Personal history. It’s not valued enough. In a culture with dazzling tools to document and record, I find it amazing how superficial much of its production can be. Details without soul, stories without feeling. When I first started being asked why I blog it was difficult for me to answer. The notion that I was building a personal history wasn’t on the radar. The eclectic collection of images and text were an exercise in documentation with neither goal or objective.
Blogging was nothing more than a satisfying pastime.
The photograph of me with the Triumph America motorcycle was made almost nine years ago. Before the heart attack. When I could still grow long hair. I remember that machine and how much I disliked it. How poorly it performed in a heavy crosswind while heading south down the valley before surrendering to a thread of a secondary road where I could ride slower.
Writing personal history. It’s a skill that has grown and matured over the years through practice and willingness to look beyond the surface of events, thoughts and feelings.
I believe there’s great value in recording a personal history — for me, and for others. In the coming weeks I’m going to pose questions in this area regarding some projects I have in mind. Questions I hope that others can help illuminate a path forward.
I was going through old posts I stumbled across a reference to 2strokebuzz, a scooter related news site that I remember for an annual winter riding competition. A search of their site revealed a number of Scooter in the Sticks references which got me thinking about personal history in the first place. It’s a list of things I had written but now forgotten — still living on the web.
I often look to my blog to find dates and events; when we got Lily, had a heart attack, or any number of other experiences. The blog is a catalog of experience illuminated by the thoughts and frustrations of life mixed in.
I find value in doing this. Personal value. Writing, making photographs, and posting them here tends to burn memories and reveal issues. It’s not just about riding a Vespa. It’s about living a life. Or more precisely, about remembering the life being lived.
It’s easy to fly through the days moving from chore to chore, expectation to expectation. Blogging is like Hansel and Gretl dropping bread crumbs so they remember the way.
I don’t want to get lost.
A few years ago I taught a course focused on using a blog to illuminate some aspect of life. Could be artwork, travel, personal reflections, photography or any number of desires and activities a person might engage.
I’ve been sketching out notes to build an online course along the lines of that course I taught. Not sure what I think about it. Sometime soon I’m going to post a survey asking for opinions of readers here about the online course and a number of other projects I have in mind.