, , , , , , , ,

Work is what you do for others, Liebchen. Art is what you do for yourself…

-Stephen Sondheim



“They” always say that one should write from experience, or “write what you know”…it’s more authentic, or more accurate. And indeed, this is true. But rather than just striving for accuracy, I think that you draw from experience if you are willing to let others see the light through the crack in your door. How intense that beam is, and how wide the pass is up to you. For some it’s a shocking bolt of soul baring strobe, while for others, it’s a narrow, soft brush of summer haze speckled with stars of dust. For isn’t that what we are all doing here in the blogging world? Recording our experiences, our thoughts, our opinions to allow others to have a peek through our personal doors? Some of us, myself included, start these blogs as an outlet for ourselves, and then shyly open them to others…the sharing of a diary, a family photo album, a collection of random thoughts. We are the glimmers of summer haze…hoping that others may see tiny stars in our light, and not just particles of dust.


How lovely, then, it is to find that someone has taken the time to read your words, or follow your blog journey. How lovely to read that someone felt connected to something you said, or had their own happy memories of a place you photographed. And how even lovlier still, that bloggers and readers reach out to each other to share each others sites and build a community.

I am fortunate to be included in this community of “up and coming” bloggers and to pay it forward with the awarding of the Liebster Award by the very thoughtful MsRawMojo. Her blog   http://sevenintentions.wordpress.com    celebrates life, asks provoking questions about who we are and how we are connected, and ponders how we are reflections of the past. I’d like to thank her for reading the Selkie, and for this nomination. The Liebster Award is bloggers recognizing bloggers. it’s a means of widening the community and a way to say “hey, take a look at this…you may enjoy it too”. There are a few acceptance “rules”:

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank the blogger who presented the award to you and link back to their blog (This seems intuitive to me…of course you’d thank the person!)
  • Share 11 things about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (I may have to adjust this a bit)
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Notify your nominees by posting your nomination on their blog

The group of nominees that included me has been asked to provide “11 random things about you, your blog, your life, your dreams, your philosophies, and your passions” I’m looking forward to this, as it allows me to share some other sides of me…

  • The Selkie was the direct result of Maine winter doldrums and the suggestion of a friend. I was restless, needed a constructive hobby that did not involve attempting to balance on snow or travel on snow with any speed, and wanted a creative outlet.  The next issue was trying to find a focus and a voice. I was having a hard time deciding on a focus…that’s why I try to find ways to integrate Maine, Scotland, marine mammals, and the sea. Sometimes it works better than others. I’m still finding my voice.
  • I have a rather quirky, sometimes sarcastic sense of humor which doesn’t really come out at all on the Selkie. My more academic, philosophical (if you can call it that!) side seems to dominate on here. Sometimes, I think about using my more conversational tone on here, but I don’t know if people would appreciate that? And that would take away some of the challenge of trying to be an expressive writer
  • I am a geek. I am also of an age where I am comfortable with that and proud to admit it to the world. While I like to occasionally destroy some brain cells by watching things like The Bachelor or the many Housewives shows, I am a 38 yr old woman who thinks that mead is better than any beer, sits awake at night wondering how Game of Thrones will end, and can discuss the Battle of Gettysburg, the colonization of America, and the life of Mary, Queen of Scots in great depth. I don’t remember who was in last year’s Super Bowl, I’ve never watched American Idol, and the one time I tried snowboarding, I fell. On flat ground.
  • I love history, gardening, travel, books, coffee, tea, bacon (I had to throw that in!), kayaking on a quiet summer afternoon, sitting on the coast and watching the water, sailing on a calm bay, curling up with the dog who is the love of my life, listening to peepers in spring, crickets in summer, silence in winter 027
  • I believe in fate (a little), science, and the golden rule…and I think that there is beauty and magic in what we can’t explain. I also think that if we were all a little more open minded and less self motivated, the world would be a better place.
  • I have come to believe that one of the greatest gifts that you can receive or give yourself is the opportunity to travel. Ideally, to experience an entirely different culture and locale. But, if that’s not available to you, go *anywhere* outside your daily radius and be open to where it can take you.
  • My dreams have always been relatively simple. I’ve never wanted to be famous, the corporate ladder doesn’t interest me, and I’ll never be much of an athlete. But that’s OK.  I just want to be happy and content in who I am and how I live my life. Like one of my favorite characters, George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life, I’d like to know that I make a difference in someone’s life- no matter how small. I’d like to appreciated for all my little quirks and respected as a person. I want to love and be loved in a way that is not dependent or desperate, but is a mutual state of gentle delight and discovery. And in my end, I dream of growing old in comfortable reflection.
  • But…if I were asked to craft a dream future, it would be to divide my time between the Maine coast and Scotland. An antique style Cape Cod house in Maine that has an old barn and a field that tumbles down to the sea with a small dock for my kayak and maybe a small sailboat. (Since this is my dream future, I’d be a more skilled sailor). Andirondack chairs and a small fire pit to sit beside on summer evenings with a steaming cup of coffee. And in Scotland, I’d have an old crumbling stone croft in the Outer Hebrides. There would be a cottage garden of controlled floral chaos, several sheep, and a horse. Inside, a fireplace with a heavy wooden mantle, and the comfort of a mug of tea, my dog curled up on a soft chair. Outside, the wild, desolate rock, sea, and machair. (These are probably overly romanticized scenes, but isn’t a dream anything you want it to be?) 376
  • I used to be a reenactor and a living historian. I spent my teenage years joining my family at battlefields, historic sites, and parks, dressed in hoop skirts, hats with feathers, and multiple layers of undergarments. I truly experienced “primitive camping”. When I was attending vet school, I volunteered at a museum village and played the part of an 1830s dairy maid.
  • Although I have always loved and felt connected to water, I couldn’t swim until the age of 30. I took swimming lessons at the local Y so that I cold finally explore this lure of the sea that I have always felt. Since then, I have been able to learn to sail (not well!), discover  kayaking, volunteer for marine mammal work, swim in the nearby lakes, take up boogieboarding, and go whitewater rafting (scary!) 2241
  • I hope to live in Scotland someday, but there are also other places I’d like to see in the world…Pompeii and Herculaenum, Macchu Piccu, Patagonia, South Africa, the Galapagos, Easter Island, the Greek Isles, and more of Europe.

I’d like my nominees to feel free to express themselves however they choose, so I’ll also ask that they just give 11 random facts about themselves. This may include your goals, what motivates you to blog, who your heroes are, what your favorites things are, or where you’ve been or want to go.

And the nominees are:

Thank you, to all these blogs, for your wonderful words and photos!

And thank you to *you*, Reader, for reading this long post! I have so many things that I want to share…the recent trip to Scotland, the beginning of summer here in Maine, the sailing trip that I will be on this week…but…I’m out gathering the experiences to write about!