Welcome. This blog has existed in some form or another since January 2005. Technically it began even earlier, when I maintained a diary-like updates section on my first website, built in 2001 to accompany my print zine Thoughtworm. But it wasn’t until 2005 that I opened an account on Xanga and began to purposefully keep a blog. Since then I’ve switched platforms a few times, and they’ve each had their pros and cons, although I’ve been mostly pleased with WordPress, at least from a functionality standpoint.
Originally intended as a way to connect with others while I was living alone in the middle of nowhere, the blog has also often served as a creative outlet, including providing raw material for Thoughtworm while I was still publishing it. In the years since I began, though, both my situation and my motivation for blogging has changed, as has the Internet itself and how people interact in a digital way. I don’t want to romanticize the past, and of course it always looks different in retrospect, but the Internet really did feel like a much smaller place in the early 2000s. People seemed less jaded and more open to new interactions. There was less careful curation and more spontaneous sharing. Since I left Xanga I have never recaptured that initial sense of virtual community I experienced there. Of course, by the time I left Xanga had become overrun by preteens, and most people I used to interact with had jumped over to the next big thing (MySpace!). Since then my experience with blogging has leaned toward the ambiguous.
Throughout much of its lifespan, this space has suffered from an identity crisis. In the beginning it was a personal blog. Like its creator, though, it’s always been restless in its focus. As my interests changed, my priorities shifted, and my emotional life continued to metamorphose, so did the blog. But still, it never morphed into one single type of blog. I often post about nature and birds, but this is not a birding or nature blog, so it does not attract readers and creators of those blogs. I’ve written about cycling and bike commuting, but it’s not a cycling blog so it doesn’t attract cycling enthusiasts. I post about literature, but the blog is not a book blog so it rarely attracts regular readers and writers of those kinds of blogs (although it is the book reviews posted here that now draw the most search engine referrals). At times I also post my own creative writing, but it’s not really a writer’s blog, per se. Sometimes I post about music and film, but it’s definitely not a music or a film blog. After acquiring a new camera I started posting more photos, but this is decidedly not a photography blog. If anything, it is merely a (partial) reflection of myself and, as such, I suppose it remains what it has always been: a personal blog. To me, though, this space still feels nebulous and as a result I feel a certain amount of ambivalence toward it. Much of the old writing here repels me now, and yet I have not taken it down. I’m not sure why.
If this is your first time visiting, a few explanatory notes might be helpful. For one, there could be weeks and maybe even months when nothing new appears, although I try to avoid that. Rest assured, though, that the blog will never be dead until I’ve literally taken it down. And then there is the confusion of subject matter. It’s chaotic at best: seemingly random reposts, quotes from books, old music videos, photos of birds, bits of presumed creative writing, occasional rants. There is no common thread, other than the person doing the posting, who appears to remain elusive. If you are confused upon arrival, I recommend digging around in the archives (coded as In Search of Lost Time in the right sidebar). You might be surprised at what you find (I know I am sometimes). There is also an extensive Personal Taxonomy available in the right sidebar below the archives (and a ‘free text’ search box below that). This hierarchical keyword list can be helpful in locating specific subject matter. The top menu bar also includes links to book reviews and various pieces of creative writing. I’m a library cataloger by trade, so I’ve tried to make the archives as accessible as I can given the limitations of the platform.
I don’t know if this explanation helps, or if it is even necessary. But here it is nonetheless. If you’ve read this far, thank you for your patience and interest. Comments are welcome at any time on any post, no matter how old.