Dear you,

This is the first post I'm putting up on Butterfly Soup that's not originally from Everything2. It seems easier, dearly beloved, to write this as a letter than in another format.

It's been funny the last few days to talk to wertperch about our shared goal of writing daily throughout November. Same idea, but the difference in the way we execute it reveals quite a bit about our characters. He sets himself a goal - 750 words a day, and immediately starts...three days before November has actually begun. (What? Are you nuts? We don't HAVE to start until November 1...) Me, I plan to write every day in November, but without a specific word count, subject, and truthfully with a thoroughly modified definition of "every day". Five days a week, maybe, but I get weekends off if I want. And if I'm sick, I don't have to write. And exception, exception, exception. Wertperch is all about the rules, I'm already developing the exceptions. Wertperch is very concrete. My goal is far more loose.

But anyway, I want to tell you why I finally started to attempt to put my thoughts into this bloggish format. The inspirations behind this are the half dozen or so weblogs that I read whenever they post - and it's an odd collection. One food blog, one combination food and art blog, one letter-writing blog, one that is pure whatever-she-wants-to-write-about-today blog....and then one that is no longer posted to, but that I go back and read and re-read when I'm feeling adrift in my own life.

The blog that I most covet, as it were, is Julie's old weblog, which I think of as the grandmother of all blogs. It's no longer available with that url, and I'll challenge you, beloved reader, to either hunt it down or to hunt me down via e-mail to ask where it's hidden now. Julie wrote about a series of spiritual questions and transformations that she was experiencing, in a most amazingly personal way. I love both the way she wrote, and also what she wrote about. She was incredibly willing to post her innermost thoughts onto the ether, (or at least what seemed to me to be innermost thoughts) and to let the world at large into them. I'm far more stingy with my thoughts, especially when we start using the world spiritual. Oooorg. I can feel myself squirm just slightly to admit that that is the heart of this quest.

One reason I hadn't started sooner was that there was not one obvious coherent theme that I consistently want to write about. Brendon has cooking, jessica has her quirky and wonderful self, Melody has music, Katrina has art and food - and I feel like a complete dilettante in comparison. I write, I cook, I spin and knit, I make costumes....I make landscapes, also. I write about being a parent, cancer survival, whatever is either tickling my fancy or taking up all my attention at any particular time. But not one of these is the dominating theme from which I frame everything else. I'm not an artist who cooks, a cook who paints, a writer who spins, a parent who knits...I'm not first and foremost a cancer survivor, or any of those other things, but they all color my life and my writing.

So then. A few weeks ago I went back, and again read through Julie's entire web site. I pondered why it appeals to me so much that I wish I'd written it myself. Much as I love reading all the other blogs and E2 postings, hers is the only one that I covet to that extent. I love reading spidercamp because I get a glimpse into jaypea's life, and her experience is quite lovely and different from mine. It's strange to get a glimpse into Julie's life because her experience is so similar to mine.

And here's the snag. The theme that keeps drawing me back, is her exploration of herself and her spiritual path. Yikes, there's that word again. I find myself going all aw shucks and toe in the dirt - first of all, I could have nothing remotely interesting to say about my own spirituality, and second, how embarassing. My physical reaction is that of coming out of the women's room with my skirt accidentally tucked into the back of my tights - my spiritual slip is showing.

So with that now said, there's the challenge. I'm going write about all the things I'm already writing about - parenting and art and cancer survival and writing and cooking and spirit. I"m also going to look a little more deeply at the well-hidden spiritual path that ties them all together.

With all my love,