Sunday, February 21

Bloggers gone (one forever) but not forgotten...

I certainly know what it's like to lose track of what anchors you in place and how easy it is to find yourself so overwhelmed that you drop out of sight. I'm prone to going underground for long stretches of time myself, as winter takes a toll on my energy and desires and disposition. For me, it's mostly work that encourages my occasional disappearing acts.

So, I understand when posts from other bloggers become few and far between. While updating this blog, I decided to visit each of the "Haunts" I've followed and delete the dormant ones. I was surprised by the number that haven't been updated in an extremely long time--like more than a year.

I couldn't help wonder where life had taken these fine bloggers. I hope that they are enjoying a long hiatus; that they are simplifying their lives and shifting gears. Still, the long absence of these well-crafted blogs, replete with memorable prose and dramatic photography, raises nagging questions. As I made my rounds, I recalled some of the exchanges I've had with these fellow riders. I poked around each blogspace reading and recalling fond memories.

Then the saddest memory of all.

When I visited this blog, my recall was instant. I remembered the death announcement when it was first posted there. I had forgotten, I think, or perhaps just suppressed a memory I preferred to deny. Then as now, I want to know what happened to Chris. Perhaps the mystery isn't what's important. Still, I couldn't help wonder how and why this life ended so young, so early. I paused there to re-read posts, which brought him back to life even if momentarily. I exited the site but not before re-reading the beautiful poem dedicated to this short and obviously rich life. This blog was the only specific confirmation that answered what happened to one of the missing bloggers. I never knew Chris, really, but we communicated nonetheless. His is a site that will live on my blogroll.

Experiences like this always make me relive my brother's death. They say you need a year to grieve. I know well that death is a fact of life. None of us gets out of life alive. Still, it's a challenge. My revisits to blog sites has taught me a lesson I keep learning again and again in different ways: letting go is not so easy. Even if a site is “dormant,” pushing "delete" demands more than simply depressing the button.

People live on in us in ways even we might not be able to comprehend.

We each learn to let go at our own time, in our own way...


Just before posting this, I decided to do a general Google search on Chris. I found this (scroll to read).



bobskoot said...


I think that the majority of us are friends, brought together through this marvelous technology. And while most of us have never met that is not our ultimate intention. I have met a few fellow bloggers and it is AS IF we had know each other for a long time. Close friends who have yet to meet.

I feel sadded for Chris, and even your brother whom I will never meet but feel a tight bond thanks to you. Right now I am getting glassy eyed but you know what I mean

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Sojourner rides said...

bobskoot, Thank you.

Yes. I do know what you mean...exactly what you mean.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Sharon:

Winter's long sleep draws a blanket around the heart and mind, holding close to us memories of loved ones or missed ones not yet close enough to love. In the darkness of shortened days, we are more inclined to ask the question "why have they gone," knowing full well no answer can ever suffice.

Yet think of those who have passed leaving no discernable impression, no memories, so sense of having really lived, nor left. There are the unwritten tragedies of life, and there are millions of them every day.

Someday, my life will pass before my eyes and conclude in the space of a wink. And it will all be worth it if at some point a person like you looks back and says, "Do you remember the time that Riepe said..."

Spring is 26 days away. When are you coming to Valley Forge? I have some people I want you to meet. (You should come the third weekend in May. Conchskooter is rumored to be headed this way.)

Fondest regards,
Jack • reep • Toad
Twisted Roads

chessie said...

I wonder, how it is your blog has escaped me for so long?

I rush here and there, reading this blog and that one, and as you have so eloquently stated earlier: I have come to "know" my favorite writers and photographers in a way that feels intimate.

It is sad to realize that many who started out with so much promise have hushed the whispers that came my way in the form of their writings and photos...(Me? I've dropped from 4 or 5 a week to one or two a month...) I hate winter. I'm hoping the guys and dolls I've chosen to follow these past months will return, and enjoy the sound of tapping keys once more.

I'm going to enjoy your blog...

Sojourner rides said...

Jack, thanks!

Those are lovely words and I appreciate them--each one. You know, Jack, I can always depend on your to come up with some wonderful words of wisdom (this is true for many of the readers here too).

Thanks again

Sojourner rides said...


I'm glad we found each other! Thank you for the comforting words. It's good to be able to visualize a little bit of that part of the country in which you reside--it makes the feeling of "knowing" even more special. Thanks for visiting and thanks so much for future pauses this way.