Skip to content

The Effort We Are Engaged In

A close friend remarked upon this here blog recently, that he was unable to comprehend why others (especially those who don’t know me personally) would find it so compelling. He dismissed it by saying “well, you’re no George Orwell.” Oh really now? Looking over recent entries in George Orwell’s diaries, I beg to differ. Sure, there’s a slightly surreal aspect to reading about Orwellian gardening adventures circa 1939 but otherwise his entries have the same everyman (or everywoman) quality as my own, or the posts of any other blogger. Hrmph. Speaking of such, after having taken a daily self-portrait for a year naturally this piqued my interest: “18 Years and 6,000 Photos Later, Life Through Jamie Livingston’s Eyes.” But it quickly turned heartbreaking, as Mr. Livingston continued to chronicle his life throughout his losing battle with cancer. The photos themselves can be seen here.

Clearly life isn’t always chock full of excitement or jam packed with happy happy joy joy all the time. But I still feel the need to document it, through my photos and words. Much of it purely for my own benefit. Because I have a lousy memory, and I want to look back and see how much my son changed between kindergarten and third grade or when exactly I replaced my lawn mower or what months/years we journeyed to pizza farm. Sometimes the remembering isn’t quite so pleasant say, the bullying of my son by another third grader. Or the facing down of financial problems, like this week’s $1,000 car repairs that make me wonder how I’m going to make my mortgage on the 17th. But the remembering is still necessary, for personal reasons. But also as a piece of the bigger picture. The recent assassination of Dr. Tiller brought a lot rushing back. Not just for me, but for other members of the “Dead Baby Club” - like authors Ayelet Waldman and Elizabeth Weil. I appreciate the dialogue they’ve started, Kansas Stories: What Late-Term Abortions Are Really Like, because I can, unfortunately, relate. I’ve posted about my experiences in the past, as they were happening. In 2003 my ex and I discovered the baby I was carrying was missing the top of its skull. While the memories are painful, I feel compelled to share them. To remind people (who aren’t members of The Dead Baby Club) that yes, sometimes late-term abortions are medically necessary. By sharing our stories hopefully we can soften the stigma somewhat. If only The Onion’s story weren’t satirical: Abortion Doctor’s Murder Sparks Waves Of Calm, Rational Discussion. But I am attempting to do my part.

by Isaac Arvold

Bonus: Anna from local restaurant True Thai has been blogging. A recent post mentions the difference between coconut juice and coconut milk. But I just picked up a very different kind of coconut milk at the co-op. I’m thinking it would be particularly good on granola, and should probably get around to making my own sometime.
Plus: Summer-like weather has finally returned to Minnesota and with it, a rundown of the best fests around the state. I’m definitely not missing St. Paul’s Dragon Festival again (though I seem to make that same proclamation every year, d’oh).
And: Been trying to get my son interested in doing this My Little Cthulu papercraft, but he only wants to stick with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and other CW for Kids crap. BOO!


  1. Megan wrote:

    I don’t think most people write blogs with the intention of be prolific, and I don’t think most readers expect that. I think your blog is interesting, heartfelt, and honest, and that’s why I keep reading it.

    Re: TMNT: It could be worse. At our house we’re full-on into Elmo love. And the number of Sesame Street episodes he has seen is a whopping two.

    Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Permalink
  2. e. wrote:

    Who the eff said that? That’s just plain rude.

    Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Permalink
  3. Sharyn wrote:

    A certain someone who doesn’t get social networking or blogging, in general.

    Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Permalink
  4. Tabitha wrote:

    I regularly check in to read your blog and love hearing what you and your son are up to. I rarely comment, but I’m often here nodding my head and agreeing with things you’ve written. Cheers, Tabitha (Sydney, Australia).

    Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 10:21 pm | Permalink
  5. DW wrote:

    I think I started reading your blog because you live in MN and I did too. Now I read your blog because I can live vicariously through you since I chose a different path for my life (country life vs. city living).
    Plus your so interesting!

    And who doesnt want to read a blog with such a cute kid in it!

    Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Permalink
  6. Sharyn wrote:

    Hey, thanks Tabitha and DW! Sometimes it’s nice to know I’m not living my life in a vacuum.

    Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  7. Sonya wrote:

    I have been reading your blog for years and years. I found it oddly enough looking for an image to quilt. I enjoy your writing and links. You’re always sending me off to interesting sites and your outlook on the world cheers me up. So pffft! to that guy.

    I’m also so very sorry for your pregnancy losses. I’ve had my own but they were all much earlier and I think probably easier in a way. I’m still livid about Kansas.

    Friday, June 12, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Permalink
  8. amanda wrote:

    my boyfriend doesn’t get the blogging. he doesn’t outright make fun or mock me, but i know he doesn’t get it and we’ve talked about it but it always ends like this; with me saying, “you know, if you don’t get it, you don’t have to.” i mean really, if he doesn’t understand, he’s just not going to, and that’s okay with me. i understand and let him giggle at the ridiculousness of twitter (which i love anyhow!), he sees the usefulness of flickr, but my blog isn’t something he sees a need for. of course, this is also the man who hunted it down; i didn’t tell him about it and had no plans to. in some ways, it’s annoying that he can read it, because then when i want to talk about him it makes me shy or reserved. no talking about fights on it, then he gets fussy that i didn’t talk to him (even though i do! just sometimes i want to talk to someone else about it!), if i have some funny story i want to share i have to make sure i don’t share too much, you know the drill. it’s not awful and it’s not going to stop me, but it does bring up all sorts of interesting conversations.

    so i guess the point of my mini-novel is to say that hey! i get where you are coming from. and i think blogging is awesome and i’m glad you do it and i’m glad i do too. :-)

    Saturday, June 20, 2009 at 9:31 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *