I spent a good part of this morning reacquainting myself with the blog. It was a little weird. I went through all the links to the right; I took out any that were gone or changed into something I didn't recognize, visited those that were still alive and kicking, and thought about the new ones I've found and want to add as I share them with you here. The phrase that kept coming to mind was one I find myself using often: ebb and flow. In some ways, the Internet is static -- you create something, put it out there and it will just sit there, a forgotten fragment. In some ways it's ever-changing, different from second to second. In still other ways it's a constant and something you don't see for over a year is not exactly the same but it's so familiar that you can fall right back into it. It occurred to me finally that, really, all of it is okay just like that.
At first, I was a little sad to see that some sites had gone away. Then comforted by the constancy of what some people are putting out there. Then annoyed that some people have taken over others' sites, keeping the name but having no ties to what initially attracted me to them. Then a little resigned to what I was seeing as I went from site to site, noting the ones that had transitioned to MySpace or Facebook and the like, which hold little interest for me.
As I got done going through them, though, I realized that it's all a part of the whole. Those people who abandoned or shut down their sites had moved on to something else, many of them struggling to keep it going for a while, like I did here. Until just a short while ago, I hadn't read back that far in my "recent" entries, and I didn't remember how many times I'd gone through my same cycle of ebbing and flowing interest in posting. I keep coming back to it; others don't. But each one of them had something to offer, some to a larger degree than others, and for their own reasons they left it in the past. Others stride forward with a consistency I find enviable. Between those two poles is just about everything in between and for every person who closed the door on their blog, there's at least one more who found the handle to their own door.
In the end, maybe that's exactly how it's supposed to be.