Three years ago, I was a newbie blogger. I didn’t know much about this medium, and I was still trying to figure out how to find readers. I stumbled upon Julie’s Hump Day Hmmm. I wrote a very personal, very difficult post, and posted a link on Julie’s blog. Many of Julie’s readers left me lovely comments, and I went to read their blogs, thereby forming relationships with other bloggers. Instantly, I had found a community of readers.
One blogger left a comment both for me and for Julie. Her comment on Julie’s list of posts was “Emily’s post knocked me flat and I haven’t gotten up since.” I remember this three years later for two reasons. One, I remember shit like that, which is either annoying or impressive, depending upon whether you like to be quoted back to yourself twelve years later. Two, that comment was the encouragement I needed to keep writing, to envision myself a blogger and then a writer.
That commenter was Sarah, once Slouching Towards Forty, but now a few years Slouching Past Forty. What can I say? We all get older.
Sarah has been a friend and a colleague these three years. She and I read each other (although as you know, lately I suck at reading blogs). We email, we’ve even exchanged voicemails, but with five kids between us, we never seem to catch one another in. She is a remarkable writer, adept especially at imagery. Perhaps too lofty a writer for this medium of click-and-click-away.
This week Sarah posted her very last post.
She has her personal reasons for leaving blogging, I am sure. But to me, it is the end of an era. The bloggers who started with me are drifting away, and while new bloggers are finding me, I feel like the curmudgeon in the corner grumbling, “Folks sure ain’t what they used to be.” There are a few of us left – just a few – who have been at this for years, but with Chani’s death and Sarah’s exodus, my online world feels a little emptier.
My grandfather once wrote a poem about growing older that chronicled how one feels at each decade. All the wrote for being an octogenarian was, “Did you ever feel you’ve stayed too long at the party?”
Yes, Grandpa, sometimes I do.
But, I’m still here, still clutching a paper cup with beer, standing in the corner, watching my friends head for the exit.