basic human need, Blogging, borderlands, celebration, Community, exploring, Friends, Living on the edge of the wild, personal, ten years, touching
When I created this blog ten years ago I named it “Living on the Edge of the Wild.” I saw this space as a place to explore what I saw as the borderlands between what we know as humankind and the vast wilderness of what we do not know. I wrote in my first blog post on July 12, 2012:
We all are, in some way, living on the edge of the wild, either literally or figuratively, whether we know it or not. We all are standing at the edge of some great unknown, exploring what it means to be human in a more-than-human universe.
We encounter the “wild” not only in the natural world, but . . . at the edges of science, the arts, and human consciousness.
I began my exploration into the wild quite literally, when our family was living aboard La Gitana and traveling around the world for six years. It became starkly apparent when I was sailing across the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by nothing but the sky above and the sea below, that I was living on the edge of something primitive and uninhibited, vulnerable to potentially terrifying forces that could rip us apart or swallow us whole. And yet those very same forces are what filled our sails and moved us forward, and what cradled us below, harboring in those depths the creatures that astounded us with their beauty and power.
I came to appreciate in the most intimate way how tiny and insignificant we humans appear in the natural world that surrounds and supports us. We are indeed living on the edge of the wild, the largely untamed and unknown world into which we are born, exploring the borderlands that lay between the human and the more-than-human worlds, and the ways they overlap and mirror each other.
Looking back over the past ten years of blogging, I’ve tried to stay true to that original vision. sharing my thought on what fascinates me in nature, the arts and sciences, as well as my own creative endeavors and explorations of what it means to be a mother, a writer and someone who worries about the world—who wants to save it and savor it—all its beauty and joy—at the same time.
Over the years I’ve managed to gather 10,000+ followers (according to the website metrics which is not always accurate). But interest in my posts wane and flow, and sometimes, for personal reasons, I’ve let the blogging trickle to a near stop. Eventually, I’ve always returned. Because there’s still so much I want to explore, so many things I discover (books, artwork, music) that give me such pleasure I want to share them with others, and because blogging meets a basic human need—to touch others and be touched in return.
That was the topic of my most popular post, “Blogging and the Accident of Touching,” written nine years ago. I wrote:
We’ve all heard how physical touching is essential to human health and happiness. They say people can shrivel up and die for want of being touched or having someone to touch. A simple pat on the shoulder, a hug, a hand squeeze can make all the difference. Merely having a pet, they say, saves lives.
But there’s a basic human need for another kind of touching—from the inside out. Touching others with what means the most to us, our deepest responses to the world around us. Keeping those unspoken, unexpressed, can be as withering as being untouched physically. Which is why, perhaps, so many writers and artists will give their work away for free if need be, just to allow what’s inside out into the world where it can touch others, and “evoke responses.”
I’ve enjoyed reaching out and touching others over these past ten years, and being touched in return by your likes and responses, and by reading and responding to your blog posts. I’ve made several dear blogging friends whom I’ve never met but feel I know quite well. I’ve learned so much sharing this space with you.
So please accept my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have been with me from the very beginning, to those of you who have stopped by from time to time, and to those who have only recently tuned in to see what this space is all about. Thank you for helping me celebrate a decade of “Living on the Edge of the Wild.”