April 04, 2012

Into the Woods

Welcome back, kids! Er, wait... or is that what you say to me? Well, in any case, here I am and here you are. I said I'd be back on the 2nd of April and here I am. Two days later. Oy.

So, yeah... my "blogging break". I mean, I guess it was, in point of fact, a break from blogging so the term still fits technically. However, it wasn't even remotely what I had envisioned in terms of how that time would be spent. I don't know if the universe is trying to teach me something or, more aptly put, what it is that the universe is trying to get me to wake up to, but no sooner did I declare my blogging break than outside forces quickly spoke up for my time and creative energies. You might think that the lesson could be about the power of saying "no". But, these were largely circumstances where choice was not an option.

That also reminds me of a time when I was going to do hell-and-all around the house after taking time away from work only to wake up on that first day with a backache from hell that rendered me useless well past my planned period of productivity. So, I don't know? Maybe my inner child is in some kind of a cosmic tiff with the powers that be? Well, I wish they'd take it to a counselor and leave me the hell out of it!

I don't have the pulse on precisely what's going on with me these days, but something is going on. Mid-life growing pains? I think I can safely say that it isn't a mid-life crisis. Hair restoration programs still seem laughable as opposed to a viable option, I feel no compulsion to replace the one car I've ever had (for 20 years now!) with something flashy and sporty, and I've yet to feel the urge to go a-la-Madonna/JLo and ditch the mister to find me a younger boy toy. I mean, honestly, why would you want one more child to look after?

A friend of mine recently took a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat. That's ten days of no talking, no communicating, ten hours of meditating a day. She said it felt like "someone had taken a toilet brush to my consciousness and connected a locking fastener between my mind and body so now they work in tandem instead of against one another." I don't know about you, but after the last few weeks (or years, if you will) I could use a moment like this. Although, for anyone who has met me, the thought of ME not talking for ten days would be no less miraculous than anything Jesus managed to pull off. When I turned to Kendall to say that I wanted to look into it and that it would involve me being silent for all that time he said, with an undertone of fear, "Oh god! What about when you CAN talk again?!!" Not flattering but utterly justified.

To be perfectly honest, during my time away I actually contemplated whether it may simply be time to end my blogging days here on "The Bedlam." But, obviously, that thought just didn't resonate authentically. I love being a blogger! But, that's not to say that my methods don't need strong reconsideration for the sake of both myself and the blog. I know that I'm ready for a change of pace here but I hesitate to get overly specific just yet about what thoughts I'm currently entertaining in that regard. What I can say is that it will likely mean fewer posts, but more original content. So, we'll see what something different this way comes.

Despite being largely housebound during my hiatus, I did manage to leave the homestead and get myself out into nature which is about my biggest compulsion these days. Fortunately, my friend 'Miss Betty' is a walker and was willing to join me in the Grand Forest here on Bainbridge Island as you will see in the photos here. Something so restorative about birdsong and good conversation. And, I'm still feeling the need for reflection and restoration.



  1. Welcome back!

    I could have written this post. I struggle daily with how I spend my time, whether or not to continue blogging (at least in the manner in which I have in the past few years), and what it all means.

    I think real engagement in waning across the board when it comes to social media, and I suspect that's one of the reasons I am losing interest.

    I also think other platforms like Instagram are making the blog platform less appealing to some, and more and more people are engaging on Instagram and Pinterest.

    Why visit ten blogs for design inspiration when you can look at ten thousand photos on Pinterest? And why go to fifteen personal blogs when you can see what they are doing every minute of the day on Instagram?

    I think the speed with which information and content can be disseminated is changing how we view blogging. Blogging is time consuming compared to these other platforms. And what's the ROI?

    Just rambling, but you get the idea. ;)

  2. I hear ya! I'm also thinking about how I need to redesign my blog/website/online presence to better reflect what I want to do in my life and career. I have a limited amount of hours in a day that I can devote to producing art/content/photographs and as I look more toward a career, producing content for a blog that was my creative outlet is becoming more challenging. I'm also facing two months with the kids home! Help! Email me anytime if you want to chat or talk about ideas. I'm sure whatever you figure out will be awesome!

  3. First, I love the photo's. I'm a nut for the woods. Second, rethinking the blog situation must be going around. I write two blogs most every day, well M-F, and it's tough. I need time to create and that really cuts into that time. Hmmmmmm

  4. It IS that crazy old balance - how to do this while having a life. A real life, not just a life for blog fodder.

    I hear you Nichole on the sped up-ness of instagram and Pinterest and the increased volume of images! I don't know about you but sometimes I find it overwhelming. It's a sea of images that I need to slow down and savour.

    I still like the blog as I want to get to know the person in addition to the image. Just the image isn't enough for me.

    And Leslie, I think you are on to something - staying focused on the "why's" of blogging. Staying true to what you want to get out of this and putting in an appropriate amount of time to get there.

    For me it's about building a community of creatives - in real life and online...

  5. So lovely to have you back, darling. You were missed so.

  6. So glad you shared your thoughts and photos...such a lovely place...it must be in my future as you are the 2nd person to mention it today. I agree with Nichole and her thoughts on all of the social media. The one's that will redefine this platform are the one's such as yourself and Nichole because you are thinking about it and what it all means. You make a valuable contribution and I know you have cool, original content in there that is dying to be shared....xo

  7. Bradford, I feel the same way. All of it. the mid-life thing, yes, every bit of this. I'm glad to see you back though.

  8. First of all I want to give you a great big ol hug for coming back.

    Second, I have no idea what you have up your sleeve but I'll be there to support it.

    Third, that outhouse IS creepy. At first glance, I thought, "I'm kind of liking the fern thing it has going on up top there." Then I realized it's windowless and probably full of bugs. Eek!

  9. beefy,

    you know where i am at in all of this blogging whirl, but i admit, i miss it. obviously, i haven't missed it enough to come back.

    nichole nailed it with her thoughts...too much, too fast, and no real engagement.

    i need people around my table not just showing up in my reader.

    that being said, you can post pretty pictures like these every day and i would come around to 'just be'...beautiful.


  10. Welcome back! We all have these times...the ebbs and flows of life, it seems. I've been going through one myself, more personally than with blogging but it's all the same, isn't it? When one part is out of balance, everything is. Wishing you lots of clarity on your journey! ~Lily

  11. Ello, Uncle! Welcome back! I have to echo Nichole's comments as there are times when I feel overwhelmed by the continual expansion of social media. It feels really good sometimes to switch everything off and take note of what's happened off screen/phone/laptop etc. Happy Easter!

  12. YAY! I'm glad you're back. I'm considering taking a month long break over the summer - just a little breathing room. But I do love, love me some blogging. What I love the most about it is that it holds me accountable to having a story to tell. When I have seemingly nothing to write about I go out and grab life by the balls.


  13. Welcome back Sir! :)

    I think most if us (bloggers) contemplate our purpose and direction constantly...that's what makes us good ones. For me, mine will always be my creative outlet/online journal, and no matter who (if anyone) is reading it, I do it for myself. So...I don't see an end to mine anytime soon. That being said, I also agree a lot with Nicole's thoughts, and yours.

    Those photos are beautiful...what a place of serenity & peace!

  14. Welcome back! I've been missing you!

  15. You are not the only feeling like this these days...I think so many of us are contemplating all of the things Nichole mentioned, and that I presume you are feeling too Bradford!

  16. Love you, mean it - come meditate in SF!! xoxo

  17. I've been struggling a lot lately with whether or not to continue blogging. I love the friends I've made and the community, but sometimes I feel pressure to write often or certain kinds of posts. I get competitive with numbers (not even with anyone else, just with myself). I'm taking a little break this week and I hope it'll help me reassess what I'm doing and where I want to go. But that 10 day retreat does sound heavenly. I've no doubt you'll figure it all out, Uncle B.

  18. I hear you, B. I took a break last week and really loved it. I started the blog as a creative outlet and as a way to connect with others (which I still love) but often feel guilty for not posting more often...even though I'm a small blog. Crazy. It's a tricky thing, this social media. Let me know when you figure everything out & we'll go out for a drink & you can tell me what I should do. ;)

  19. Thinking of you, my friend. I miss you when you aren't "on the boards" but, totally understand the need to step back and re-configure...re-think. Sending huge hugs your way, you are the best.

  20. I am so impressed with the calibre of the comments you got on this post. If anything keeps you a-bloggin, those should do it. I have to say, I also kind of wonder what the point is, as I get less and less feedback on my posts all the time, but I do appreciate the discipline, and the record, so on I go.

    Beautiful photos. They made me feel quite calm on a rather fraught morning. Thanks.

  21. I certainly cannot image you 10 days without talking! Welcome back, beefy b! xx Jeanne

  22. I love these sentiments. Thank you for being so open. I can't tell you how many times I've thought these thoughts then wondered what's wrong with me.
    This is my first time visiting your blog (found it via another blog) but I will definitely stick around for more! Keep your chin up and keep on truckin'.


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