February 9th, 2007

The Return and the Going

Many months have passed since we last posted. In the interim, we’ve had a lot of time to think about where this blog is going, what we want from it, and to whom, exactly, we are writing. It initially began as a way for us to prepare for, and document, Jack’s entrance into our lives. We liked the idea of recording all the little, insignificant moments that make up a life together, and preserving them for Jack to read someday when he’s older. We liked the idea of using this space as a kind of memory making. The stuff we put down in writing is the stuff that will remain when we no longer do. That Jack might look back on this and have a sense of who we were before him, who we became through him, and who he was to us, was—and still is—the primary reason for this writing.

But blogging isn’t the same kind of thing as writing in a diary or making a scrapbook. And for awhile I’ve been wrestling with questions that inevitably come from writing about our private life in a public forum. So many of these questions come from my own insecurities: Why make this writing public if it’s ultimately for Jack? Who am I to think that the daily minutiae of our lives is worth reading? What kinds of things should remain unwritten? Does self-censorship work against my ultimate aims for this project? I’d been feeling for awhile like a lot of our posts were often surface-material; I was holding back from the kinds of things that I wanted to write out of self-consciousness, like, you know, the occasional curse word that would perfectly describe my feelings about waking up early every. single. morning. for the last twenty months.

Also, shortly before our blogging hiatus, we found pictures of Jack ‘out there’ in the Internets. Supposedly, there’s some kind of scanning thing that can randomly grab images of sites and put them to use elsewhere. Who knew? So Jack’s mug was on a website in Turkey, among a couple other places. We had also received comments from strangers, and hits from places like the Russia and Oklahoma, where we know no one. I know I should have expected anonymous readers, but really? It freaked me out. It made me feel exposed and vulnerable. The awesome power of the internet is its ability to connect people and ideas in ways never before imaginable; but the invisibility of those connections (or the possibility to remain invisible) sometimes exposes the worst in people. I guess I wasn’t ready for those kinds of transactions.

For all these reasons, we’ve decided to password-protect our site. We may someday go back to a more open kind of blogging, but while we’re figuring it out, it’s our way of keeping the things we write safe in a way. It opens up different issues, like, “Do I really want to write this if I know Andy’s grandfather is reading it?”, but ultimately, I know I’ll be able to let my guard down a bit.

And so we begin again. This kind of forum allows us to accomplish multiple purposes at once: in the present, we write not only for Jack, but also for our parents and our friends and family members when busy schedules and phone-phobias (mine) make connections few; we write to each other—a chance to articulate those things that get unsaid in the day-to-day of living, the moment we should have stopped to share, but were too caught up in it to step back and acknowledge its sweetness; we write because we are at times fully aware of the passing of life, and this medium, with all its possibilities for sharing what we love with the people we love, makes that life a little more expansive, and perhaps, a little less fleeting.

Posted by: Sarah on February 9th, 2007
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