This blogging thing is more complicated than I expected.
Some of my issues are regular journaling issues. I always have problems starting out a new journal because I feel compelled to introduce myself... to myself? Up until now, all of my journals have been physical books, yet I always felt I needed an introduction. As though, if one were to be found one day independant of all of the others, that I would be introducing myself to a new reader who knew nothing about me.
I always had this invisible future audience in mind. As though my journals would be found one day after I died and published (isn't that every writer's egotistical fantasy?) or perhaps somehow lost, then found and spread out through flea markets until one fell into the hands of a publisher and discovered for their brilliant secrets. I always chose beautiful hardbound books, which would certainly entice the random flea market hunter.
The irony is that, after 17 years of keeping journals, they all were lost. They were, quite literally, lost and spread out for anyone to find.
We had just moved from New Orleans to Long Beach, Mississippi, and had not yet fully unpacked, so all 17 years worth of journals were safely boxed in a closet when Hurrican Katrina hit. Along with everything else in our life, by the end of that storm, those journals were carried out to the gulf.
Or maybe it wasn't as neat and tidy a move as that. Our house was one of the last to fall at the debris line, which means that hours of waves swept through our home, dismantling and eroding until there was nothing left but a bare slab of concrete. Those waves moved in and out of the coastline for miles. When it was over, people were finding the rare belonging literally miles from home.
My journals could have been swept out to the bottom of the gulf in one swift motion, or the box could have deteriorated and the journals could have scattered... possibly finding that imaginary audience I always felt lurking.
I imagine them, swollen and buckled, stained and torn, ink partially washed away, half buried in sand and under debris. I picture new hands picking them up. I see new eyes, surprised and awash with empathy, glancing at the secrets that I never truly believed would remain secret.
Or maybe they are just gone. Totally destroyed and gone. The more likely scenario. Not nearly as romantic.
All of it is a little too much to contend with when contemplating starting to journal again. This is why I haven't done any writing since August of 2005. Why bother if it could all be lost again? Regardless of whether I was just writing for myself or for that shrouded audience, it was a lot of work, a lot of dedication, a lot of thought, gone in a matter of moments. What's to prevent that from happening again in a fire or some other catastrophe? Nothing.
So I chose blogs. Blogs, which are susceptible to even more outside forces of destruction, I am sure. But maybe not. If my house burns down, my blog will remain safely stored in the ether. If my blog platform crashes and burns, I'll have my own backup. It's a loose insurance policy and I am all about multi-layer insurance policies these days.
This brings me back to the question: to introduce or not? This time, there really is an audience, however random and non-repeating it may be. Do I owe them some sense of a foundation for these teetering towers of type?
I'm going with "no" this time. What the hell, it's worth a shot.