SUMMER SISTERS 1963
digital scrapbook collage created on my iphone
One year ago today, during a period of dark and lonely depression (the aftermath of a deeply traumatic experience that had left me terrified to express myself for fear of "giving too much away") I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and made my first, faltering steps into the Land of Blog. It wasn't the greatest of debuts: the short, perfunctory paragraph that accompanied a digital collage, took the best part of a day to write and for some time after, I continued to find blog posting almost as stressful as a visit to my dentist.
At the time of that first post, I hadn't really lived my life for over a year: I hadn't worked; I didn't know who I was any more; I had lost every shred of personal and creative confidence that I had ever possessed, but a close friend had told me "one day, you'll wake up and you'll do SOMETHING. You don't know what it is yet, it may be something you've never done before and you may not understand WHY you are doing it, but you will just do it, because you HAVE TO." His words were like a prayer or a charm because that is precisely what eventually happened: one day, I woke up and created a digital collage, something that I had never done before and I was so surprised that I had made something, after feeling dead inside for so long, that I felt compelled to share it, to say "look World! I'm still here!".
Once I'd settled into my new home in Blogland, I started to take a look around the neighbourhood, visiting the blogs of creative friends and through them, discovering other blogs and making new friends, some of whom began to follow me and leave messages. My confidence grew and I began to share the stories behind the images that I was posting: personal stories, family stories, invented stories. These days, if depression returns and I find it difficult get motivated, I find inspiration in the blogs that I follow: beautiful thoughts, ideas and images, created by equally beautiful human beings. After feeling alone for so long, I now feel part of a wonderful community. So, thanks to all of you because I am absolutely certain, I would not have kept going without you sticking by me and cheering me on, despite occasional "dark periods".
This year, I hope to find the courage to write in more depth about my life and work. As a genealogist, I spend hours seeking out evidences of the lives of my forebears and it has occurred to me that because of my fear of personal disclosure, my blog does not always bear witness to my life as completely as it might. My Slowly Loosing The Plot blog was intended to be more of a personal scrapbook-dairy and I hope to post there more often. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to take a walk, however short, every day and post at least one photo from each walk on the other blog.
The digital scrapbook-collage at the top of this post evolved from a photograph that my father took of my sister Aprill and I, during a seaside trip to Rhyl, Wales, in about 1963. It is dedicated to Prilly who, as a child, always felt that she was walking in my shadow, but actually, she is one of my guardian angels. God bless you sweet sister x