Wednesday, September 14, 2005

I blog from...isolation

Always slow on the uptake when it comes to myself, it only just occurred to me that part of how and why I blog is out of isolation and loneliness.

In the past 4 1/2 years, I have spent 8 months working outside the house, and the rest of the time I have either been working from home, or at home too sick to work. (Quantifying things is clearly dangerous--it all looks much more serious and frightening reading those numbers than just living it.)

Right now, I go for months at a time where the only people I see are my husband and my doctor. Quite often the only time I leave the house is to go to the doctor. (Think "house arrest," sans the rebel glamour.)

I've always been solitary by nature, and a book worm...but I guess 4 1/2 years of this is catching up even with me.

At different points in my past, healthier points in my life obviously, I've had the pleasure to be a part of really vibrant, dynamic communities: my music friends in Montreal, my theater friends in Kelowna, the expat professional network in Japan and the international gang in Fukuyama, the great regulars at Vancouver Opera, the academic/singing/orchestra/opera crowd in Victoria, the grassroots activists in Northern Virginia. They were all literate, passionate, talented people--and a helluva lot of fun to spend time with. A foundation of our friendships was that we all created together.

And now, all of you recreate that community for me.

I'm afraid I don't have the physical strength to underpin the emotional resources to deal with people face to face very much these days--my outer shell is to friable to bear the weight of someone else's bad mood, layoff, divorce, lab results. It is like chronic illness strips away the carapace.

Instead, I enjoy so many people that I "know" online. I've had the chance to meet a handful of "blog people" in person, but most of you I only know through your writing.

And you know what? I adore you. :) I feel like I know you. You make me laugh and you make me think--often harder than my brain wants to right now. Which is good for me.

If I were ever to be stranded in the Himalayas or on a desert island, or trapped on a cross-country greyhound bus trip, I'd cross my fingers and hope, "Let it be with Ellen! or Zeebah! or Dru or Umair or Terrance or Doug!" Or any one of a host of the other people I read regularly (when I'm reading regularly) and so greatly enjoy.

Just an epiphany of appreciation, that I wanted to share.


Why do you blog? Do you know?

It took me over a year to figure it out for myself....

The received wisdom seems to be that bloggers blog out of arrogance or self-importance. I rather doubt that is true in many cases, especially with the bloggers I especially like.

I wonder if you even know why you blog. I'd be curious to hear your reasons, if you'd care to share. And if you know.


I wandered of on this philosophical bent this morning after reading a post by Zataod at ZenDreaming where he writes his impressions of another blogger.
Zataod's list:

1. I'll respond with a random thought I have about you.

2. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.

3. I'll pick a flavor of jello (i may go with a dessert) to wrestle with you in.

4. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me (or so we think).

5. I'll tell you my first memory of you.

6. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
The post made me realize that, while I don't necessarily think of all of you in these particular terms (I don't eat jello), that I do have strong impressions of you, based on what and how you write.

So, if anyone wants to play, I'm game. Leave a note in the comments and I'll jello you. ;) Very gracious, of course, if you return the favor.

Isn't part of blogging, after all, a big game of "pay attention to me?" So let me lavish you with attention already. :)
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