When I was first blogging I got a lot of encouragement from other people who were writing online journals. Actually, “blogs” did not exist yet, people were coding their own web pages, writing online journals or diaries. People like John Bailey and NilkNarf encouraged others to write. It was a very positive environment, for the most part.
There were a few trolls out and about even then. Online, they made snarky comments about other journal writers, criticizing code and design, a spelling mistake, just about anything they could find that could be considered a flaw. (Not to be confused with genuine and helpful feedback that some people offered.) None of the “pot-shot” writers that I knew of lasted very long, their online writing efforts were short lived.
The trolls in real life, people who had face-to-face comments to make, almost all took up the contemptuously delivered, “what makes you think anybody cares about your boring life”. After delivering their message, they found that they no longer had to take any notice of my boring life, they weren’t a part of it anymore. I never felt the slightest inclination to address their angst.
And now, almost 20 years later, yes, my 20th journaling anniversary will be coming up in October, I have no regrets about writing here. I’ve made some very good friends through my writing on Page By Page. Sometimes I write and am not really sure that anyone reads what I write on that particular day. Sometimes I write to keep myself company. Sometimes I write because I am bursting with wonder at my good fortune, to be alive, to live the life I am living; or because I am amazed and delighted how the little things are really the big things, and that I have so many little things that twinkle in my life, like stars on a cloudless night.
But mostly I write because I know that the individual lives of humans, connected, are fragments of a whole; a whole that is greater than the sum of each life lived here on earth, a whole that is greater than any church, or government, or corporation, a theory, a doctrine, or power seeking social entity that ever existed in the times of human existence. My insignificant writing, read or not, is my connection to that greater, multifaceted, ever-changing force that is beyond the hubris of human social engineering of any kind. I’ve had almost twenty lovely years of expression, my earthly garden has thrived.
And I’ve been lucky, because I’ve had the honour of receiving the gifts that others have shared, comments, poetry, prose, music, laughter, books, a smile, a hug, a hat, a transistor radio, picking berries in the wild… and a thousand other hugely small gifts that have lit my way through the years.
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Monday 13 May 2019
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Dew point: 6.5°C
Wind: NE 17 km/h
Visibility: 19 km
“You can’t love a crowd the same way you can love a person.
And a crowd can’t love you the way a single person can love you.
Intimacy doesn’t scale. Not really. Intimacy is a one-on-one phenomenon.”
“Intimacy doesn’t scale”
I love this phrase, it is oh so true. In a world where there is so much emphasis on getting public attention, making a name for oneself, having that 15 minutes of fame in some form or other… none of it feeds the soul, because intimacy doesn’t scale.
Happy Anniversary several months early! Wishing you another 20 and more years of journaling. I have enjoyed your posts and hope to continue to do so for many years, Maggie.
Thanks Eileen! It would be my greatest pleasure to write here for another 20 and a bit years, lol. 🙂
Well said Maggie and so true. You can be certain that I read every one of your posts (though don’t comment often). You are one of the very few authentic bloggers who revel in the delights of the everyday.
I, for one, have loved your blog entries, all your writing and all your ideas. You are one of my (few) heros in this lifetime.
Thanks Sandra, your occasional comments are effectively encouraging and delightful. One of the things that I love about writing here, is that I connect with others who appreciate life in a ways similar to my own!
Bex, I read your blog with such enjoyment when that was your thing, and now I enjoy seeing all your lovely hats and yarn creations on Facebook, and well, my world would not be the same without you girl!
So very well said, Maggie! I’m glad to have been a reader of your journal from the beginning. (I remember John Bailey, I loved his journal.) (Good quote, too!) <3
Thanks Joan! John Bailey’s journal was lovely wasn’t it! I’ve been reading your journal from the get go too! Glad you like the quote, I don’t usually find bits of thoughts from younger people all that insightful, but his phrase “intimacy doesn’t scale” really hit a chord with me. A dear friend, now gone for more than twenty years, was a brilliant singer/songwriter/composer/musician, and it was a difficult struggle for him, to distinguish between heartfelt accolades from many strangers, and intimacy. Because intimacy doesn’t scale.
Maggie, I read every one of your posts and am grateful to do so. John is long gone from the online world and Doug Franklin is gone from the offline one as well. Now that I think of it, many of the early and persistent journal writers have passed on. But you’re still here and I do enjoy your stories. Thanks so much for sharing your life.
Wendy, thank you! I am still here, just puttering along through the ups and downs and around the corners.
John just stopped posting, there was no farewell. He ventured over to Twitter, but I don’t think that offered him much of a venue for writing. Many wondered how he was doing for a long time, I’ve not heard.
Doug Franklin’s journal let his readers know he had passed. I have asked Attila that were I to cross that river to the great beyond, would he please post an entry to let people know. I am hoping that will be around and sending these missives for thirty or forty more years, 🙂 but it isn’t my decision to make.
You have offered me such insightful comments Wendy, over the years!
I’ve asked my son to post and let people know if for some reason I can’t blog. I know what it’s like when someone whose blog you’ve been reading just disappears from their webpage. You worry about them and you miss them. I still think about John and Graham, and how many years did you say it’s been since John unplugged his keyboard!
I don’t skip even one of your entries; I see you’ve posted, and I’m here reading. I consider you a dear friend, and if we should ever meet, I’d open my arms and say “Get in here, Maggie!” It would be automatic.
Here’s to another 20 years of mutual support and understanding and appreciation. Thank you for that, as well as sharing your own life’s ups and downs and in-betweens. Congratulations on your staying power!
Kate, I am glad that your son will be letting people know, it is a part of our story, as we sail from this port to the next. Every good story has an ending. I will probably be on the welcoming committee on the other side, lol!
The last entry I could ever find for John Bailey was July 1, 2013, when he expressed needing to get up the steam to make entries. At that time he and Graham were both well, and they had recently married I think, within the few years before that last entry. I think of him from time to time, wishing them well, hoping their story remained happy in our absence. So I guess it has been almost six years since we have heard from John.
Kate, that hug would be mutual and heart felt! I’ve been reading your journal entries since almost the beginning as well. Yes, raising a glass to another 20 years of mutual support and understanding and appreciation.
I read all of your posts here, but don’t always comment. I love the perspective you share on different subjects and just feel happy when I get the notice that there’s a new post from you. I hope you continue to blog for at least 20 more years and that I can continue to read your posts 🙂
Sandy, I am glad that you share your time with me, and when you do comment I enjoy hearing from you. Here is to 20 years, or even more, of connecting! 🙂
Congrats on your almost 20 years of blogging. That’s dedication. I think a lot of people wouldn’t be able to keep up commentary that long, but it sure does help extend a social life, doesn’t it.
I’ve been on the internet for 26 years. I well remember the hardship of coding my own webpages and writing about things I’d done and places I’ve been. I think back to those early pages and realize how very long ago that was. They’re now dinosaurs compared to today’s computers and internet.
Reading and writing has definitely been important to me when it comes to a social life and to expanding my interests. It’s always great to come here and see what you’ve been up to, Maggie. 🙂
Thanks Teri! I started with computers before the personal computers came on the market, before the Commodore 64 and the like hit the shelves. I learned on a mainframe, using computer cards, boxes of the things, had to carry them around. Dinosaur, yep. Coding our own pages was a lot of work! I remember when I discovered the concept of the template, mind boggling, and it simplified the process. Google stopped picking up pages coded that way, so that is why I switched to WordPress in 2010, reluctantly. The years slip by quickly.
Glad to see you here Teri, and glad to be here myself 🙂 Maggie