"An intricate, delicate, or fanciful ornamentation."
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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jumping Into the Stream

How I Muddled My Way Here

Everybody’s doing it these days, and I am thinking about doing it too. For every generation, the phrase “everybody’s doing it” meant something different and sometimes something illicit or something your parents didn’t want you to do. My mother used say, “Just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t mean you have to. If everybody jumped off bridges, would you do that too?” Well, of course not, and mom knew her point was well-taken. But sometimes something comes along that is more than a fad; it’s a change in cultural viewpoint that is really interesting and worthy of consideration. So why is everybody blogging and should I do it too?

If you don’t spend a lot of time on a computer these days and don’t know what a blog is, I’ll bring you up to speed. A blog is short for “web log” and is a personal journal made public by placing it on a website for everyone to read. Some blogs allow readers to make comments on the journal entries, which may consist of everything from what someone eats for breakfast every day, to deep philosophical ruminations on the nature of life. Blogs often include photographs and links to other blogs, or links to websites that the author finds interesting. I have recently been reading the blogs of handcrafters and artists as inspiration for my own resurging creative endeavors. I have truly enjoyed reading about their current projects and the sources of their ideas. Many of the pictures they share are zen-like in color and design simplicity, and I love to look at them over and over again because they soothe my soul. I have also been drawn into the artisans’ lives, hopes and dreams through this diary-like format. Reading the entries is like hopping on someone else’s stream-of-consciousness; I even see bits and pieces of my own life reflected here and there. Like a soap opera, I am anxious to tune in tomorrow to see what enlightening or exciting tidbits the latest journal entry will hold.

As readers comment on the blog, and the bloggers link to each other’s sites, a community begins to form, a community that somehow chips away at the voids in our social spheres left by locked doors, long work weeks, and dwindling neighborhood conviviality. Technology has both pushed us apart and bridged the distant parts of the globe in the same momentous blink of time. It is partially a longing for community that drives me to want to share myself in the world of blogging. “Belonging” and “blogging” seem somehow related. Wouldn’t it be strange to come across a blog written by the woman next door who you never see? Or maybe a distant relative is blogging about wanting to find you and your family, and you stumble upon it by chance…or was it chance after all?

I did an online search for “blog” and I got 2,640,000,000 results. There certainly is something happening out there with all these blogs going on. Is it just too much mental static? Will it all fade away when a new internet fad comes along? Or is this a way that the universal mind is linking us all together? Of course, for me, not all blogs are worth reading, just as not all of my thoughts are worth writing. Many blogs do not resonate in a wavelength that matches my own; some are just plain boring and some are really odd. A few are strangely disturbing. However, there are plenty of blogs in the digital universe that expand my thinking and make my mind work a little harder. They pick up on a train of thought that I had yesterday, or the week before, and I am re-engaged in contemplation, perhaps with new light shed on my ideas.

This technological explosion of cranial activity made public has removed the veils that keep our thoughts private. We are inundated with the random thoughts of people we don’t know. Sometimes I feel like I am in a movie in which the main character can suddenly hear the thoughts of total strangers. Is that a good thing? At the end of the movie, we usually find out that the hero would rather not know; he’s overwhelmed with too much information. He’d rather be blissfully unaware of what others think of him and themselves because knowing everything leads to uncomfortable situations. Yet there is a key difference here: We make the choice to read or write a blog. It is completely up to us if we want to spill our guts or keep them sucked in, if we want to dive into the thought-stream or stay on shore. We can post every day or only when inspiration strikes. We can choose to let out as much or as little of ourselves as we want, perhaps only allowing flashing glimpses of our inner workings to emerge for general consumption.

So, by now, you may be asking if I decided to blog or not. Well, I haven’t decided yet if the glaring light of the internet is too bright for me and my ponderings. I am not sure if I want everyone to see the real me in all my blemished glory. I could write just a little; the writer in me is itching to get going. Maybe nobody would read it anyway. Ok, I’ll just create an account at a free blogging site and then decide if I want to “do it” like everyone else. Oh, oh, I am stuck at username. What shall I use? What ID do I want to assume? What image do I want to project? What do I want to say about myself? Who am I and why do I exist? What is the nature of the universe? Oops, went a little too deep there. Let’s just back up to username for now. I write down a few name combinations but nothing seems to capture what I want to express. That’s probably because I haven’t yet figured out who I am. Every day brings a new facet of my personality to the top of the heap. I can’t commit to just one.

Perhaps I’ll wait for the universe to send me an inspired sign as to which name I should pick. It’s been a few days and nothing is happening. I think I am getting an “out to lunch” signal from the powers that be. I decide to brew another pot of tea, clean the bathrooms (now I know I have reached a point of desperation), and think about the username for a little while. It would be nice if I could write a blog without having to decide on a persona. After all, my inner life wasn’t built in a day. A lot of things about me emerge from my writing, like the indecision and fear of commitment that is peeking out right now. Looking back on the words I’ve just written, I guess I already have my first blog entry done. Now if you should hear back from the universe about my username while I am away from the computer, could you let me know? Email is fine, or you could relay it to me the old-fashioned way, by talking. Or better yet, maybe you could blog it and we’ll all jump off the bridge together. Come on, everybody’s doing it.



Blogger Judy Nolan said...

Great post and very thought-provoking. I can't wait to read your next post!--JN Originals

April 30, 2008 at 3:00 AM  
Blogger jstinson said...

Did you write this or did I? You have stated my thoughts so beautifully! I am in the same boat with you! But since your writing skills are so should go for it. On the otherhand, I still need to ponder.

April 30, 2008 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger Chauncey said...

Yowza Liv, You are a really good writer. The layout, the entry... its all wonderful. Welcome to blogworld!

May 1, 2008 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Welcome, your blog is beautiful and beautifully written. Will look forward to more posts.

May 1, 2008 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger ZudaGay said...

Liv, I love the look you is peaceful, lovely and feels like a lovely place to visit! So very nicely written! I look forward to reading more!!!

May 1, 2008 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger Liv said...

Thank you so much for visiting and for reading my rather long first post! I look forward to doing some artist features soon. ;-)

May 1, 2008 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger NuvoFelt said...

Liv, I enjoyed every word, and yes, make it difficult for the auto commenters, they are a real nuisance.

May 1, 2008 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

I love the design on your blog and enjoyed reading it a great deal too!! You're off to a good start:)

May 1, 2008 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Sixsisters said...

Liv this is excellent ! Congrats on a super first blog.

May 1, 2008 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger joonbeam said...

Hi fil! Welcome to blog world. This is lovely. I enjoyed every word and visual and I am so happy you started. I predict you will grow to like this very much. Writing and sharing are good for the soul. Just do it on your own terms, just like you are. ox joon

May 1, 2008 at 4:30 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Liv, you're a natural blogger! It is interesting what you say about community and your next door neighbour... I got an email from DS3's best friend's Mum - she was looking for a print gocco and had Googled it and came across my blog! She didn't even know I had one... (now she has one too!!)

May 2, 2008 at 3:30 PM  
Blogger Liv said...

Thank you all so much for the kind words and votes of confidence!

May 2, 2008 at 6:15 PM  

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