January 2013 (c) SMG

Exactly one year ago, with considerable technical assistance from my daughter, I began the adventure of blogging.  I thought it might be a good way to organize my thoughts and keep a circle of family and friends enlightened as my children and I tried to navigate the first year after my husband Jim’s death.

I thought it might also enable me to share Jim’s story, and help keep him with all of us.  His unerring grace could be an example–perhaps, most of all, to me.

Along the way, I have been surprised and moved by responses from people we know and people we likely will never meet.  More than 900 readers have taken the time to leave comments on the first year’s posts.  Two of my five most frequent commenters are women I have never met, but I can say with certainty that I adore them and their writing and know we would be “real-life” friends.

I have been inspired by other bloggers’ stories and photographs and artwork, and enlightened by their perspectives.

My most-read post was not the one that was “Freshly Pressed”; it was an account of an event I never could have conceived of when I started the blog.

Blogging has brought me fun facts: in the past twelve months, people have dropped in from 95 different countries, including the Isle of Man, Panama, Finland, Luxembourg, Gabon, Djibouti and Morocco.  Today people have visited from four continents, and 14 countries are represented among this week’s readers.  In the last seven days, the second leading source of visitors was Trinidad and Tobago.  I have seen my posts translated into Arabic and Russian and Spanish and Japanese.

I have learned that people who type in the search term “live shagging” are likely looking for something very different than they get here: an account of Jim shagging flies on the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

Evidently Pablo Neruda’s poetry is very popular among my readers, as is the late and lonesome Solitario Jorge.

My name is the most common search term.   At first I was a bit unnerved at the frequency of searches which couple my given first and last name with “murder” and “murdered.”  I soon discovered that a notorious murderer shares my name.

The search terms “Freddy Krueger tombstone” and “biker gangs in Scotland” also somehow will get you to my posts–as will “weary of chickens,” “bad beagle blog,” “indigo autistic idiot savant syndrome,” and, “did albert einstein know what a quark was?”

My favorite search engine phrase is the amazingly elaborate one that included this snippet: “during consultation, the patient said that he is married to a fairy that he loves so much and that he can hear voices from space telling him that his daughter. . .” (My search engine page leaves me hanging at that; I wonder what this reader may have been looking for?). Continue reading “Blogiversary!”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

January 2013

Resolved: I will look up.

“Resolve” originates in the Latin resolvere: to “loosen, undo, settle, fasten”–a seemingly paradoxical combination of the intensive prefix re and solvere.  (The word “resolve” did not become commonly used as a noun signifying determination until at least a century later.)

Somewhat like the metaphorical thin spaces–which seem quite dense to me–I wonder how the same word can mean both becoming settled and becoming undone.

On the other hand, isn’t that also what the process of grief is?  I have become undone by it, but it also has settled into me, not necessarily always for the worse.   It has given me the resolve to do what I feel I must to honor Jim in this new life without him.


What are the Odds?


Please give me a little leeway and try to get past the next paragraph.  I apologize, profoundly, in advance.

Before dawn, one of my beautiful rescue dogs relieved himself in the snow and made a perfect outline of a swan–the feathered back, the delicately curved beak, the bend of a graceful neck.  (I’ll spare you a photograph; some things, as my aunt once wrote, are best left to the haze of imagination.)

And it actually occurred to me to ask one of my children for a statistical assessment of the odds: what is the actual numerical probability that such a discharge would hit all those points on a plane coincidentally?  Because the only other option seems to be that my otherwise slightly special beagle is supremely artistically talented.  (Perhaps, like I, he is an idiot savant?) Continue reading “What are the Odds?”

Don’t Step on the Saints!

Bowdoin College Chapel (c) SMG 2012

I have always been afraid of stepping on saints . . . .but more about that later.

If there is one thing about the merry side of Christmas that will forever be intertwined with my husband Jim, it is the eye twinkle.  My husband was svelte and clean-shaven, where Santa is hirsute and on the husky side, and gives little hint of a diet outside my own preferred one of milk and cookies.  But they share a patented twinkle. Continue reading “Don’t Step on the Saints!”

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