Friday, August 28, 2009

Baby, Please Don't Go

I closely follow several personal blogs (and loosely keep up with a few others.) I specify "personal" because I also follow a couple of authors' blogs and an outdoor adventure information forum. For the few personal blogs I regularly follow, it has been a slow couple of months. Since mid June, a cumulative ten entries have been posted by seven of the web writers; two of them haven't posted at all. In fact, if you examine this page, you will notice a gap in my own entries-- nothing whatsoever in July. So, what's up? Is it a summer lull? Have we all run out of things to say?

Yesterday, I read an article by Carolyn Duffy Marsan, Business Week, titled, "12 Words You Can Never Say in the Office." It was a list of words and "phrases that you shouldn't be using at work anymore because they will make you seem old." Terms like: Intranet, Web Surfing, Push Technology, Long-Distance Call, World Wide Web, Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), or Internet Telephony. Among them was the word "weblog" with the following explanation...
A blog is a shortened version of "Weblog," a term that emerged in the late 1990s to describe commentary that an individual publishes online. It spawned many words still in use such as "blogger" and "blogosphere." Nowadays, few people have time to blog so they are "microblogging," which is another word that's heading out the door as people turn Twitter into a generic term for blasting out 140-character observations or opinions.
I'll admit, I gave in to the whole Twitter thing last December. While I recognize (and have even exercised) some of its unique benefits, on the whole, I find it extremely tedious. If anyone is actually that interested in what I'm doing every waking minute of the day, they really need to get out more (either that, or I need to look into getting that restraining order). The truth is, I find it difficult to really sink my teeth into a statement like "working on a Sunday! ... story of my life." or "Just watched first 2 Hours of transformers 2. Didn't download all i missed the ending." I read one tweet recently that simply said, "trying to think of what I'm doing so i can post a twitter about it." I understand his sentiment.

I often find myself staring blankly at standing prompts like Twitter's "what are you doing?" or Facebook's "what's on your mind?" I could waste a lot of time trying to come up with something, ANYTHING remotely pithy with which to fill the box-- congeniality and intrigue in 140 characters or less. Contrary to popular belief, I don't always have something to say. In fact, I spend the largest portion of each day working entirely alone not saying anything at all. I don't usually mind it one bit. I draw energy from solitude. Yesterday, for lunch, I drove up to a generally deserted hiking trail in the national forest and just sat on a rock reading and taking photos. But, when I do speak or write or, in some other way, communicate, it generally has the full force of all my alone time behind it. Sometimes conversation, for me, is a release of that pent up raw energy. (One more reason never to ask me a question.) Writing is a refocusing of that energy and, often, my preferred outlet. But writing, though cathartic, is not communication without a reader. [Enter: the blogosphere]

So, bloggers, let's refocus some of that summer energy. I love our silent conversations. I love discovering life with and learning from you. Let the rest of the world "tweet" away. We both know we've more substance than that.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Red Light District

Remarkable how simple choices, when they find their effect
Can choke out the voice.
Not that there is nothing to say
Or even that it is or isn't being said;
Rather that the carrier, by reputation
Inspires a preemptive disqualification of the message.
Robbing others of the treasure within
By careless transport.

More tragic still, as a matter of convention
Others cheat themselves by premature defense—
O, malicious mishap.
Perhaps brilliance buried is best left covered.
For brilliance, free to shine
Is wontedly passed over for its tariff
Its pretension
Its peculiarity.
After all, it is more satisfying
To admire the jewel on one's own hand
Than on the hand of another.

As for me, I am strangled;
Silenced by witness
To my own once passionate acuity turning, as a matter of course
To platitude— three dimensions distilled to one.
Even so, it's more difficult than I imagined
To give up a life of prostitution.