A Tree Worthy of a Blog

                          Blog,  Blog?   Blog!

People write blogs for many reasons. But all of us hope that someone would read our posts, otherwise why post them?

Some people write daily and some weekly. Some post mostly photographs or stories of all kinds. There are blogs about specific topics and those that are more impressionistic.

Starting a blog happened in a moment of inspiration. I’ve never thought of it before and then there was the moment when it felt like I had to write. Actually, my first blog was posted on my professional web site, when the idea of blogging had not germinated yet. Later on, I felt compelled to write, not knowing what the topic will be, it was like my fingers did the walking…

There were times when I was not even sure about the content, because I would start with a kernel and the ideas presented themselves while typing the first sentence.

There was a rhythm to my inspiration. I would almost always post just once a week, seldom more and seldom less.

Yet the last two weeks were different. I felt frozen and uninspired. I started to feel like I should write, because some friends questioned my silence. Moreover, I noticed that there are bloggers who are very disciplined and write on a regular basis. As for me, if I’m anything, it’s undisciplined.

And so I started pondering the issue of discipline and decided that at this advanced age it’s time to work on my shortcomings and start writing even when I don’t feel like it. Surely there’s something I can write about?

I started writing about my work with a particular group and when I described what I did there, it felt like boasting. Scratch that one.

Then I wanted to write about having my first grandchild and thought to myself “who cares?”, after all I know the feeling when someone starts talking nonstop about their child, grandchild, dog, cat or gold-fish. And I recalled having my first dog Poogie, years before I had my children, and while on a transatlantic flight, I was making a nuisance of myself by showing pictures of the dog (he was a puppy then and very cute) to the tired and disinterested passengers. Hence the granddaughter topic got scratched off as well.

I settled on a story I heard from my client yesterday, but while writing it I became depressed and thought to myself “this is crazy, it makes me sad, and I’m going on a vacation in a couple of days, let go!” So no sad story, it just didn’t feel right.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I am who I am, and I worked hard to accept who I am. I write in an undisciplined way, about whatever strikes my fancy and I don’t feel inspired now. So that is how I came to write the post about not wanting to force myself to be someone I’m not, and wanting to maintain the emotional experience of writing a blog only when I feel inspired and only when I feel like I have something that I care about. And sometimes what I care about appears quite suddenly, and then I may wake up in the middle of the night, or it may come to me when I wash the dishes. The topic itself can be trivial, like this one, or it might be of a political or of a personal nature, but it’s always authentic and never forced.

Tu Bishvat

And so it was that while driving to a meeting today I saw an almond tree in full bloom projecting its lush pinkish white flowers, glowing in the sun like colored snow. And I thought about the fact that this was supposed to be “my” tree, because while living in Israel the almond tree would blossom around my birthday and my parents would tell me that it’s blooming to honor me. As a young child I really believed that, and later on it was just a lovely sight for my birthday.

Jews have more holidays than anyone I know, and the almond tree was not just another tree blooming in the middle of winter, but there was a holiday around it, a holiday celebrating literally the “New Year of the Trees.”, and there was a special song dedicated to the almond tree during the holiday.

So as I was driving by the beautiful tree today, I was flooded with memories of my parents and my “birthday tree”, and of the holiday (Tu Bishvat) which was celebrated by planting seedlings and of the song about the almond tree sung by all the children during the school assembly.

I felt wistful about the innocence of how things used to be, about the children carrying small plants and preparing the soil, hoping that eventually a big and bountiful tree would grow there. And while driving on the crowded boulevard, cars passing me by on an asphalt road, I slowed down a bit to look at the tree, the tree which used to be mine, and blossomed just for me.

About rachel bar

Psychotherapist and supervisor.
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22 Responses to A Tree Worthy of a Blog

  1. mim collins says:

    Lovely…..so good to see you today…hope your back is better…have a lovely vacation…best, Mim

  2. Sue Cox says:

    Thank you for this gentle meandering into my Saturday morning.

  3. Maurice Labi says:

    For you the almonds trees are a vivid childhood memory. For me, in Galilee, they are outside my window. And just yesterday I walked past a white-powdered grove of almond trees in full bloom with hundreds, thousands of bees swarming around me, pollinating. I came back in the house, witnessed nature do her thing. So there, your “I don’t know what to write about” brought on almonds across the ocean.

  4. Barbara Cooper says:

    Lovely post. By the way, friends enjoy a story or two about a lovely grandchild or a puppy or two! 🙂 Your granddaughter is breathtakingly beautiful – I love the pictures you post on facebook!

  5. Amy says:

    I like this blog about blogging! I love how when you surrendered to not feeling passionate about a topic enough to write about it and were not expecting to be inspired…life struck and inspiration was lit. I was wondering what type of trees those were around L.A. blooming pinkish white and now I’ll think of them as Rachel’s birthday trees. 😀

    • rachel bar says:

      As usual, your analysis and vision are spot on Amy. I can learn about writing from you.

      • Amy Ebert says:

        Thanks, Rachel! I like your writing style too. You write about interesting, provocative topics and assert your signature brave (for today’s culture 😉 opinions about them. Your views always make me think…and often giggle due to your comedic tone about self, others or a situation.

  6. Margot says:

    Lovely! And I would be perfectly happy reading about your beautiful granddaughter many, many times!

  7. ermigal says:

    Rachel, first–this post took my breath away in its beauty, the way you flowed from topic to topic, ending with the inspiration of the tree and its meaning to you. It is a magnificent piece of writing!! So keep on writing in response to inspiration that comes to you effortlessly. Second, man, do I identify with the topic of “undisciplined writing.” Right now, I’m supposed to be working on a piece for my writing class–due today! We have common writing habits, methinks. Keep it coming–great stuff!

  8. lylekrahn says:

    Whenever the inspiration for the next blog hits you, I’ll be reading. I much prefer reading an inspired quality post than a disciplined, timely one.

  9. Sometimes it is great to have a break from the every day noise – and blogging – and just sit back and look at the beauty around us. We are children of the universe and there is nothing more exhilarating than to soak in the atmosphere of the sunrise, birds – and a tree.
    Great relaxing post to start the day for me. .

  10. godschool says:

    I do like the honesty and unapologetic nature of this post. You’re always worth reading!

  11. rachel bar says:

    Godschool (I still don’t know your name!), I really appreciate your comment. My honesty is not always useful:)

  12. Lovely piece! (I had to smile. My birthday is New Year’s Eve. My mother told me everyone around the world celebrated my birthday – I was terribly disappointed when I learnt I wasn’t so important afterall!)

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