Recently I came across some comments about blogging. The writers claimed that blogs were no longer fashionable or effective, and no one bothered to read them. Furthermore, because there was too much information on the net, blogging was dead. Although in my case, my low visibility is a living proof (forgive the pun) of the veracity of this statement, I am well aware that many bloggers are very successful, and some have thousands and even millions of followers.
Still, for me, the best thing about blogging, is the inherent freedom that this genre allows. No one prevents me from writing a blog, or censors its content. Moreover, unlike academic papers, there is no peer review, and once the essay is written, publication is almost immediate.
This month I mark 3 years of writing a blog. In the first two years I had a comfortable home in Red Room, an American site for writers. Unfortunately this site was suddenly closed in July 2014.
A month later I started writing in the Times of Israel. But since TOI is a newspaper, this move meant that I had to change the nature of my personal blog so it could be more in tune with the new setting.
But today to celebrate three years of writing, I would like to devote this essay to a personal passion of mine: roller-skating.
I grew up in Haifa on top of the Carmel Mountains, and because of the steep hills most of the parents, at that time, never let us have a bicycle or roller skates.
I first saw a skating rink when I was myself a parent, in the US, and accompanied my younger daughter and her class for a fun day of skating.
When I first put on the roller-skates I froze, and was almost too scared to move. But watching the skaters, on the rink, I knew that this was the closest I could get to flying.
Too embarrassed to learn how to master it on my own, I decided to make it a team project. So we got 3 pairs of roller skates for myself and my daughters, and we practiced together outside our home.
Of course, right away, the girls were much faster, and much more graceful, than me. But very soon they got tired of this new sport, and as a result, for many years, my skating career was put on hold.
Years later, back in Israel, some short months after I became a widow, I moved into a house next to the National Park in Ramat Gan. Then I decided that skating could be the best medicine for my bereavement. I got a pair of old fashioned quad roller-skates, and started skating in the park.
In the first year, it was only when I skated outside in the park, that I was able to experience joy and hopefulness. These feelings never changed, and throughout the years skating has remained my favorite pastime.
I must admit that in eight years of skating, almost daily, I haven’t improved much. But it doesn’t matter, and this brings me back to blogging. Even if it’s true that blogging, like old-fashioned roller- skating, has become passé, the freedom it still offers is the closest I could get to flying.
And at this stage of my life I could think of nothing, which I value more.