Why would anyone choose to blog? Probably as many reasons as there are bloggers. Closer to home. Why do I blog? I think that it’s an attempt to capture a little part of a fleeting day. Time slips by almost without notice. Blogging is like a net that captures a butterfly with iridescent wings for a moment before you let it go.
I’ve kept a journal for years. There are gaps of days and at times, even weeks, in those journals. Sometimes, just getting through some days is enough without documenting it, but the entries that are there are captured memories.
A discussion I had with my friend, JoAnn, about journaling and blogging caused me to flip through some of my older journals. One particular entry, from March 11, 2002, caught my eye because it was in poetic form. Not my normal mode of expression in the journal. Through the words on the page, that particular day rushed back into focus.
I was taking a poetry class, in addition to teaching, at the time. According to my entry, an assignment to analyze a poem entitled Elvis in Hell by Michael Waterson was overdue. For some reason (maybe because it was a poetry class?) I opted to complete the analysis of the poem in free verse and the rough draft and editing notes were worked out in the pages of my journal. I don’t know why. Maybe because I had pen in hand, the pages were there, and that’s what I was thinking about at the time. The poem is much more than an analysis of Elvis in Hell. It’s a snapshot of my life at that moment. That time and place and emotion were captured because I keep a journal.
I’ve decided to blog because it’s a more public commitment. I have gaps in my journals because I was the only one looking at them. A blog is different somehow. The commitment is stronger, even though it’s self imposed.
The blog has not replaced my journal. The entries are shorter these days, but there’s a place for private and a place for public, and, at least in my view, they can happily co-exist.