Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thoughts on a Year of Blogging

A year of blogging as of this week. My spell checker still fusses with me when I use any form of the word blog. It will learn, I keep trying to teach it. Let's face it, all of us are a little resistant or a lot resistant to change. There is surely something that threatens our routine that we don't want to change, my spell checker just bucks me on the word blog and proper names spelled with some kind of twist. My nephew's name, Sabastian is not spelled with an “e” and the checker is always trying to convince me otherwise.

Trust me, I win, I'm not afraid of its squawking and red ink. I felt the same way about my high school Junior Lit teacher, but we ended up good friends. Why did we end up good friends? Simple really, it was a matter of respect and brutal honesty. We each earned it because we each showed it. I recall with great fondness the question that she asked to start discussion after we read Ernest Hemingway's, The Old Man and the Sea. She said, “Don, explain to me what you think was driving Ernest Hemingway when he wrote this book?” I'll never forget the look on her face when I responded, “the reason is simple really, Mr. Hemingway was running out of money for his boozing and womanizing and knew that if he wrote another book that sold he ran an excellent chance of re stuffing his piggy bank.” Before she could catch her breath I continued, “I don't think it ever crossed his mind that he needed to use certain elements of writing so that he could provide high school juniors across the state something to dissect.” Her response was priceless, “Mr. Bryant, your thoughts are absolutely right, I cannot argue with any single observation that you have made, however we are going to tear it apart anyway because that's what they pay me for around here.” “As you wish,” I said and nodded. We enjoyed one another after that.

I've thought about how blogging is something like what Mr. Hemingway was doing, he was writing because he needed booze money. Which is to say that he had a drive, a reason to be doing it. I dare say that anyone who writes a blog is doing it for the very same reason, they have something to say. Maybe what they have to say is worthy of publishing in book form and making a buck off of just as Mr. Hemingway did, maybe it isn't. Frankly, I want to say something of more depth than who I'm routing for on Dancing with the Stars, but if that's what you want to use your blog for then I say BULLY! There are some who write simply to impress us with their brilliance, to that I say, WRITE ON! Some write because they have nothing to say and they need a place to say it, again I say....what do I say?

My original thought when I began this little project was multifaceted, I knew that I wanted to do a little creative writing again, I knew that I wanted to tell anyone who would read it what I had to say, I wanted to share my views on a particular subject(s), (see the Holy Week writings,) I wanted to talk about my grief process after having lost my father, I wanted to share some memories of my childhood and kidhood. I would say that I have managed to do all those things, but then I have the luxury of hindsight now.

I've experienced a reaffirmation or two while doing these entries, one of the most important ones I think is simple, “don't say anything on the Internet that would hurt someone's feelings in person.” That's simple enough really. Another would be remember, “not everyone is going to agree with you, but that's okay.” (Of course I want to follow that with the old adage, “everyone is entitled to their opinion, even when it's wrong.” However, I don't....yeah, right.) I do know that the old saying, “the truth hurts,” can be bone shakingly true, that doesn't mean that I have to lie, it means that I don't have to say everything that's on my mind. I've been reminded that not every memory is a good one and not every life experience is all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows.

Writing here has brought to mind, and to eye, painful thoughts and tears. Some in ways that others might not expect. The entry about Clarissa's kisses on my forehead brought back fond memories, but they were tear covered. The story about the blue butterfly will always be precious to me because it is so poignant, I feel somehow that Pop is thinking of me each time I see one, real or a sticker on a piece of mail. There are my views on just life stuff that make me giggle, I still smile at the thought of Burping the Baby Jesus. The tales of Vincent and Emlee and Huck are all important to me because these characters are all concocted of a little bit of me, okay, a lot of me, but I spread the joy, so to speak.

I've not used this space to say what I really think about some topics, there is a fine line between opinion and slander, I promised myself that I wouldn't find out where that fine line is. I'll leave plenty of cyberspace for others to do such things. There have been days though...... Well, we all have them.

There are the comments, they mean a lot to me, they tell me that people are reading what I have to say, some tell me they enjoy it, some say they haven't thought about it that way before, some say, “think about it this way.” I really want that.

What's the future here? I don't know, I will however, know when I write it.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don,
I have enjoyed reading your entries since Mom told me about then. Although I don't comment on all of them, I can observe that you try to keep upbeat about life and that you feel particularly blessed in your family. (Perhaps that is what helps you to stay positive.) Keep up what you are doing. You have a wonderful gift with the written word.
By the way - Remember sledding down that big hill near your home (the one owned by Bill Reynolds) and doing your best not to land in the icy creek? Is my memory faulty or did you once land in it? I know you made it all the way to the road at least a couple of times.
Rita

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