Sunday, October 2, 2011

Memory Lane and Shadow Battles

Not all who wander are lost......
 About every couple of months I try to go back and look at some of my older posts, especially some of the ones scattered across the web in other locations.   If you have kept a blog for a long time, or more than one, you should try it.  It is like a kind of retreat.  Literally, in the sense of retracing your steps!

Or if you keep photo albums or scrapbooks, take a Sunday afternoon once in a while to flip through them and think and remember.  Maybe you will find yourself with a restored outlook or a reminder of something you have half-forgotten, or a changed attitude towards one of your children.  I know I always come away with something when I retreat back in time this way.

So if you are still here, I am now going to strew old dormant blogs of mine in your path! 

Once for about 3 years I kept an unschooly type journal called Mo Shuile Togam Suas (if you don't know what that says, I guess you are part of the billions of folk who don't speak Gaelic -- I am another of those billions of folk, but I found it somehow after I visited Ireland in 2007 -- I guess it is Scottish Gaelic, not Irish, but then I am of Scottish descent myself, though my children are a mixture).

Mo Shuile Togaum Suas  "I will lift my eyes...."
I love the header so much Icredit to Ron and Andrea at that every time I visit  I want to start writing there again, but then I tell myself, "I started this blog (Quotidian Reader) so that I could combine my blogs, so I wouldn't spend so much time online, etc."   But it makes me wish I journaled here more, because I love looking back through my old journals.  "Oh, I remember when we celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day....and when Aidan had his G-Tube out....!" 

I also used to run Sierra Highlands.  

This blog was for my more general commentary, though of course some autobiography wound  its way in).   Before that, it was called In a Spacious Place, and before that Every Waking Hour, and those names reflect changes in focus.  I went from unschooling discussion, more to Charlotte Mason/classical/general education commentary, and then I started writing more about family things and less about homeschooling per se.    I am proud of that blog and I often go there to look things up -- quotes, especially, because I put a lot of good quotes on there.  But I rarely read through it so contentedly with a smile on my face as I do with my journal posts.

I stopped updating it soon after my father died, and after some time offline I started up this blog that you are reading now.   

Now we come to  Schola et Studium.

I started it a few years ago when I moved away from unschooling into an Ambleside type curriculum, so I could have a place to keep plans and learning logs.   It took on a life of its own because I do love to plan and recordkeep and make pretty things.   I rarely read through it anymore, but I like to visit it sometimes because it is so pretty and organized, and looks like someone else altogether was running it, someone who had a spark of energy that I currently lack.  Or maybe I am preserving it for actual interaction with my kids -- I'm not sure.   Anyway, that's not me right now, though sometimes I wish I could get it back.  Sigh.

Finally there is House and Hold.

House and Hold
This was the first blog I ever started.  I kept it quiet because I was just learning how to blog.  Eventually it became something like a household notebook where I kept minutiae related to house management and health and kitchen things, things that concern my vocation as "the heart of the home" (which was the original name of the blog, but I changed it because I wasn't really talking about heart things, so the title seemed misleading, and also Elizabeth's beautiful blog had a very similar title).

I hardly ever look at my household notebook blog now.   My favorite part of it is the description:
Celebrating Simplicity, Leisure, Order and Wonder in a Family of Nine in the Sierra Mountains.

Gee, I wish.  But we are no longer nine in the Sierras, and the abstract nouns were always aspirations more than day to day reality.    I still like the sound of it though.  PerhapsI should have called it "Reaching Towards Simplicity.etc"

I sense uneasily that I wrote almost this same exact post not too long ago.  Ah, that's what happens when you get old.  My husband's grandfather used to say that.   He is the original owner of that cabin pictured above, which belongs to his daughter now, my mother in law  That's what the cabin looked like originally, I think in the 40's or even earlier.     

What is the point of this ramble down bloggy Memory Lane? 

Well, several thoughts came up while I was writing it.   The only one I really feel like writing out, though, is that when I look back on five or more years of blogging, what I am gladdest to have kept are the journals and the quotes.   Then there are a handful, a small handful, of what might be called articles that I feel good about having written.  The ambiguity with these latter ones, though, is that I remember vividly how much time and focus they took.  I have mixed feelings about spending so much time on something that is, really, more a hobby than anything else.   I know that those few really good ones took more than I normally have at my fingertips.  So it's nice that I was able to write them, but it doesn't really feel like it was me, somehow.   I probably can't explain it any better than that.  I feel differently when I spend a lot of time and effort on something that is useful to someone else.  Then it doesn't disturb me so much.

The other times I feel vaguely troubled about something I've written in the past is when I feel like I'm trying somehow to pretend to be someone I'm not.  I don't do it on purpose.   But sometimes I am conscious that there is a role out there to be filled -- and my writing self inadvertently tries to rush in to fill the perceived vacuum.     I suspect it's the same part of me that wants to be of help, but in this case is taking the wrong approach. .... like being the Shadow Warrior (the Kagemusha one, for you Kurosawa fans who are reading this, not the video game I found when I googled just now).


If you become an impersonator, it's hard to stop.  All those blogs were parts of my life that I was concerned enough with to want to blog about, but I think I probably started and left blogs because I felt like they were trying to turn me into The Person Who Blogs Here and that was only one part of me.  I don't think it's really the blogs though, and it certainly isn't the readers, because I've always had readers who have a similar supply of separate hats they wear in their different roles, so they know how it is.    It's something about me.    I'm just writing it down so next time I am looking through old posts it will remind me of something I need to think about occasionally!


  1. wow, Willa... You look to me as a committed learner, mom, teacher, writer, friend. I feel the same an inpersonator, when I read some former posts, they look as if written by someone else. I need to go back to memory lane, and maybe republish what is worth.

    Lately I am like you a few months ago... No time or inspiration. And instead of changing blogs , I simply am a bit confused about mine. I do not know what it is about anymore, so I guess it will just be Silvia's blog.

    Could you point me to those articles. I benefit from everything you write, I am sure I would love reading those... I may honestly help you not to feel bad about the time you put, and trust me, I want to read them for selfish reasons, I am not trying to patronize you.

    Hugs to my favorite writer!


  2. I first met you at Every Waking Hour. You had a winter theme on your blog. Wow ... what a trip down memory lane. :)

  3. I loved your Every Waking Hour, that's when I first began reading your blog(s), I sometimes go back and read it, mostly when you link back.


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!