Is it too late to say Happy New Year? Even though it’s already late January it feels like Christmas was just a few minutes ago. I’ve been meaning to post for days … well, actually for six months now …
Where have I been? It’s a simple answer but a complicated response. One week last July I received two passing comments along the lines of “no one reads this blog anyway” and “if you had a different format you might attract more readers.” Those criticisms stung. I wasn’t writing for readership. I loved the colorful melange of scraps in those buckets, the meals that had created those scraps, the satisfaction of words on paper (or screen) and the resultant memories. Was I really just wasting my time?
Instead of ignoring those thoughtless words and carrying on, I buried them. I pushed them deep inside but rationalized that other people always see things more clearly. I argued (with myself) that I had nothing to offer and it probably WAS a waste of time. I heaped self-criticism upon self criticism and aired those harsh words (to myself) regularly. Along the way I kept composting and photographing but the only writing I did was in my head. Eventually I stopped taking photos. I tossed my kitchen scraps in the trash. I put the entire endeavor asleep for the winter. I was done.
But on a bitter cold walk earlier this month I realized I missed it all. I was struck by how similar my actions were to real composting. The thoughtless words I buried were much like the scraps I threw on the compost pile. Insignificant individually, but after several months they resulted in something new and worthwhile. I had – have – something unique to produce and to say. My quirky idea of beauty or taste or style might not be yours, but it is wholly my own.
So, here’s to a new year of new ideas, new insights, and the latest dirt, um, compost.
This frozen compost is from early January. All that old stuff … I’m letting it go…. get it? Frozen.