Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vox Humana: A Manifesto of Sorts

I've been lukewarm about blogging lately for some reason.

A lot of it has to do with the schedule changes, the season changes, and the regular, mundane stress that ebbs and flows. (Though we are most definitely on the upswing of an ebb, please believe!)

Much of the time, I read other blogs with a slight twinge of envy. How do they come up with posts so often? Where do they get so much material? I flipflop back and forth about what the hell the point is of this blog. Informative? (Probably not. I was never the greatest student, and there's a reason I didn't go into full time teaching after I earned my MFA. ) Anecdotal? Yes, mostly. Fun? I'm trying.

Today, NPR posted links to the StoryCorps project. (You can read all about this project and listen/watch their amazing stories here.) They collect stories from Americans of every background, creed, and age and save them. Some stories get turned into incredible animated shorts. Seriously. Go. Look.

One of the shorts is from a historian and he talks about how humans have used their voices over time (written and verbal). The power of a whisper, the excitement of a shriek. The timelessness of stories from our grandparents and how they're all disappearing before they can be told. And that's even if somebody's listening...

There a times when I'm typing these posts andI feel a little self-indulgent. More so when I link it to my facebook account. Who the heck really cares that I had a bad day? That my toddler can have the manners of a baby mountain gorilla? I drift, now and then, on a sea of doubt about what my voice is for in relation to this blog.

But then there was StoryCorps. And while I don't have tales of 9/11 or life-long loves (yet...we're working on it), I still have something to say.

I have our stories.

The chances are pretty high that a New York literary agent isn't going to come knockin' on my e-mail door with a big book deal to turn these snippets into a "Marley and Me" we could call "Gorilla Boy and Me." But I think that was never the point.

What I think this entire project is for, has to do with my kids. For them. Their kids. Their grandkids.

One day I'll be gone, and assuming that a zombie Apocalypse hasn't gripped the world and the Internet still exists, they'll have these words and they'll hear my voice telling them about us.

Our family. The time Andrew woke up forty-seven times in one night. The time Dominic stuck his tongue to the frozen flag pole. The sweet baby Makenna is, and how she'll smile for an hour straight as long as you say her name over and over in a sing-song voice. The struggles Patrick goes through earning his engineering degree while raising a rather robust family of loud individuals. My role as ring master in our entertaining circus of life.

Snapshots. Stories I won't remember ten years down the line, but matter just the same.

I'll remember the big stories--the births, the moves, the grand life changes--but maybe I won't always remember the way Andrew drinks his bathwater no matter how nasty we tell him it is. (We're almost 99 percent sure he pees in his tub. Just sayin'. Don't judge.) And I want them all to know who they were. How they became who they are. How Patrick and I, and our friends and families, helped them get there.

At last, I know what the Funny Little Blackbird is all about. And I'll never run out of material again.



  1. I love this!! What a perfect reason to blog, and seriously, endless material!

    (I'm pretty sure mine pee in the bathtub, too. And sneak drinks of tub water CONSTANTLY. Ew.)

  2. Great post... that's exactly it. Documenting the every day... it's what we look back (or someone looks back) and realizes what life is all about...