  But, in nature there is no Internet, so I would know the answer is to hit "save as draft" and go to my child.  The hens need me to open their coop when the sun rises so they can catch worms.  That means I'm getting up with the sun - and going down with it too.  At Wishful Thanking Farm, I am a part of life rather than its high-strung director.

In nature, all we need is provided to us... excercise, nutrition, home, a sense of accomplishment and purpose, and love.  If all we ever do in life is tend a garden, and then prepare the food that garden provides, we will have a full and happy existence.  Our other needs will fall in line, and everything else is distraction.

I chose food as the centerpiece of my writing because it is my passion and keeps me grounded in the idea of what Wishful Thanking Farm represents.  But no wonder!  Food is our most essential necessity!  If we didn't love food as a species, we'd be extinct!  It was through my obsession with gorgeous and well-prepared food that I became somewhat educated about how it is cooked, then how it is produced.  And, through that I found a connection with the earth and a part of myself that had been secreted away.  And, following that came a community into which I am a welcome member.

Food has so many tentacles (since I don't eat animals, I mean that only figuratively), and it touches every aspect of our existence.  Global warming has roots (this time, figuratively AND literally) in our food production.  The shampoo we use in the shower ends up watering our crops.  Our very important careers keep us away from the dinner table with our families.  The choices we make about what to put in our bodies affect how our brains function.  Our sedentary inclinations force the food we've eaten to behave differently in our bodies than they should. When it comes down to it, it's all about food.

There are only so many hours in a day, and I've been struggling with what I should be doing with those hours.  I want to walk the dog, work on my little sewing business, make dinner, see friends, practice playing guitar, join a choir.  I need to pay bills, run errands, and deal with that PTA project.  Just thinking about my to-do list gives me agita.  Should I continue to write a blog that, at the moment, only a few people read?  Why do I do this, anyway?

I have to remember that I do this for myself.  In a way, it is very much a diary - a place where I can focus my thoughts in writing and, in that way, make them real.  I take a look at what is growing outside, and plan my day around it as much as I can. It is my way of reminding myself what truly matters in my life and beginning my day exploring those ideas.  And, should anyone choose to read it, then it is my way of sharing.

Some people get up each morning and pray, or sit with coffee and a newspaper, or hurry off to the office.  (I have found that those who embrace the latter are also scattered and stressed out, having been one of those people for a while.) As for me, I spend a few minutes admiring the life I have in my house, in my yard, in my community - then writing about it.  I give thanks for what I have here, and I make a wish that the peace I find in a strawberry vine will grow.  I write a journal entry that is a standing invitation to join me at Wishful Thanking Farm.


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