I’ve been reading M.F.K. Fisher’s Last House, a collection of essays from the 1970s and 1980s. They’re not just ruminations on food and cooking– none of her writing is “just” anything. All her writing is about is life– about love, and not loving, and have, and not having, and what that all means. But they’re shorter pieces, unlike the collections of longer essays, and in that sense, blog-like. Each piece is short, honest, anything but self-flattering, to the point, and allows the reader to have thoughts unanswered– evocative, not always explanatory. It makes for great subway reading– you can blow through four or five in a 20 minute train ride, and feel as if you’ve accomplished something.
It’s Fisher’s writing to which I have unconsciously aspired, and to which I (until now) have unconsciously compared the blogs I read: tell me something honest. Tell me something real. Tell me regrets, wishes, dreams, no matter how weird or banal you might think it is. It’s the reality of the writing, the community it creates, where others recognize the same in themselves, and are less afraid to say, “yes, that’s me, warts and all,” that gets me every time.