|image courtesy of The Mag|
It was a particularly apt prompt from The Mag this week, today being my first anniversary of blogging, of being ‘Isabel Doyle’.
My experiment in blogging has taken me from my place of exile across the globe. I’ve met interesting people from many walks of life; some have remarkably similar outlooks to mine, snippets of shared experiences and shared places; some are scholarly, some are fun, some angst-ridden and some full of questions and wisdom. I’ve sat awe-struck at the feet of poets and story-tellers, and been moved to laughter and tears by what I’ve read. I’ve gasped with naked jealousy over some of your gardens and walks, and I’ve winced in sympathy over bad luck, bad news and life’s miseries. I’ve sung with second-hand joy at your triumphs and delights. Some blogs make me homesick – for various places and times in my life – and some blogs make me grateful for being here and not there.
I’ve been frankly confused by some virtual relationships and mystified by cruel attacks and rants. Mostly I’ve been touched by the kindness of strangers, the encouraging remarks, the thoughtful words, the flow of goodness and energy.
I’ve shared stories of the life of exile and I’ve told you a bit about myself – probably far more than I realise. I offered you my own poems and my translations of poems attributed to my great hero Lucius Annaeus Seneca, and you have responded politely and kindly to my efforts. You’ve listened patiently to my cat-tales and dramas and been interested in some of the strange objects I live with (Buddhas and teapots to name a few).
I’ve avoided geographical references, politics, religion and human rights, although these are subjects I feel passionately about, they are not safe for me here. I try to keep under the radar of censorship and arrest, all the while knowing my every keystroke is monitored and recorded.
I’ve tried to protect my family from embarrassment by not revealing names and places, and I have kept my health battles fairly quiet. I have a horror of moan-blogs where ailments and treatments are measured for medals and sympathy.
I started Written in Exile a year ago today, with the help of my daughter ‘Prima’, mostly as a distraction – therapy if you will – from my spectacular ill health. A year ago none of us believed I’d still be here today, writing and posting, but clearly I am.
Thank you all for reading, commenting and following. You’ve kept me inspired, encouraged and sane.