Thursday, February 16, 2012


Been thinking quite a bit about words lately.  26 letters to our alphabet. Not a lot really. Purposefully arranging them creates meaning.

Does knowing the meaning of words necessarily guarantee understanding?
Recently watching Ken Burns Louis and Clark, I was reminded once more that we "know" about the people and incidents of the past by their letters and journals. But there is that element of wondering. In Skylark, the sequel to Sarah Plain and Tall, Sarah tells Caleb it's what's between the lines that let her see into Jacob's meaning in his letters. By then she knew Jacob pretty well and felt comfortable with reading between his lines. But still....
I haven't been very successful in keeping a printed journal in my lifetime. With the exception of the few weeks of the summer of 1984, I've destroyed every written journal I've ever kept. When I've reread them later I found it impossible to get back into the skin I was in when they were written and felt if they were to be read some time after I died, I would be misunderstood.

This format of journal keeping, the blog, has been a new venture in journaling. I find it helpful to add photos as clarification, but still...
We can never really know whether or not our words are being received as they are intended.  What we leave out often impacts the context as much as what we include.
In a time when "communication" is accomplished at lightning speed, I worry that the opportunity for  misunderstandings multiplies. I spend considerable time composing responses to my blogging friends' posts. Recently, however, I was clearly misunderstood in a comment I left. I spent a good part of a day feeling bad about that and found it hard to want to respond to anyone for a while.
When isolated as often as I am, it is the typed word that is my connection. To myself, to you. I struggle with those 26 letters.
What began as a means for keeping Jerome involved in my life here at the farm, by blog, has grown into something more. I am not the same today as I was at the time of my first post. That's the point really.
This morning I'm pondering the idea that it is through the experience of revisiting that girl/woman that I am able to see the real journey she's been on and I regret destroying the earlier records I have of her struggles.
I am truly thankful for blogspot for allowing me to look back as I make my way forward.


  1. I think you manage very well with the 26 letters Sharon. You are one of the most eloquent bloggers I know. I have kept all of my diaries since I was a teen. I hardly know the girl that speaks to me, but it is who I was back then. It is easy to be misunderstood in our blog posts and comments as we only have words to express ourselves and not our tone of voice or facial expressions. We can only hope that we have conveyed ourselves in the way that we wished to. Thank you so much for your lovely and encouraging comments on my posts Sharon. They stay with me all day.

  2. So well put, as always, Sharon. I too have destroyed many old journals, but in recent years, have tended to keep them as learning tools for my own growth. And yes, my blog has been a real record of some very important years in my life.
    You write such thoughtful comments on some blogs that I also read, I cannot imagine you being misunderstood. I know that I treasure every comment you have ever left on Hartfelt.