Saturday, May 24, 2008


It’s my blog’s birthday! Exactly two years ago I started “Shadows and Light” with a very inauspicious post.

I was sitting at my desk at work in the middle of the day, having a bored moment. I thought a blog might be a good way to show off some of my photos, having not yet discovered the wondrous Flickr. (Since then, I haven’t written any blog postings from work -- I always do it at home. Take note, boss!)

Blogging has been an interesting journey. Sometimes I’ve loved it, sometimes I’ve hated it. I’ve written some pieces I really liked (here, for example) and used it to show off older writing that never found any audience (here and here). I’ve also had days when I’ve struggled to come up with just a sentence or two.

I almost quit blogging a couple of times, weighed down by a feeling of obligation and the fatigue of ceaselessly gathering ideas. But gradually I'm realizing that I’m not under any obligation at all. And when I don’t feel obligated, not surprisingly, the ideas flow more freely and the whole enterprise becomes a lot more fun.

The blog has certainly evolved, too. Back in the beginning I wrote less. I was concerned about making my life public on the Internet, and besides, who cared anyway? I’ve slowly loosened up and now I say more, though brevity is still a cornerstone of my blogging practice.

And I do think of it as practice. It’s a form of mindfulness, to distill the disjointed chaos of every day into a few coherent lines of text. Another reason to keep it short -- I don’t want to get bogged down in what’s already happened. I just want to show how it brought me to where I am now.

And now, I’m celebrating! Happy birthday, blog!

(Photo: Proteus flower found on the sidewalk on E. 29th Street, May 2008)


  1. The flower pic is beautiful.

    H A P P Y B L O G B I R T H D A Y

    Yes Flickr is great but it's a really different thing than blogging. I'm so happy you were bored enough to become a part of this ongoing social history, this experiment in brand new community-building and story sharing.

    You are a great blogger. I salute you!!

  2. Dennis wonders is there going to be a celebration for the blog? is there food involved?

  3. A proteus flower. well I never heard of that one.

    Congrats, Steve.

  4. happy bloggingversary!!

    I'm so happy you haven't quit as it might of met that I wouldn't have met you! knowing you has brought much light to my life and no shadows!!

    from your first post:
    "tribute to my favorite musician, Joni Mitchell"....if I didn't know better, I'd ask again if we weren't separated at birth!

  5. "a form of mindfulness..." I like that.

    Glad you kept on blogging, Steve. I always enjoy my stopover at your place.

    Congrats and here's to many more blog anniversaries.

  6. Steve: I had to check out Miss Austria. She reminds me of how I imagined Goldilocks all grown up - as a kid, I did a lot of thinking about Goldilocks' career options after she left the bears :-)
    Too bad Miss First Runner Up didn't turn to philosophy - she would have done wonders for the profession.

  7. Happy Birthday! Your blog doesn't look a day over 1.

  8. ha! i wouldn't say that was so inauspicious. just look at my first ever:


    i'm SO glad you started and continue to blog
    Happy blog-birthday