sunflowerI’ve tried a half dozen times this morning to find a way to post something here without giving myself the dry heaves.

Maybe this 11th anniversary of Fragments this week represents a titer of blogging antibodies such that I am now in some kind of rejection of the tissue of my own words.

The dog catching her first squirrel: Oh please.

The surge protector sudden death yesterday on top of a power outage: I wanna die.

Talking about TEDx and some new software and aha! moments in the shower: get over yourself.

Is this what happens when your blog turns 11? You want to ralph at whatever trivia you attempt to regurgitate, an effort whose purpose totally eludes you? You feel foolish bearing your soul when most of your readers come your way from google searches for “how many meats are they in a turtle?”

It is put up or shut up time. After every plant and insect and season and family pet and domestic crisis and garden vegetable and hyperlocal drama and civic event and digital discovery and environmental problem and solution has become the dead kicked horse of Fragments from Floyd, where does a blogger go that would make anyone want to follow?

Sometimes I think maybe that Strange Farmer of Erewhon (a Fragments-allegory from July 2002) really is mad, after all, and his wife was right.

“Friends I have never met will come”, said the farmer without certainty. “Strangers will come who did not know that they wanted to know about these things that they see here until they have seen them. In seeing them, they will see into me and trust me, and we will share the deep things of our hearts with each other, me and my visitors.”

The old fool is off to the garden now, to wait and see who will come, knowing they will seldom stop and rarely glance his way at all any more. But what else is he going to do, because after 11 years, if he stopped laying these shiny things before his potential visitors, he would simply disappear into thin air. Of this, he is certain.


Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Goodness Fred. So grim! I don’t know what to say to this. Snap out of it!! And since you bring it up, how many meats ARE they in a turtle, anyway?

  2. Four days of rainy-day crazies followed by things breaking and a dentist appointment and grass so high you could hide a giraffe. I need a change of scenery for sure. I don’t think I’ve ever confronted an empty screen of a morning with less inspiration or drive. It is worrisome, I confess, and I didn’t say anything earlier for mere affect. I think my mojo threatens to join the Foreign Legion. And they are seven kinds of meat in a turtle. I made the mistake of blogging this years ago and it brings far more visitors than them what comes of a purpose. Say! Maybe what I need is a hobby. How hard could it be to find snapping turtles wit yer feets?

  3. I feel your pain… My eighth anniversary passed yesterday and I didn’t even note it.

    When the days are nice, I’d rather be outside. When the days are not nice, I play catch up in the house.

    Don’t spend so much time watching the visitor stats. I am sure many of us never impinge on them as we read your muses on a daily basis.

  4. Well, first of all, happy 11th blogiversary, Fred. Coming from somebody who’s only been at it less than a year and can already see the work involved, I think it’s QUITE a milestone. So, congratulations!

    Second, although you may not be getting as many visitors as you’d like (I feel your pain), please know that you continue to affect people in a positive, entertaining, and thoughtful way with your work.

    Third, when you don’t feel like writing, go for a walk with a camera. I’ve already faced writer’s block countless times, and so far, that’s my Rx. But who am I to be giving advice to a blogging veteran? So, take it for whatever it’s worth!

    Continuing to wish you all the best as you blog forward (hopefully),

  5. I’ve barely miised a post in all these years, except when traveling, and I would miss your musings greatly if they ever stopped. I feel I have come to know you as a friendly acquaintance at the very least, and you have more in common with me than all my dear friends. So, kindred spirit, blog on!

  6. Hey Fred,

    Sounds like you need a perspective adjustment, as we all do from time to time. We can’t fix life, but we can still live it. Hope this helps:

    ” The Little Things”

    The best things in life are the little things
    that surround us every day,
    the glow of the dawn, the song of the birds,
    the laughter of children at play.

    With all of man’s powers he can’t match the flowers,
    their fragrance afloat on a breeze.
    Butterfly wings are such beautiful things,
    why it even feels good just to sneeze!

    Sometimes it seems we get lost in our schemes
    and feel crushed by life’s arrows and slings.
    But all of our sorrows will pass with tomorrows
    if we just tune in life’s little things.

    If you need a change from your environment you are welcome to come over here and help me plant corn while drinking some nice cold Gewurztraminer!


  7. Happy anniversary yesterday.

    Now, from today’s news:

    “And you thought you had a bad week? This dude was swallowed by a hippo. And yep, he lived to tell about it.”

    So, it could be worse.

    Have some fun anyway!

  8. I’ll have more to say in response to your kind words and gentle kicks in the rump. Yeah, mildew. That’s it.

    Headed off to the Mt Rogers Naturalist Rally today, drizzles notwithstanding, and already have a headful of things to report on Monday. Maybe even something that will seem somewhat worth posting to a jaded old mildewy blogger. Have a good weekend, all.

  9. Fred,
    As a blogger myself, I can relate. Still, there is always something that brings us back to write another tale. I do want to tell you that your blog was my only bright spot after Hurricane Katrina. (Yes, that was a long time ago.) With so much devastation on the Bayou, I depended on your words to keep me going. At times, I was ready to give up and leave this place. My life had been flip-flopped into the ultimate turmoil. It had gone from a peaceful life to one I compared to “camping a dump”. The twelve feet deep debris smelled like death, the heat was intolerable and the mosquitoes, rats and snakes made it nigh on impossible to be comfortable. Two months after the storm, we finally got power and internet. Your blog was the first thing I read. Your adventures with nature gave me hope that the Bayou would return to the peaceful haven I once knew. Please never consider quitting as this would leave a huge vacant spot in my day. Whether you realize it or not, you do provide a valuable service to a lot of us..we just have a tendency to be neglectful in thanking you. Blog on, Fred, blog on..your words are appreciated.

  10. Blog on indeed, who knows where it may strike a chord. I suppose I am happy today because I got the giraffe hiding grass cut yesterday. One thing/day at a time.