Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Still softly searching

Borage flowers DO taste like cucumbers
I'm dissatisfied with this blog, and I'm in need of some help here. I write here three times a week these days, and today, Tuesday, is the first one assigned (by myself) for the week. Then of course Thursdays when I hike (I have a bunch of fellow hikers who wait anxiously for the post), I am not done for the day until the pictures and the post are complete. Last of all is one for the weekend, written either Saturday or Sunday, depending on what's happening in my life.

I try to keep it short, because of all the blogs I follow, the ones that give me a taste of another person's life with a minimum of fuss are my favorites. They usually have pictures and some text, and many of the bloggers are retired like me; some are knitters, poets, photographers, grandparents and more. I used to publish more often, but I found that my life began to revolve around the search for "blog fodder." With only a few to compose each week, I have enough stuff to write about and it's not a burden.

But they are not rich and satisfying reads, they feel more like they are written to fill a page and don't usually give me a chance to talk about what's going on inside my head. I do that every Sunday morning on my other blog, Eye on the Edge, where I write as meditation. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not, but it's where I am at the moment.

I love Emily Dickinson poems. They speak to me in ways that most other poetry does not. Years ago I studied her life and sometimes one of her poems will come rising up to my consciousness, unbidden. Last night when I climbed into bed, I pulled out my well-worn book of her complete works and searched for the one that spoke to me of my present state. I found it.
A loss of something ever felt I—
The first that I could recollect
Bereft I was—of what I knew not
Too young that any should suspect 
A Mourner walked among the children
I notwithstanding went about
As one bemoaning a Dominion
Itself the only Prince cast out— 
Elder, Today, a session wiser
And fainter, too, as Wiseness is—
I find myself still softly searching
For my Delinquent Palaces— 
And a Suspicion, like a Finger
Touches my Forehead now and then
That I am looking oppositely
For the site of the Kingdom of Heaven— 
We only get to go around once in this life, and I really do want to use what time I have in a productive manner, so I'm going to ask you a question. Do you read this blog because I come through to you, or is it because of habit, because we all read and comment on each other's posts? Is there something YOU would like?

I just wonder if asking will give me some idea of where I might softly search for my Delinquent Palaces...


  1. yes, we all read each others' blogs because we are 'regulars'. but i read your posts because i am interested in (and frankly, marvel at) your life. you have more energy than i will ever know, more guts than i will ever have, and you truly seek to squeeze the most out of your days. i envy that.

  2. I find reading about other people's lives interesting. I do not follow that many blogs but I follow yours because I am genuinely interested in your life. I am full of admiration for the way you have coped with the cards you have been dealt. You may think your posts are mundane or repetitive but they are anything but; they are an inspiration. I write my blog for myself as a record of what I am doing in my retirement. When I am no longer able to do the things that I presently enjoy doing then I can look back and hopefully derive pleasure from the posts I have written. Carry on living your life and allowing us to share the experiences.

  3. djan, i cont remember how we fell into each other on the web but i am glad we did...you inspire me actually...and its funny my wife asks me about you because i have shared enough stories from your sky diving to hiking...your trips, i love the pics and hearing about where you go...i love the outdoors...other favs are the people you meet, like at the coffee shop or market...so i follow you for that, but mostly for you...smiles.

  4. I only read your blog now and then, mostly because I have such limited computer access here in the woods of Glacier, WA., but I ALWAYS come away with something and have actually shed tears of joy when viewing some of your beautiful photos. I too am a fan of Emily's and I have to play with her a little and say " You are Something!"

  5. I am not so much into poetry..most of it I don't understand. I wonder why they just skirt issues and just don't say what is bothering them??

    I come here because you are my friend, my sky diving hiking friend. Living in a different part of the country doing totally different things than I do.
    So exactly why are you dissatisfied with your blog? Perhaps what you think of as mundane is interesting to the rest of us. Do you want to write great fiction..non fiction..poetry..what ever it is that you want to write you should write that..no matter what anyone else says. This is your place and you can do what you want here!

    Are you a tad depressed? Goodness gracious gal..sometimes the world just has a way of catching up with us.
    Sending you a hug...I would miss you if you didn't blog anymore:)

  6. I follow both of your blogs because I find I am interested in what you have to say - whether it is about your journey to the coffee shop to meet your young friend or if it's to tell us about your most recent hike or if it's one of your introspective pieces. In all of these posts I have found someone who interests me and that I can call a friend. I don't follow people just because they follow me, I follow them for the reasons I listed above.

  7. And I hit publish before I finished my thought....

    Remember that everything else aside, this is YOUR place. Only put things here that satisfy YOU and not anyone else....even me. ;-)

  8. I feel that I'm often searching, too.. I often ask myself "why" I blog? My reasons have definitely changed over the years.
    Bottom line is, it's something I enjoy. Reflecting reminds us of all there is to appreciate.
    It's therapeutic to me.
    Having readers is a bonus!

    As for your blog, and your question - I do not read a large number of blogs, but yours is one that stuck with me from my first visit. I'm in total agreement word for word with TexWis Girl. I'm interested. And I marvel. You remind me to get up & go.

    However, if you aren't "feeling it" and need a break - you deserve it! I love your other blog & lengthier wordier posts there.
    I'm bad at giving advice, so I have always told my friends when they're debating something, "To thine own heart be true."

  9. I read your blog because you have something to say. Something to say that makes me stop and think. Your ideas are on a deeper level and I appreciate that. Your weekly description of the hike is one I look forward to and it reminds me of many hikes I've been on.
    You have a set pattern which is a good thing. However, you may want to experiment with shorter pieces. Try it. See what happens.

  10. You want me to make suggestions about your blog? Surely you jest, I'm the queen of 'never know what she wants.' I will tell you the things I like most about your blog.

    I love the fisherman and his now deceased parrot. I suspect you could introduce us to others like him. People who've followed their own path in life.

    I always enjoy the hike blogs because I will never hike and the pictures are wonderful. I never tire of looking at PNW pictures.

    I enjoy your garden posts.

    Your plane jumping experiences remind me I was never cut from the same cloth as you. How fun for me to get to experience your adventures.

    I enjoy your Saturday market and about town posts.

    I'd like to know more about your husband and his interests.

    Perhaps some culture posts from life so near the Canadian border.

    You have a very nice group of followers so you must be doing something right.

  11. Your blog is one of the very few I continue to read nowadays DJan. I read it because your essence shines through the words. At the same time I would love to hear about those delinquent places. "The unexamined life is not worth living."

  12. I read your posts in awe. I admire your energy, your tenacity and your drive. I love the places you take us, and ooh and aah on a regular basis.
    Just the same, it is your blog, no-one elses. Do what is right for you.
    (And I too love Emily Dickenson).

  13. I read your blog because you are a person that I admire and I hope to learn from your experiences. You view the world from a different window; you see things I don't see. You help me see my own view with new eyes.

  14. You asked a question that I think is a good one and a fair question....so like you.
    I appreciate your asking because I believe that you sincerely want to know...
    You have always struck me as a person who writes from the heart, never writing expecting something in return. You write what you feel and what you feel is so akin to what so many of your followers feel. Hence, an immediate connection and friendship is formed between people who might not ever meet but who will be forever joined at the heart.
    I say all that to say this: you have several blogs. Each is different and each lets me hear you in a different way. At first, I didn't even realize how many blogs you had. I just knew that if you wrote them, I wanted to be there. That is how comfortable I am reading your writings and looking at your photos.
    My comment is lengthy, and I apologize for that, but I figured if you took the tome to ask, and knowing your sincerity, I figured you really wanted to know how your readers feel.
    There are a few bloggers that when I see they have posted, I scroll immediately to them to read. There are only a few that I feel that way about. Yours are among those few. Just wanted you to know.

  15. I wonder why you have doubts about your blogs. What is it that is troubling you? Are you bored with blogging? Whatever the reason, you should do whatever makes you happy and content. To do otherwise would be a sheer waste of time.

  16. In all honesty, yes, I read your blog because you read mine but I also read it because I enjoy your many adventures. I also love hearing about, and seeing, the other side of the state which reminds me of the area where we used to live.

    I also enjoy your book and movie reviews. I enjoy your photos of the old growth forest. In other words I enjoy reading your blog.

    We all blog differently. I started blogging because of photography and it grew from there. I also love animals and books and sharing them with others. Sometimes I get on my soapbox, in a quiet way, to spread the word about things I believe in which are mostly animal related. Once in a blue moon I feel like writing so I might post a piece of fiction (it has been a long time since I did that).

    When life gets busy I'm not around much. When it's pouring rain outside you will probably see me post more.

    I think we all go through the doubting period with our blogs. Why am I doing this? Does it really matter?

    The most important thing is do what feels right to you DJan.

  17. I read your blog because you have become my true friend. I like you. I like the way your mind works, and I like the spirit I glimpse through your words and thoughts.
    To paraphrase a line from one of my favorite children's books, "The Big Orange Splot" where a man decides to paint his house differently, not like all the other houses on his street, "My house is me and I am it, and it looks like all my dreams": Your blog is you and you are it and it reflects all of your dreams.
    We dream with you. So continue to book and movie share, tell us about your hikes and free falling and friends at the coffee shop and gardening, and most of all, your thoughts and contemplations.

  18. I do love all your posts because they give me a glimpse into a different surrounding and adventures.

    I agree with you about the kind of posts I like realizing that the travel posts I've been doing lately are rather lengthy. :-)

  19. Hi DJan - I stumbled onto your blog a while back and am so glad I did. I started reading your adventures and truly enjoyed them. We both have that sense of adventure - just how we each do it is different. I hike, but not as high as you - I do not jump out of planes - unless its going down and I have to. My adventures are mostly in the small hills, valleys and Bay Of Fundy Beaches and home. Yours are high in the mountains, how many feet up in the atmosphere (?) etc. I actually enjoy reading your posts. I have a great love for photography and am most fussy about my photos and you have shared many beautiful photos I might never have seen otherwise. I enjoy the way you write, for each and every time, you haul your audience of readers right into the hike or garden, etc. In another sense, we are a bit alike. I want that other adventure, I want to do as much as I can in the life that I have, as long as I can, for it all ends somewhere for each of us one day. I enjoy the feeling of making the most of a day but then, I have had a few lazy ones too. I enjoy hearing about a new book or new movie you have seen and why you liked or did not like it. If you change your blog and write about something different for a change, I would look forward to that too DJan because you wrote it. I like your raw honesty when you write. Perhaps a person of your expertise needs a bit more of a challenge than all the regulars you do - perhaps you just need a change to get out those unsettled wrestlings in yer brain, me dearie, Eh. I follow people because I have found something different that interests me, something that pulls me into their posts and compels me to read and look forward to the next post. Rather like reading "Emily's" poems; they never grow old in the mind of the reader they have captured. Lilly

  20. Personally, I read your blog 'cause I feel we two are friends. I enjoy viewing your hiking posts, and your gardening, movie reviews, poetry if you care to share some of your favorites...and even a post such as this today that I read...it's all enjoyable. No matter WHAT you care to write about. It's like getting to view the secret diary of DJan. Y'know?

    You're inspirational to us all I think!!!

  21. I enjoy reading your blog for the conversations you launch. The comments are also fun to read. I enjoy reading whatever you are thinking about whatever you are doing. Your blog is a great addition to this community.

  22. What a thoughtful post. I'm going to have to read your comments to learn what other people look for in blog posts. You are a good writer DJan. Plus you do try to post interesting things. (many people don't) Your life is full of hikes and adventures. I mean who else talks about skydiving? I go through phases as well. I've recently cut down on my illustrationfriday posts because I don't get much traffic from there. And I loved posting recipes. I hoped I would find an audience like the Pioneer woman did. Not! But I'm having a lot of fun with random 5 fridays these days because I can do some creative writing. I appreciate you being such a great blog follower Djan.

  23. I like reading your posts for you expose that side of you that would have been me had I been more daring. I almost got my knees in the breeze when I was much younger but took another direction and chose to explore under the sea instead.
    We are about the same age and you tend to inspire me to be a bit better than I am. Keep those posts a coming.

  24. I read your blog because I am intrigued by the way you, a true Sagittarian, live your life. You live according to your own rules, your own dictates.

    Sadges always have a grasp on the bigger picture and you have that in spades. From your skydiving to your hikes to the books you read and the thoughts you think, you are the embodiment of an evolved archetype.

    And I think if we ever hiked together and then sat over a glass of wine, we would talk until the sun rose.

  25. I read your blog because I like how you moved from one part of the country and made a new, interesting life for yourself. I feel like I know you.

    Actually, I do know you!

  26. I read your blogs because of YOU. No matter what you write about or show us, I want to see and hear what you are up to or thinking because of who you are. You are REAL--honest, caring, thoughtful, open, and sincere. Plus your life is down-right interesting and filled with travels and adventures beyond my ken. If you wrote once a week. every day, or once a month I would be here to read whatever you had to say and marvel at what you had to show me. My only concern is that it be fun for you, too. Do what feels right for you. You made the rules. You can change them. ;)

  27. I don't think I have commented on either of your blogs before, but I read both this one and your Sunday blog faithfully.

    Reading your blogs isn't so much like reading as it is like having a conversation with you. Or, rather, like listening to your conversation, which I admit sounds kind of creepy but, hear me out..you write in a honest and simple way that is more like speaking than writing. It makes me (and apparently a lot of other people) feel like I know you, when we've never even exchanged so much as an email.

    I love your hiking posts because of the gorgeous scenery and because I am 20 years younger than you and wish I could be so active. I love your posts about your friends and your book and movie reviews. I am in awe over your sky diving posts. I really loved your posts about your parents, growing up and the ones about your sons.

    Your Sunday posts make me feel like we are sitting on a front porch, early in the morning, lazily rocking away and chatting.

    You have a gift we all enjoy and I so much hope you continue. But these are YOUR blogs, so you must do as you want with them. Just please don't doubt that people visit your blogs because of YOU, not for any other reason.

  28. I read your blogs because you inspire me...you amaze me....you give me hope as I quickly approach the same age. I always enjoy what I read. When it stops feeling like fun, though, you need to reevaluate. Bare others enjoying this more than you are? I had to cut back. There were other things calling.

    I've read enough to know, though, that you have the makings of a book in you. Your story is one that needs to be told.

  29. Obviously I have tuned back in a bit late in the game. You are dissatisfied with this? I remember when you were wanting to brach out a bit and speak of weightier matters which led to your Eye on the Edge blog. What is it you are looking for now? Remember your comment to me awhile back about missing my presence online? I know I would greatly miss you if you ceased this blog and am certain I am not the only one. However, our expectations shouldn't be the driving force behind your writings. What pleasure do you derive from this? What is it that we, as your readers, can do to help you reach that place? Your posts are varied and interesting, something which I know you strive to provide. You also post in such a way that everyone is invited to come in and wander around as they make themselves at home. You're a fabulous hostess:)
    Thank you for reintroducing me to Emily Dickinson. I have her on my Kindle now and read her often, particularly at night (when it's finally quiet). I always think of you when I read her works.

  30. I love to hear about your amazing excursions as well as how you enjoy a beautiful flower here or a good scene (with perfect lighting) for a photo there. Even the things that you may feel are mundane are appreciated by me. I enjoy your updates on the things around you from your book and movie reviews to the awesome things you see at the farmers market. You have allowed us a peek into your innermost pains and joys through this blog. I appreciate the time that you take to help us understand you and what's important to you. Thanks for sharing "you" with all of us. - Kimberly

  31. Like Tex said, it's a routine we bloggers have but it's one we opt to keep. I come hear because I want to read and see what YOU want to share. Don't cater to perceived interests. Write and show what and when you feel you want to share and that's what I want to see.


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