Sunday, February 15, 2015

Neglect and Indecision

For years I had a recurrent dream in which I walked out my backdoor onto a short sidewalk that ended up at the door of a large, greenhouse-looking building that I had forgotten was there. It turned out to be an aviary for tropical birds. The enclosure was filled with cages containing birds like the beauties pictured in this post (photographed at the Greater Baton Rouge Zoo), plus dozens of small, colorful parakeets. 

The difference between the birds in the pictures and the birds in my dream is that the dream birds were dying. A few of them were already dead. All the food and water dishes were empty, the cages covered in droppings, and those birds that were still alive, lying on their sides and gasping for breath, had ragged feathers and bald patches.

I was horrified in the dream to find the birds in such dreadful condition and horrified even more to know that I was the one who had allowed it to happen. I loved the birds, but, feeling overwhelmed by life in general, I'd allowed one day after another to pass without tending to them. Now I was looking at the consequences of my neglect.

Every time I had that dream, the guilt I felt lingered long into the day ahead. It's been years since the dream has recurred, but I remember the lesson of it well.

I thought about it the other day when I was considering this blog. I've been neglecting it, I know, and I'm pretty sure it's dying. I'm not feeding it on a regular basis. The number of readers has dwindled down to a small fraction of what it used to be. My fault. 

I have loved the blogging experience and the people I've met along the way, but when days or weeks pass without new posts, I feel as guilty as I did in the dream about the birds, and I do not like that feeling.

My choices are to stop -- to scratch this blog off my to-do list so I don't have to think about it anymore -- or to pick up its ragged body while it has one breath left and attempt to resuscitate it, to nurse it back to health. At this point I don't know what I want to do.

Indecision feels almost as unpleasant as guilt.

PS: I once told a co-worker about my dying-bird dream. She then told me she had an almost identical dream, also recurring, except that the victims of her neglect were fish in an enormous aquarium. According to articles on the Internet, these types of dreams are fairly common. Weird, huh?


  1. I love your blog! I'm always excited when I click on it and see that you have a new post up. You are such a wonderful writer. I love the stories about your family and the genealogy research that you have done. I love your stories about the trials and tribulations of growing older. Some of my favorite posts, though, have been about your dogs. To this day, I get teary eyed when I think of sweet Butch.

    Anyway, that's just my two cents worth.

  2. E really enjoy your blog, as well, though I don't always comment. My blogging has become sporatic, too, and I always feel better when I post. I hope you continue to post, if only infrequently.

  3. Whatever your decision we will live with it......but please please please never delete what you have recorded here. It is a foot print of you. Don't erase it.

  4. I love your blog and I adore you. You'll figure out what is right for you.

  5. As someone who has pretty much let her blog die, I shouldn't even comment. But, as your friend who feels like reading your blog keeps me in touch with your life, feeding me details I wouldn't have because I don't call or write (OK, seldom call or write,) I would miss your blog terribly. I hope you can find some middle ground.

  6. Hey Sis! I would miss your blog terribly! I've learned so much about our childhood that I was too young to remember and have seen pictures I've never seen before. I LOVE the way you write about our life in Missouri - it brings me straight back to a time when all was right in the world (at least a small child's world). I'll understand if you stop because it's causing you more pressure than pleasure. I certainly wouldn't want that! But I will miss it should you decide to shut it down. No pressure, lol!

  7. Thanks to all of you for your comments. Your encouragement and your understanding are equally important to me. I learned yesterday that previously unrecognized thyroid issues might be responsible for the fatigue and depression that have been weighing me down. Took my first pill this morning and feel hopeful that I may soon be able to crawl out of this gloomy funk that's encapsulated me for many months. I used to enjoy writing about the beauty and joy I saw everywhere I looked; it's exciting to think that that mindset may not have been lost forever.

    Please bear with me while I try to pull myself and this blog back together.


Your comments might be the very best thing about blogging. I love it when you care enough to share your thoughts here, so go ahead and say what's on your mind.