Reflection: A Year In Blog-Writing

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It has been a year since I created this blog. Although I didn’t do as much writing over the past year as I had intended, (not even remotely as much,) I feel pretty satisfied with the things I did write. The most logical challenge that I can set before myself at this point is to commit to writing more, while trying to maintain my personal standards for quality of entries.

I certainly don’t fancy myself to be an exceptional writer, but the things I write are all rooted in something that is profound to me. If it doesn’t stir some level of emotion in me, or it doesn’t translate revelations I have had into language that other people can understand and possibly even appreciate, it has no place amongst all the other entries. As deeply in love with the English language as I am, I have pressed into it with enough force to have discovered some of its limitations. There are some things I have experienced that I couldn’t even begin to describe. This year, what I want to do is write about those things. It will likely be an exhausting endeavor, and even as I write this, a small voice within me is saying, “Surely you must be kidding yourself. Surely this isn’t the journey upon which you intend to embark.” It isn’t exactly a kamikaze mission, but a significant challenge it may certainly be considered.

I have undoubtedly neglected my personal writing goals for the majority of the past year, and this indicates to me that I really need to set structured requirements for myself as a writer as I go forth into the future. If I don’t prioritize my writing, it will not flourish. And if I allow my writing to stagnate, I will be destroying a large and important piece of myself. My hope is that readers will grace me with their feedback, informing me of what they would like to read about, what knowledge of my own they would like me to share, and how they feel about various things I have written. I would like to expand my library of inspiration by whatever means possible.

To those of you who have accompanied me on this journey thus far, know that I truly appreciate you. I want to take you to new places, show you perspectives you might not have ever seen before, and possibly even inspire you along your own journey. May we all have a remarkable year for exploring our lives and immortalizing our experiences through writing. Thank you all.

On A January’s Eve

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It was the twenty-first of January, a time of year that is usually characterized by ice-glazed snow piled along the streets and driveways, blackened slush that had thawed and re-frozen upon the medians, treacherous, gleaming-white ice where the roadways and walkways should be, and a lingering sense of dread at the thought of having to go outside for any reason. January is usually a dead month in Illinois, a period of time our minds record as an uneventful haze that bookmarks the long wait for spring to sound its trumpets of returning glory.

It didn’t look or feel a thing like January on this day. The air was mildly temperate, enough so that a coat was unnecessary. Breezes stirred and scattered the remaining leaves left behind by the previous fall, and the holdout birds who stay to weather through the winter leisurely picked at a meal they would normally have to fight the elements to attain.

The enchanting winter sunsets that all Illinoisans have come to expect still splashed and ran their watercolor shades across the sky. Inky scratches of bare trees plunged into the frame of glowing embers of daylight. We sat on the hill beside the pond, and the evening had fallen so quiet that we couldn’t bring ourselves to speak. Our eyes drank in this unusually serene scene, and we grew as still as the ground on which we sat. We watched a badger silently carve a V-shape through the surface of the water as he swam from the woods to his burrow on the opposite side of the pond. Flocks of Canadian geese passed overhead, honking their famous ballad all the way.

I snapped pictures from every angle around me, trying to capture this remarkable evening in an urn of immortality. A strange beauty, kept agelessly in a vessel for all eternity. Even as the roaring fire of golden sunlight died down into the black horizon, this sunset would never be doomed to an ending. This day goes on living in my mind, indexed by a collection of photographs.