Friday, May 20, 2011

The Big Five Oh Oh.

Fortune 500 (© 2011 Time Inc.)

This is a big day for me. It marks the 500th more or less consecutive weekday post to the What I Saw blog.

It’s a day I didn’t know if I’d ever reach. At the start I didn’t know if I had enough to make it to even one hundred posts. It turns out I had more pictures to talk about and tales to tell than I thought. I’ve also learned that everyday life provides lots of inspiration if you’re open to it.

The posts don’t always come easily and the quality varies. I know that. But even when I’ve written something that seemed pointless to me someone would write to me out of the blue to tell me how much it meant to him or her. Go figure.

There were several reasons for starting this blog, not the least of which was to see if I could compile a cohesive body of words suitable for adaptation into, say, a book by tackling it in small bits. Bird by bird, as Anne Lamott would say. (So far, I’m somewhere north of 300,000 birds.)

I also thought the blog might be a new outlet for my photography and a bit more than the usual back story than is provided at Flickr. The first blog entry was even named I Return to Photography. I thought there might something related to my photography that I could share with others. Whether it did or not, I knew that having to come up with a new blog post each weekday would impose upon me the discipline I need to keep writing regularly. I still believe that if I write a few hundred posts each year there will be some that are pretty bad, but also a few that'll be worth something.

Five hundred posts later, I don’t know what you would call what this blog has evolved into. As I look back, it seems to resist categorization, and reflect nothing more than the outfall from my cluttered mind. I worry at times that I’ve become one of those narcissistic memoirists who are sharing their every thought these days in books, blogs, Facebook updates and Tweets. Or maybe I'm more like the newspaper columnist Guy Friddell who used to spend paragraph after paragraph extolling the virtues of Hanover tomatoes. I like to think, in any event, that there must be some therapeutic value to getting all this stuff out of my head. Otherwise it would just keep pinging around and causing trouble.

Since May of 2009 I have shared pictures, the stories behind pictures, essays, short fiction, memories, music and even the occasional poetic doggerel. In the course of bringing this accumulated wisdom to you I’ve been detained by police, interrogated by the US Navy and chased by dogs, cattle and beautiful women. (Okay, only four of those things are true.)

I'm going to celebrate The Big Five Oh Oh by taking a few days off from the blog. I'll be traveling next week for business, making stops in Michigan, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Mississippi. It's an interesting project. There’s a lot of potential for meeting some interesting people.

In the meantime, thanks to all of you who've been along for this ride with me. It continues to be my good fortune to have this connection to you. I’ll see you back here soon.


  1. Congratulations, Chris! And safe travels. Look forward to 500 more.

  2. You can go, but be back soon ...

  3. Chris - here's to 500 more.
    I just celebrated 500 too.

  4. Congrats, Chris. I've loved being along for the ride. Keep on truckin'.

  5. I probably wouldn't visit if all you wrote about was tomatoes. Thank you for making it a bit more interesting!

  6. Though I do not comment often, I do tune in regularly for the prose and the photos. I hope you missed the mid-west weather and arrived home to a house in one piece. I rasie my glass to your 500th, congratulations.