I gave up blogging for Lent. It was an interesting experience.
Originally, I was giving up the Interenet for Lent. That lasted, oh, forty-eight hours. I am a stay-at-home mother with significant health issues, and some days the only significant intellectual interaction I have with people over the age of sixteen is on peoples’ blogs.
Instead, I simply didn’t blog myself. I had gotten to a point of obsessiveness. I was thinking about blogging all the time, even though I was not writing all that much: everything become potential post fodder, considered and discarded according to its possible readability. I was checking my site-meter stats to see if anyone was reading me — and who, and where from. I became, as my friend Jen put it, like those people who go through life looking through the lens of a camera, who can’t simply look at things without needing to take pictures of them. I would joke that I needed one of these shirts.
So I took time off. I started experiencing things for themselves. Or not — I found myself much less dialed into to current events, the scandal du jour of the Bush administration (both Walter Reed and the prosecutors scandal broke during Lent) and the turmoil in the Anglican Communion. I found myself struck by outrage-fatigue. I wasn’t trying to communicate what was important to anyone, so I found myself saying “What does it all matter? Nobody’s paying attention anyway.” The act of writing about what is going on the world helps keep me engaged in the world.
I still have decisions to make about the direction I take this blog. In the past I have written both personal posts and political posts. I’m not sure if that dichotomy has served me well. I would like to actually attract a steady readership (which means, of course, I have to settle into a steady writing routine.)
I’m sure I’ll still be feeling my way. But for now, at least, I’m back.
Just so you know, you <><>were<><> missed…
Well, thank you Lis!
<>“I became, as my friend Jen put it, like those people who go through life looking through the lens of a camera, who can’t simply look at things without needing to take pictures of them.”<>>>Chuckle, I resemble that remark… 😉>>I first read this post of your when I was in Hawai’i the other week – I had limited net access so I was reading moreso than replying, then. But your words here did stick in my head as I went about my holiday, camera in hand. And your words did give me cause to contemplate, at various turns, “do I want to be photographing this right now, or just experiencing it?”>>It’s truly a hard call sometimes, though I’m glad for the moments when I did just pause and experience. (And you have no idea how antsy I got, telling myself that ok, for One Minute I was just going to watch the leaping pod of dolphins and not attempt to capture it digitally. But it was good to do.)>>(It’s also a hard call when you have a zoom lens that lets you see things up close moreso than the naked eye 😉>>On the “yes, do photograph” side of things… I was photographing like mad on the helicopter ride over the volcano, zoom lens focused as deeply into that fiery molten pit as it would go. That was another of those “should I be photographing this or just experiencing it” moments. But, after the helicopter ride, I was looking through my pics and I turned to Mom and said “Oooh, look at these shots I got of the lava broiling inside the volcano!” And she said, “What lava broiling inside the volcano?” She’d never looked past the smoke into the pit, and the naked eye likely couldn’t see the fire so well. So, in photographing it, I got to show it to her.>>I also truly do enjoy photography as art… I will look at pretty things and my mind just goes to the place of focusing in on segments of them, to highlight details that would otherwise fade into gestalt. It’s my way of telling others, “See, look at this thing in the way that it usually doesn’t get looked at!” – for instance, the very inner part of a flower, instead of simply the flower as a whole.>>And events-wise, it helps with memory… I don’t always have the best memory, and having photos helps me to keep memories that are precious to me alive. (My mother used to chide me for taking so many photos of the cat… until the cat died, and then it was “Isn’t it wonderful that we have so many photos of the cat…” 😉>>So, pros and cons to each… I suspect the answer lies somewhere in between. Anyway, I wanted you to know that I was mulling on what you wrote, and that it had an impact. Thanks!