I had been thinking about writing for years. By the summer or fall of 2003 I was moving towards starting a Web log but I had been occupied with work and career issues, and a failing marriage. I started A Sea of Flowers at the beginning of April 2004 as I separated from my wife.
I started A Sea of Flowers as a Web log on the Typepad hosting service in April 2004 and moved to my own hosted site, using Movable Type with a MySQL database. I started using Movable Type 3.1D and stayed with MT until 2014 when I migrated to WordPress.
Many of my early posts are about connecting with my parents and brothers and sisters and friends for support in the early stages of separation. I began to discuss the emotional issues in the marriage and divorce. I wrote several posts about transformational counselling and New Age spirituality, which were important to my ex-wife and central to my distance from her and her family. My comments about these topics reflect my skepticism about those belief systems, my anger at the impact of those belief systems on my life, and my distance from the people who adopt them – a distance that makes me frankly contemptuous.
I started to posted reviews of many of the books I have read. I wrote a few posts about Canadian folk music. In June and early July I wrote several posts about my expectations and involvement in the 2004 Winnipeg Folk Festival. In August I posted reports of my visits to the Canmore and Edmonton Folk Festivals.
Through the spring and summer of 2004, I wrote about my contacts with David, reflecting on his drug abuse and his devotion to the values he has adopted to justify his life, and the futility of talking to him about change. I wrote several posts about cycling with my friends and about health and fitness. I wrote about books I had read. I also began to write reviews for Blogcritics.org, a blog owned by Eric Olsen, a writer in Cleveland, but gave that up. I stopped reviewing books on my own blog unless they fit into another interest.
I began to write about society, culture, ideas and politics. I wrote about superstition and emotion, looking at how these aspects of human impulse and thinking are satisfied and validated by culture and religion.
I had a second blog for writing about the early months of separation, and my relationship with my family. I also used that blog as a news service for friends and family. It was private, in a password-protected directory. I called that blog “The Bleak Moor” at first, but I thought that was too moody, and I changed the name to “Rise Again” – another title inspired by a song by Stan Rogers. I lost interest in that kind of writing as my life settled down. I stopped writing in that blog by September, 2004, and I shut it down in May 2005.
For a couple of years, I also kept a few web pages in the root folder of my domain, with some core information about me and my blogs. I wrote them in a text editor and loaded them with an FTP client. When Movable Type introduced page entries with MT 4.0 in August 2007, I dropped that and started to manage that content through MT.
I still administer a site dedicated to Jane Mary McDonald, who was a nun in the Sisters of Holy Cross. She died of cancer in 2003. Her life as a nun, her work with the poor, and her struggle for justice against the Sisters of Holy Cross and the Archdiocese of Winnipeg deserve to be recognized.