[2019-10-31 07:11. First 432 words omitted.] Wow. Did not intend to write that. I had a few other things on my mind. Such as:
1) a letter to blog readers — a kind of rant about narcissism (not mine, this time, but some of theirs, in particular) which aims at all the people who might think I (or anyone else, for that matter) am(/is) obsessed with their work and their work only. I’m a vast blog-reader, a fast blog-reader, an obsessed blog-reader and more than anything here online, I’m what I like to call a “bloom-synergist,” and a weaver with words. And, and honest one — I like to give credit where credit is due… unless it looks like you’re a stalker. (Hint, if you engage in intelligent and/or fun, public comment-conversation on both your blog and mine, then you’re probably not. Just saying).
One of my main missions in life, as I told a dear friend by email (—Rachel, I hope you won’t mind me lifting my own words from our private letters, though the credit goes partly to you for perhaps-inadvertently eliciting them), is to get people to feel like they can write anything, and then to actually do that writing of anything, whether they do it privately or not.
Because — to borrow but slightly change NaNoWriMo’s motto — “the world needs your story.” (I’ve changed “novel” to “story.”) But more importantly, or inherently, I believe that *you* need your story. When you start to write, you begin to understand what you need to say. And you can progress in life, this way. Which ultimately changes the world for good.
Stories unlock us. But most especially the true, personal stories of ourselves and others. In most stranger-than-fiction, true-life personal stories, there’s little guesswork, there’s little wondering what it’s really about, there is less need to think “well that’s just a fantasy — all these things they’ve got me believing.”
That’s why I’m a hound for personal blogs. I want to know the truth of how you — and you — and you — ad infinitum — think. What makes you move? How did you get to be this way? What’s it like, inside your plain-old every day life?
I’m a humanist, an anthropologist, a digital archeologist, a documentarian, and a mostly-descriptivist linguist; I’m a “pantser,” not a plotter. There is no planned or metered method to my madness; I go with creative flow; half the time I write things I never planned to write; half the time I don’t have time to put the links in right. Half the time I deal in oversight. The other half, perhaps (—how many halves are we at now?—have never been good at math—) is inner sight. This is how I bypass my old blocker: extreme perfectionism.
But yes, to return to my rant… here is something I find happens a lot, or at least, a lot more than I seem to make time to handle well. People email me links to their posts or creations, saying they think I might be interested in the topic or that they’d like to know my opinions on it.
My first internal reaction is, “yes sir!” (Oddly, these requests so far only come from men — although less so, now that I use a more gender-neutral profile image — the one I first used was the one that still shows on Medium). My nature, or nurture, especially when it comes to tending the creations of others, is first and foremost “appreciate, encourage and serve.” That might somehow sound self-aggrandizing, but I don’t mean it to be. Maybe it’s my imagined male-identifying counterpart standing back and looking at something that’s an obvious fact, if we look at all the data. And the fact of it is anything but self-aggrandizing. If anything, it’s self-minimizing.
If I ever came to your blog and read it and “liked” it or commented on it, it was usually by one of these means:
- WP reader showed it to me via “suggested for you” (possible tags: sobriety, truth, life, creative nonfiction, love, zen buddhism, spirituality, poetry, etc. or,
- you left a “like” or comment on someone else’s blog that got me curious about you; enough so to click your avatar and check out your blog (or lack thereof), or,
- (far more often and more likely) because you “liked” one or more of my comments or posts, or “followed” my blog (though in my mind, it’s “friended” or “fellowed,” as in “fellowship” -— not “followed”).
However, the latter has lessened recently, caused in part by surprising and disturbing-to-me content on later-disappeared blogs. Story for another time… still processing. And one of the reasons I made my blog private (a few times) in the past.
I’m a natural reciprocator, quite possibly an over-reciprocator, and my goal is “empathize and look for good intention”; my urge is “synergize and serve.” I will find beauty in mud, I will find mud in beauty, and I will, at the heart and root of me, like it all. (Or sometimes love it, just a little too much for my own liking. Kind of like wine.) Most of this is a mutual thing amongst like-minded creators, and it all feels great and copacetic.
If I ever comment, whatever I’ve said is genuine and often comes from the heart. It’s a gift that does take time and energy. I choose to *make* this time and *expend* this time — often even when I “can’t” or “don’t” have it to give. I read tens of posts per day. I have a lot of other work to do that I don’t always talk about (on my blog, I like to escape -— but also show mundane truths). I sleep about six hours per night. This isn’t just reading addiction, it’s also a desire to be mutually supportive to my “contemporaries.” My contemporaries aren’t the folks way up at the top of the mountain, they are “the people that I meet, when I’m walking down the street, they’re the people that I meet, each day” (Sesame St, paraphrased) — both outside, here in the countryside, and in blogland.
Sometimes — and maybe this happens for others, too — the fearful and/or repressed side of me will stop me from “liking” a post.
e.g. (Me, if post contains sexual/sensual content, posted by an apparently male-identifying entity:) “If I ‘like’ it, will they or someone else think that my ‘like’ is a come-on? And if so, are we all gonna die?” (I love that last phrase, thanks DustBunnies). And/or “If I ‘like’ it, will they or someone else think I “approve of/agree with” this philosophy?”
Mind you, all of this neuroticism or cautiousness or sensibleness or self-preservation was certainly less likely to occur, in the past, if I’d been drinking some wine while imbibing blogs. (Wine: for me the ultimate truth-and/or-universal-love serum — until it wasn’t, truly).
But most of the time, with or without wine, I’m a rampant “liker.” If I read it, I usually “like” it. Sometimes a little later, yes, if it took me some time to process it (or if I couldn’t find the WP reader link — as I keep mentioning, some glitch in Chrome or WP prevents me from “liking” WP blogs from the “front end”), but usually, nonetheless. And/or comment on it. Not only do I feel this to be a way of showing appreciation for another’s creation, but it’s also a way of holding myself accountable for the content I consume. It’s a way of not being a secret lurker. It’s a way of telling myself, “look girlfriend, you clicked, you read it; now be honest and leave your mark.”
By the way, to those of you *non*-WordPress folks reading my blog without acknowledging it, this is not trying to guilt you into “liking” nor commenting on my blog. In fact, I want to specifically say, don’t feel you have to sign up just to comment. Gravatar is a somewhat insidious, unclear thing which quite literally “follows you around the Internet,” and to “like” or comment here is to sign up for Gravatar (possibly unknowingly; I’m not even sure how the form works). For-evah. (You can run but you can’t hide.)
Eeeeeeeeek okay now I’m scaring even myself. Is WP going to delete my blog for this? Let’s find out…. ha ha, just kidding. I’m just a tired old stay-at-home mom. Nothing to see here. “Smile and wave, boys, smile and wave.” (Madagascar. Yes my input is generally childish.)
As you can see by the existence of this post, and this blog (and a couple of others — on Weebly, Ghost, Github, Prose, and Medium, sometimes under pseudonym Lia or PetalOuda), I somehow got over my fears of all that and started blogging anyway, and yes, using WordPress.com (— not WordPress.org, because I could not for the life of me figure out self-hosted, though I tried; it involved waaaaaayyyyyy too much time not writing. My husband offered to host it for me but I have residual control issues). And WordPress.com goes hand-in-hand with its all-knowing, more mysterious twin, Gravatar.
Quite honestly, for me, most of the time I love WP-.com, mainly for its easy-to-use and very social aspect (for those reading this blog from the front-end, there is a whole writers’-social-media factor built into the back-end. See an older post of mine called The Alleyways).
I feel I’ve developed at least a handful of very real-to-me-seeming online friendships here (thank you, wonderful WP friends! You know who you are, because we regularly comment-chat on both our blogs, and thus mutually help each other grow), and I’ve gotten to freely read (and like, and interact with) a lot of fascinating and sometimes wildly-impressive, educational and/or inspiring content. These are the true gifts of the blogging world. Thank you for those.
But point was, for those of you total strangers thinking your links or email texts are some kind of “gift,” (hello, I have enough work to do already, much of which, though I love certain aspects of it, does not in any way, shape or form pay the bills —- quite the opposite, it costs me time, energy and even money), AND most particularly those of you WP bloggers whose blogs I’ve “liked” and/or commented-on, but who don’t “like” or comment on mine, for whatever reason (which is fine with me, no hard feelings), yet email me privately to tell me I might like your stuff (no pun intended), and/or that you’d love my feedback on it… well, sorry (not sorry?) but from now on, and/or if it hasn’t already been, it’s going to be a silent “no.”
And remember, a silent “no” never means yes.
Now I have to go wash my hair.
crap! That was supposed to be a journalled list of random things on my mind, not a 1300-word blog post arising from a simple #1! Such is the nature of true pantsing. Well, there’s always tomorrow, for #2… or #33, or none, or whatever.
Edit 2019-11-07 06:18. Changed title number from 0-1. Photo (especially again) is ridiculous. But this is how it was. Sure let’s do it. Publish. Omfg….
2019-11-14 15:36. Nope. Image section removed.]
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Nadine inhales & exhales words & images from current vantage point in Zone of Emptiness, France. Thank you for reading. ❤︎