Friday, January 4, 2013
New Year, New Directions
On East Ninth Street in Tucson stands America's first humanitarian, sustainable, US-made clothing line and store that feeds 12 emergency meals to hungry Americans per item sold. It’s called Fed by Threads. In 2012, they created 21,180 emergency meals. I’ve never been to this place of business, but today I became the store’s friend on Facebook. You may well ask why. I’ll tell you why. They posted something that caught my eye and resonated with a dilemma I’ve faced regarding this blog and the blogosphere in general. I also like their values. Here’s what the post said:
“People ask ‘Why do you post about food and lifestyle choices on a clothing page?’ and the answer is we NEVER planned on being in the clothing industry but we sure as heck are all about shaking the trees, shifting how we think and consume, and believe firmly in voting with our dollars. Clothing just happens to be the vehicle that lets us talk about the things we think are important: supporting the US economy, protecting the environment, and helping the needy. You dig??”
But on to my dilemma, and why Fed by Threads’ post touched on it. On September 7, 2011, I started this blog, “A Year of Standing Still.” If you’ve been following it more or less, you know that I was embarking upon an experiment in which I asked, “Is it possible for me to intentionally love this city that I’ve never liked—Albuquerque?” It’s a city where, for various reasons, I have spent nearly one-third of my life. It is the place where I have bought a home in a neighborhood I don’t much care for.
As a writer, my main mission is to touch people for the better with my writing, whether in articles, books, essays, or blogs. This goal resembles the goal of Fed by Threads—to shake trees, shift thinking, do things that impact the world around us for the good. Writing about my experiment in “A Year of Standing Still” helped me to make deliberate explorations and changes that have enabled me to feel that I will continue to stand still in the Q for some time to come. Although I hope that some things I wrote may have touched others in the ways they needed to be touched, the blog thus far has been very much about my process in coming to terms with where I live. It has been less about fulfilling my main intentions as a writer. Nevertheless, it has been useful to me, and I’m grateful to everyone who has taken the journey, or parts of it, with me. Along the way, comments by readers helped me move through this process.
As 2012 came to a close I thought, This experiment is mostly finished. I’d like my blog to reflect more of the other things I write about, things that are more closely aligned with my purpose as a writer, things that might shake a few trees. This could include but not be limited to: cultural contact and conflict; the fluidity of identity, including the concept of third culture kids; unity in diversity; saving the planet in the many ways that it needs saving; and the beauty and tragedy of the earth and being human.
I thought about abandoning “A Year of Standing Still” (AYOSS) and starting a brand new blog. According to one writer, a mutual friend of ours abandons her blogs like babies left at the orphanage door. I thought about continuing AYOSS, though perhaps less frequently, as it is and simultaneously starting up a second blog. I also thought about changing AYOSS to include explorations of the Q & NM now and then, while mostly writing about the other topics I’ve mentioned. I would also include more reviews and some interviews. I’m grateful to Fed by Threads for helping me segue into the latter of these answers to my dilemma.
So, dear readers, expect some changes, some of them already visible. “A Year of Standing Still” has become “Standing Still”—more thoughts about that to come shortly. And I sincerely hope that there will be some tree-shaking, some heart-touching, and some inspiration. Also, next time I visit Tucson, I’ll be stopping in at Fed by Threads. You might like to check out their page on Facebook.