Naissance de vie
Several questions arose while talking to Prajwal and Ranj at their home in Paris.
“Ah, that’s an interesting idea. Hmm…
How do you plan on implementing this?”
I was just talking to Ranjita about this dream that I had one morning in July. She was cooking in the kitchen, and while giving her a hand in making dinner for the evening I explained to her about working on a project that would involve inviting 52 different writers, over the period of a year, one week at a time.
“Dude, I thought you said you were going to send a book around that writers will write on for a week and mail it to the next one. What is this about having a blog?”
It seems Prajwal overheard the conversation I was having with Ranjita, in between reading articles on Wired and giving me updates about the riots in London. I explained to him how the idea of having a book was elegant, but involved more uncertainties. In the original story-line of the dream, the main character was played by a book that traveled from one writer to another, changing hands, crossing continents and countries, recording stories from different storytellers. There was comedy, tragedy, lessons to learn and meanings to be found.
*…and what are you gonna call it?”
I was in a pickle. I had the idea for the dairy that travels which now became a blog on the interweb. What next? The focus was always that this book with the stories were shared with people and the story tellers would have to be from around the world. The internet came out as the best solution and voila ” Vie Hebdomadaires” was born.
I was seeing these friends of mine after a long time, and it was the first time since their wedding. Having been there for a week, enjoying being shown around the beautiful city of Paris, it seemed apt to use these French words to name the blog. On returning to the UK, I had an email from a CouchSurfer from a town close to Amsterdam, visiting the South west of UK. She wrote to me as a recorder player, specializing in teaching traditional English folk music, who was visiting the famed hippy town of Totnes as a teacher for its yearly folk music summer school. A couple of days later, I hear a knock on the door around 5 pm and there she was, Sarah Jeffery : the first writer on Vie Hebdomadaires.
She walked in with a heavy rucksack on her back and a big smile. Little was I to know that she had with her, the best waffles I have ever tasted. I was introduced to the magical world of stroopwafels! wonderful and filling dutch syrup containing waffles with origins dating back to late 18th century and a place called Gouda in Netherlands.
In the last couple of days, I had built a WordPress blog, thought about different elements of the blog and came up with some ideas for all the things that it could involve. A couple of emails were sent around to a few bloggers I followed and kind words of support from several bloggers like Judy Clement from Zebra sounds had helped push the blog into a stage where I could discuss the concept with friends, and strangers alike. Surprisingly, it gave me a new identity to come forth as a blogger, a dreamer with some balls to do something about it and a clarity of thought that I did not anticipate.
Sarah, had just unpacked and while we walked on the streets of Exeter and picked up some groceries for dinner that evening, I was slowly warming up to her as a quirky, funny traveler who enjoyed her music and was open to discussing her life, music, living in the Netherlands and her origins in Central UK. Somewhere in between buying fresh tomatoes from Stokes, and closing the oven door while making enchiladas for dinner I heard about the near 700 mile cycling trip she undertook from her town in Netherlands all the way up to Edinburgh, in Scotland UK. Suddenly, I realised that she is the kind of writer I wanted on the blog. Definitely, she must have a story to say. A story about this experience, or maybe even a story about what made her go on this trip. In the next few minutes, my laptop was down in the kitchen under the beautiful glass roof that the old house had and we sat on the wonderful hardwood, hand polished table top. Late July sunlight trickled in through the roof and by the time the enchiladas were ready to eat, we had discussed everything about the blog, and I managed to convince her to nominate herself as one of the writers to kick-start the blog.
It was always in my mind that this project should not be influenced by my decisions, my own quirks, and my choices as to me the blog was meant to have its own identity, a personality that evolved on its own and took shape into a form that it filled into. At this point in time, I was not even sure if I will have a second week on the blog as there were no other writers lined up.
A couple of days spent on WordPress and reading blogs from around the world, I managed to get in touch with a few avid bloggers who were enthusiastic about the concept and by the end of the week we had six writers who stood on a polling list and a few friends and acquaintances voted on the first writer. Sarah was picked and the rest is now history, chronicled and archived on the pages of this blog.
I was not meaning to write such a long blog post, but walking through all these things that happened did bring out a lot more detail than I expected. All this that happened since the last week of August last year until today has been truly an experience worth writing about. There will always be some thank you’s shared with some of you, maybe all of you both as readers and writers for being around for this long.
The next time I post on the blog, I will try to make it less wordy with maybe some videos or pictures or even some of my amateur guitar compositions.
For all those riders on the storm
There isn’t no sin in being the true self you are,
There isn’t no love if you are never that and all,
Crippling starts when you walk through false doors in your identity
Creaky floors weaken your step.
Grin with your teeth clenched for every time you have to lie to your self
or you will lose your mind when faced with your true identity that was forgotten.
Strings of guitar always break when you pull them on ways that they were not meant to
so would an identity that wasn’t made to
hide itself, morph into a mutant or pretend an act of silence when it needs to scream.