I have been contemplating this post since I put an old magazine, partly read, into a basket and saw the shape it created….

We women love our magazines. And when I looked up the definition, I found a delightful aptness in this:

ORIGIN French magasin, from an Arabic word meaning ‘storehouse’

…for that certainly describes the feeling of security and pleasure I get when I look at the stacks of old magazines that await my perusal, or the organized piles of clippings that cover our living room table at the moment (as I go through my stacks and add to the leafy piles). So much inspiration and beauty to sift through….

For many years, however, I have been troubled by the thought of what the cost to Earth must be for the pleasure that magazines give to me. So I stopped giving in to temptation at the grocery store check out and didn’t renew any of my subscriptions except to British Country Living and M.E.’s Home Companion. When I long for some new pictures to look at, I go to our library and buy a few donated magazines for 25¢ each….and then donate them again or if I have clipped too many things out of them, into the recycling basket they go.

A few months ago, I heard the very end of a radio piece about Rachel Ray’s magazine and the cutting of trees. I just looked it up online to see what the story was about. Of course, it is good news that her magazine is now using recycled paper…but I found it astonishing to learn from that article that one issue of her magazine in the past took 11,500 trees!? My mind reels to think of all the magazines being produced, many with a much bigger circulation than Rachel Ray’s magazine, and just how many trees that means.

And here I am, celebrating the latest issue of Artful Blogging, and my contribution to it. The subject of magazines is perplexing and complex, as are many subjects these days. When life is a little less full, I plan to spend alot of time gathering information and resources for ecological alternatives to the usual choices for printing and packaging. Then I will share this information with the magazine publishing companies, the restaurants and stores I frequent and anyone else who would like to have it. I truly believe that many more people and businesses would do the right thing if only they could easily figure out how to find the alternatives.

In the meantime, as I shared in this interview, I think blogs can satisfy our longing for beautiful images and inspiring words-without the need to cut down forests. And blogs can do this more authentically than magazines, which is another benefit I deeply appreciate. In fact, I believe it is the authenticity that is so compelling as you look through the gorgeous pages of Artful Blogging. There is no “middle man” in the blogging world, just women generously sharing their lives and thoughts and creations with us.

It is this spirit that Tammy Vitale has captured in her Wylde Women Award. I discovered this award when Kim of Thistle Dew Mercantile so kindly gave it to me last month. I must admit that the logistics of these awards confuses me (the linking, the notifications, the linking back) but they are encouraging and a sweet surprise to receive….and I especially liked the purpose of this one:

“To send love and acknowledgment to women who brighten your day, teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy.”

Every blog I visit regularly gives me these gifts….but when I first read the name and purpose of the award, Sarah came to my mind and so I would like to give this award to her, with gratitude for her honesty and tenderness.

And to weave this in with the give-away (I have not forgotten!)…I have an extra copy of the latest issue of Artful Blogging and it would give me great pleasure to give it to one of you. If you would like your name to be included in the “hat”, please leave me a comment letting me know what blogger you would give the Wylde Woman Blogger award to, if you could. Please leave a link if you are able….I am looking forward to visiting new and lovely places….and do actually give the award to these women you appreciate if you have the time to pass along the acknowledgment.

(Photo of the cover-rather achingly pretty-of the latest British Country Living….which reminds me of the sea…which reminds me of our book club. Interest seems to be waning in it and I know that everyone is very busy at this time of the year, so my ponderings on the next chapter will come soon, but not tomorrow!)