There must be at least thirty posts that I want to read backed up in my 'Following' list. I am managing about one post a week on my own blog and am scrambling to get one every two weeks up over at Canada Moms Blog. (I will have one up tomorrow morning over there.) Summer is not good for blogging, at least for someone whose husband does not know she is doing it. And I don't see any way that I can tell the man that does not let me in for a lot of nagging and cutting remarks about wasted time and silliness.
As far as I can see, most of what I do comes under those categories for JG. I'm not going to go into any detail about it, because I do, frankly, think it is wrong for me to discuss the man in public when he does not even know I am doing so. What I am going to do is ramble on a bit about what blogging means to me and how the secrecy affects me. This is pretty close to the line I have drawn and I am going to have to be careful. But I hope the stricture will force me to be dispassionate and honest - a state of mind I find hard to attain.
It is so, so easy, when someone criticizes, to be defensive, to say to yourself 'They just don't understand!', to allow hurt feelings free rein, to retell the narrative making all the points in your own favour. A more elaborate version of waking up at 2:00 am with the perfect retort to a nasty comment someone made to you the day before. It is even easier to be passive/aggressive, to retreat into silence, to behave in a way that will return pain to the person who is giving you pain.
For me, writing a blog is a way to be my own person. I love to write. I love to put words together in pleasing ways, to entertain, to give people pleasure and get validation from the comments they leave. It is also a way for me to sort out my own thoughts and emotions because to write well it is necessary to clarify what you are thinking, to order it, to identify and lay out what is going on. Whether the writer is telling a story, giving information or eliciting humour, the process is the same. When I write something that is not honest or clear, I can't leave the words there. I am compelled to redo it, correct it, make it real. To make it reflect me as I really am.
Often what I write is a narrative or an essay about something that interests me or that I care about. I love to do the Monday Mission assignments and work what I am thinking and feeling into whatever structure has been proposed. Sometimes I have to work hard at this blog, thinking things out, editing, amending, rereading to make sure it is coherent and true. Sometimes it just flows. The transitions are there, the words pop into my mind. After such a halcyon experience, I am often surprised at how true to me the piece of writing is. And, sometimes, the idea takes on a life of its own and veers off into new territory, no matter how hard I pull on the reins. I have some of this type sitting in draft, waiting for a resolution.
I write about my own little world with its birds and flowers and weather, its beauty and its beasts. (Essay about deer flies coming up soon!) I write about my granddaughter a lot because she is the future and I love that in her. I see her mother and my mother sometimes in her face and actions but her smile and her promise is all her own. I write about what I feel about my children and my friends and my neighbours. The post might start off as a rant but in the end it is usually positive because the good things are what stay true.
[Just a note in passing. I went and read through a bit of this, a blog that rates other blogs, the other day and was just disgusted. But I guess the writers and commenters there find validation in dealing out sarcasm and kicks in the teeth. I'm so glad I don't know any of them for real.]
I hope that the positive viewpoint, the humour, the sentiment, are the things that are real about me. The things that are good. I try to write out some of my faults so that I can look at them and decide if they are poisonous or merely me. (I should be running the vacuum over the floors this very minute, but too bad! The floors can wait. This is what I want to do now. The procrastination queen in action.)
I don't, very often, write about the wide world and its problems and its pain. When I was younger and more energetic and, I guess, more naive, I thought that I could help to change some of the horror out there. Now I concentrate on my own community and try to make it a better place through volunteer activities. There is enough to do to reduce poverty and all its accompanying misery right here in Eastern Ontario. (I have a writing assignment to do for the organization where I volunteer that I should be doing this very minute, but ... I'll get to it after I pick up the dead bugs from the floor. Maybe.) That's the inner person talking in this paragraph, or the best I can do to winkle her out of her shell. Is she a good person?
Well, no, not really. A really good, strong person would fold her arms and say, aloud, that this blogging world is really important to her, that the friends she has made here are important to her and that a few bugs on the floor are a small price to pay for being connected, alive and happy. Because writing and reading are the things I love to do. Being here in this community, reading about you all and talking to you is a solace and a strength for me. And I get here as often as I can, as often as the path of least resistance will allow me. And now I am off to deal with dessicated earwigs and flies. And to try to forget how much of myself I often hide.