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FRED FIRST: Where Are You From?

I started writing in 2002 such that total strangers could read over my shoulder as a way of telling myself—and those who cared to know—both the source and the path of my own roots, purpose and hopes . . . Where I am from.

This is not a location; is not a static thing, like one’s home town or where you went to college.

Where I’m From has been taking shape since I was born. The answer to the question for me was given a voice and has been speaking since May, 2002, when the signal from Fragments from Floyd first reached the “blogosphere”—that universe of connected travelers telling their own stories of paths and purposes. That was at least true for the band of writers I fell in with, by nature, so to speak.

This group of related writers-in-public was called “Bloggers about Place.” And we were all exploring what it meant to live lives whose character and uniqueness reflected the peculiarities and qualities of the WHERE of our lives. For a time, we had an active and regular watering hole I called “the Ecotone—Where Writers Write About Place.

But nothing gold can stay. As early as 2007, Twitter and Facebook began changing the convivial nature of the first wave of highly-connected and authentic writing-with-links about place or nature or community. And really, for my money, the medium never recovered its initial joy and energy.

From Fragments 2007: Strands of the Web: Blog Connections

Where I’m From is tethered to Where I’m Going. And my tired old blog—that I watched grow cold and lifeless is, surprisingly, alive again. Just now, really.

This week marks the end of years of technical frustration from massive intrusions (largely from Croatia—go figure) and other corruption of this million words that hold my story and my journey. Against the odds, Fragments lives. And mostly, it lives for me as an archive of points along the way. It is a commonplace book and legacy of “precious things” gathered by only paying attention to the extraordinary ordinary.

Fragments 2023 is still under active repair and improvement, but for the most part, it can be explored and mined for any topic I’ve written about since 2002 (with some years lost and unrecoverable and lots of dead links, I’m afraid.) The “featured images” are largely missing. Odd characters appear throughout (like Â) that cannot (yet) be removed. So: warts ‘n all.

But I (or you) can search by date, topic or word and enter the Fred First Wayback Machine. I find connection with these moments and memories comforting and affirming. I’m thankful to be alive again in this way.

Going forward for whatever span of weeks or years I’m granted, I will somehow hope to use both Substack AND Fragments and make them complement or supplement each other. Don’t ask me how.

But do go poke around: Fragments from Floyd and let me ask you:

Where are YOU from?

– Fred First

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