For some reason I missed noting last Friday’s 6th Anniversary of In a Dark Time, either because I was getting tired of it or because I had something better to do, two things which are probably more closely related than I’d like to admit.
In a slight moment of nostalgia, I went back and looked at some of the very first entries I’d written and was somewhat depressed to discover that the grim outlook I’d foreseen for Afghanistan has, indeed, come true. After six long years the country seems no better off than when we invaded, and we are still fighting an uphill battle to win the allegiance of the people.
I was also saddened when I realized how many of the bloggers I linked to in those first few months no longer blog. For better or worse, that small, tightly knit group no longer exists
On a happier note, I was struck by how much my own site has evolved in those six years. What started as a simple posting to the web with no comments, no graphics, and no permanent links has evolved into a very different site where visitors have become an active part of the exchange of ideas if they care to. Without those regular readers and their comments, I doubt that I could have kept at this for six years.
I’d like to think that my writing has improved considerably because of my nearly daily writing. It’s certainly become easier to write than it was originally. Of course, if it hasn’t become better that would make me a liar when I told ex-students that the best way to learn to write is to write.
I’m pretty sure my photography has improved, too. Taking photographs regularly forces us to see more clearly and to look for new ways of seeing in order to take better pictures. That was made clear when I was exploring some ideas from Shelley Powers’ upcoming book on photography and web graphics. As part of that reading, I was going back through all the photos that have appeared on this site, and, though there were some very good shots taken from the beginning, it seemed to me that the photographs have improved as steadily as the writing has.
Though I haven’t had the time to go back and arrange photos chronologically, this little retrospective suggests improvement to me. I’m looking forward to assembling more of these galleries in the future, because looking at slide shows of my shots allows me to see more clearly those photos I really like, and, hopefully, produce more like them.
If someone had told me six years ago that I would attract over a million visits to my site, that I would now average over a thousand visitors a day (more visitors than I drew my first six months) I would probably have dismissed the idea with a loud guffaw.