I started this piece on how to write a good About Me text for your webpage … but life got in the way and kicked my arse

It is Thursday. At 9am it is already gloriously sunny and the day promises untold treasure.

However… it is 2 days before I have to leave and travel back to the UK. My Saturday morning flight is but a finger flick away.

I know, after 3 months here, I am looking forward to seeing my family, in particular my daughters, but this feeling is leaden. I am certainly too down to write an informative piece on how to write the best About Me page.

The jam

I move from gazing at the river to the kitchen to prepare some morning toast. The habit, I hope, prolongs the creation of today's memories. I note with a blank feeling that the end of the homemade loaf has speckles of mold … everything has a timeframe. I carefully cut enough that I think is safe to eat and press the toaster into action.

I reach for the peanut butter, which I note is called Jif and spread it onto the hot bread intending to endure the sticky mouthed exercise of chomping and chewing. I seem, these days, to prefer smooth over crunchy.

On the hob of the stove is an enormous aluminium stock pot. Rachel has been simmering the blackberries that we have been systematically picking from the bushes that surround the cabin. This pan has been simmering for 2 days now with the intention of jam arriving before my departure.

about me and jam

She is not entirely sure what to do with herself either. Cooking is her way of avoiding our separation. It is hard.

I lift the lid and peer at the dark, thick liquid cooled into a syrup. This lifts my spirits

Rachel is still asleep so I spoon a little out and let it smear like paint across the now shiny toast.

I sniff it and the scent of outside tickles me. I walk back to the porch, toast in hand and look once more upon the river.

umpqua river
River Umpqua

I know I have to leave, albeit temporarily and return to the UK for a while. It could easily break my heart.

The mark

Looking down I can see the attempt I have made at a painting … my first in years. Only a couple of days to go and my instincts kick in. My urge to express and leave my own footprint right here… this summer, this heat, the colour… Not sure why. And I know it is not good. But it is a start. And I understand that a beginning will require a middle and an end. I am subconsciously stating a point to which I can return and carry on the pursuance of my life. A signpost as it were.

making a mark

And I taste the jam whilst sitting beneath the bluest sky listening to the eternal song of the river and I know I have just made a mark. This memory is constructed through my senses recording my emotion.

These words, this feeling, though unsettling and redolent with ague say more 'About Me' than any list of achievement or a detailed itinerary of effort.

Every moment we create our own past we are scattering seeds that grow into memories of experience. Often we will try to rewrite them for our own grandeur, recalling times of happiness, contentment, turbulence or sorrow. The extremes are easier to recall, perhaps as it should be.

But for every creative moment acted in accord with your own faith that what you do is indispensable to this world … make a mark. Allow the ability to recall that moment to overwhelm. Explore every sensual facet so you can describe the smell, the feel, the things that you can see.

When you come to retell that story you will be armed with all the truth you need. The impression, the telling, the reception will be born of sincerity, of faith.

About Me

So when you are asked to write the text for your website's About Me page or you are asked to supply a précis of your artistic endeavour for a catalogue entry DO NOT fall prey to the usual. Consider who you are and pick an experience that is important to you. Retell it in a way that allows an unfamiliar audience to wonder who you are.

I guarantee you that a titled piece of work on a white screen or a white wall will not inspire an audience member to put in effort to find out more about you, actively search for contact details and type out an email to get in touch. Our world is far too competitive now and the audience has too short an attentive timespan.

What they want to know is who you are and what makes you unique. They want to be part of your journey. They want to invest in you.

So give them what they want and not what bureaucratic tradition dictates.

about me riverscape

On a separate note. I have been reading Robert McFarlane's newest work Underland (no affiliation)… it is wonderful. He notes the way that humans have long placed in the deep earth “that which we fear and wish to lose, and that which we love and wish to save.”.

I would suggest that the marks we make, we also love and wish to save. They are a unique addition to the world's turning. So we should make them and describe them in the way that is most faithful to how we feel who we are.

About Me … Describe the jam.