Why I Blog

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When my father was a boy, his father was chosen to be Seafair’s King Neptune, reigning royalty of the city of Seattle.  It was a huge honor, and of course my father couldn’t wait to brag to his friends at school.  But before he had the chance, my grandfather (my generation called him Far Far), stopped him. Because of his affiliation with Boeing (he was an executive then), the committee felt it was a conflict of interest.  They told him he was their first choice, but the honor would go to another man.

Still my dad wanted to brag.  After all, he was young enough that “my father could beat up your father” taunts still reigned on the playground.

But Far Far would have nothing of it.  He explained that if the man chosen for King Neptune–I’ll call him Willard Jones–ever found out he was second choice, he would be devastated.

That was the kind of man Far Far was.  Born in Sweden, and the son of a minister, his stoicism and belief in a quiet humility ruled his every action.

Far Far died nearly twenty years ago, before this current fascination with the self rose to such heights.  I wonder what he would say if I could explain to him why I blog.  “Because I want to share my experiences, Far Far.  I want to showcase my life.  And let’s face it.  I want to sell my book.”

I can imagine his reaction.  He would look at me sternly, his right hand jiggling the coins in his pocket.  He’d ask me for more.  “There’s has to be another reason.”

I would explain to him that I am just catering to my audience.  They ask me about my life.  They want to know what it’s like to throw explosives on avalanche slopes, and trek through Bhutan and dive with sharks.  People are interested in all this Far Far.

He’d twitch his large nose and clear his throat, unconvinced.

And so I am wondering today (this second day of being 40) about how I’d explain it to Far Far.  Of course, I would mention that today’s world has shifted away from nightly news and into online media.  I’d explain that readers need to care about the author–get to know her–before committing to her book.  I would tell him that my dream of being an author has finally come true, and this is how it’s done these days.  It’s all about self-promotion and making one’s own success.

But I’m not sure he’d be convinced.  I’m not sure he could ever really get behind FB updates and twitter feeds, let alone several hundred word blog posts showcasing the inner workings of one’s heart.

I’m just not sure that my grandfather, my hero, would ever approve of all this.

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8 responses »

  1. Dear Kim (a.k.a.- author extraordinaire),

    You are an incredibly talented writer that needs to share your prose and experiences with the world. Some of us privileged people have been able to read your writing for some time and be a part of your life; now it is time you shared it with others. We all have special talents and purposes in life. You have the wondrous gift of putting words together in a truly meaningful insightful manner. The woman I met back in 2003 is not the same woman I know today. You have traveled a long harrowing road in the past 7 years and have come out a strong, gorgeous, compassionate, evolved WOMAN! I feel very fortunate to have you in my life and so glad you are a part of John’s. Welcome to the 40’s, it only gets better☺.

    • Natalie,
      Your words are extraordinary. Thank you. And you are right, what John and I have been through has changed us, for the better. I so appreciate your feedback and lovely support. Can’t wait to see you.
      Kim

  2. Kim,

    There is, and always will be with some people of past generations, a veil between their cultural standards and ours. It’s not a bad thing. One person is not more right or wrong than the other. Time changes generations and culture, we are forever evolving into something different and more technologically advanced. I’d say, you wouldn’t need to try to explain yourself to Far Far, who seems like a wonderful man content with the way he remembers things. You’re on different sides, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t reach a common ground with him about your differences. In the mean time, I don’t think you should beat yourself up about why you blog. You do it because you enjoy connecting with people. We are the new aged Romanticist era. We write about ourselves and what’s important to us, so others will want to communicate, and then we go and read about their lives and what’s important to them. Some blogger friends have even made the effort to meet in person because they had such a connection through blogging. It’s just a different way of meeting people. This is by no means an alternative to communication entirely, however – that I can disagree with. I don’t think this virtual communication needs to be taken to the extreme; people don’t need to sit behind a computer talking through a screen to other people all day, but it is one way to meet others and form friendships. I think your blog is great, and even though I’ve never known Far Far and he is no longer with you, maybe if he could sit down and read what you write about everyday, he would understand.

    • Lauren,
      Your words are beautiful. I do agree that blogging is about reaching out. It’s about putting ourself out there so that others can reach us. Thanks for doing that here. I think it’s important to question my motivations, make sure I’m in it for the right reasons. Meeting people like you makes it all clear. This is worth it.

  3. Though completely unrelated to the sentiments you express here, reading this reminded me of a funny story about your other grandfather, so I thought I’d share.

    One summer Pappy recruited me to teach him to use the computer. Pappy being Pappy, this thing had to be scheduled, so we arranged for lessons at a set time of day several days a week. He got a notebook so he could write things down. It had dividers. He was ready.

    He was, by this time, in his 90’s. His vision deteriorating, his fine motor skills failing (the mouse would fly wildly across the screen), he was determined to “learn the computer.” There was this world he could not navigate, information he could not access. It just wouldn’t do. Children could do it, for crying out loud. Even Gaboo understood computers – she could play Free Cell. Well, no more. That summer, he was a man on a mission.

    He also wanted to understand. It bugged him that he did not understand. One day he turned to me and said, “exactly WHERE is the internet?” A bit nonplussed, I did my best to explain the nature of the world wide web. My explanation irritated him. “It has to be somewhere, ” he said. “It can’t be nowhere.” I tried again, explaining about interconnected servers, web hosts, domain names, and search engines. By this time he was pretty testy. I was not answering his question. If he had not loved me so much, I think he would have yelled or thrown something. It was about a week before he wanted another lesson.

    I don’t know how Fred Huleen would feel about your blog, but I know what Pappy would have said. “What the hell’s a blog?”

    • Susie,
      I love this story. I can just see Pappy saying that the internet “can’t be nowhere”. He had just a brilliant, literal mind. I like to think I carry a few of his determined genes.

  4. Without doubt, you do. I like to think I do as well. I think of him often… many lessons. Oh, and blog away… without reservation. Both of your grandfathers would approve. Of this I am certain.

  5. Kim, the very fact that you question Far Far’s approval assures me that you have it. He is sitting on some cloud (snow-filled) and smiling down on the grand-daughter that stole his heart. He was always so very proud of you and you carry his integrity in your veins. Your other grandfather, Pappy, was a man very much like Far Far, and if Love had not been his middle name ( and it actually was), Integrity would have been. You have so much integrity in your veins, I am surprised you can ski as good as you can. Oh, and by the way, Gaboo, your grandmother is the DNA behind your writing. I guess with all the grand-parents taking care of you from heaven, you have a pretty good thing going for you.

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