October 24, 2003

It's funny how it happens

Does it happen to you? More and more it happens to me. Maybe because I've been blogging for a couple of years, or maybe it's a sign of the times. Too often now, I hear the coming waves before I see the cresting, the rolling down, or feel the spray.

In blogging I mean. Convergence or something like that.

It's when you start to feel a certain way about blogging, about the communities you live in online, about what's being written or not being written, and about how it feels. But you don't know why. You can't really tell anyone, not even another blogger, why you feel things getting icky, stupid, gross, exclusive, ugly, boring, monotonous, or even dark and, well, evil. You can't really point to any one thing--it's the culmination of pixels across blogs, across comments, a strong wind that smacks of something wrong.

No secret I've been feeling it this last month here. I've posted about it. And it's not just me. When I express my sadness over where I feel blogging is going, I hear from others who can't put their finger on it, who can't keystroke an answer, but who feel it too.

It takes a toll on those people. And they're not one or two. I've heard from a dozen or so.

It is about community. And it's not. Maybe it's about the organic generation that we once had here. This springing naturally from that to this from that to him to her to us to them and back and forth and look at that, holy shit, IT'S ALL CONNECTED--ORGASM!

God, those were the days. Hasn't felt like that for a long time. I guess that's why I've been nostalgic of late, reading first posts from way back when. I think I was trying to find my way back to the source that once inspired me here.

I should have left more breadcrumbs.

For a while, this place felt safe because we were real. We started out real. Remember your first post? Bare ass. "Hi. Oooo. Is this thing on? (tap tap) Hello?"

Coming to blogging forced us to get real, and real quick. That doesn't mean we didn't disagree or hurl chairs or fall down in the mud sloshing around. But somehow, when we came to the surface for air, we eyed one another, and eventually our lips curled up at the edges. Then a smile. Oh shit. I learned something. About myself. About you. Look at how that works. Look at this shit. Look at us grow. You motherfucker you. Respect.

It doesn't feel safe here anymore. It feels, well, more fake. That's the best word I can come up with. Is it me? Well part of it must be, because I'm one of the left turns out here. I've lost my way here lately. I'm thankful when I get called on it. When I lose my way, when my voice goes south, or an idea sounds fishy, either you say nothing or someone like Dean calls me on it. And when I come back home, Dean tells me so too. That's being real. That's the thing learning and growing in writing is made of.

I was writing to a blogger friend today about my week. About how Jenna has been so sick, about how we had to take her for nine shots in three days, a CT-scan of her head, chest x-rays, and four blood draws, a failed IV that sprayed salt water in her face. Tears of salt on mine.

That's been going on for a week.

And for most of the week, I spent my time here taking first posts of bloggers from my comment page and putting them neatly in a row. One at a time. Sometimes two.

Several days ago, I wrote two paragraphs in this little window about my kid, and about what I felt, about me, about her, about living and crying. And I deleted it before I ever posted it.

For the first time, I didn't come here with what I needed to say. And I didn't come here because something is wrong here. Something is so wrong. It's going the wrong way. If you have a hard time faking it, you might just as well be quiet.

All of this talk about blogging and self importance and blogs in business and bloggercons and connerblogs and look at me and look at us and link to me baby, lemme give you a blogjob if you'll just add me. For what? Voices into a canyon--nothing coming back.

No voice back at me here. Not even my own. And that means something's wrong.

My eyes tear when I feel you trying......

A village is a community, a place where isolation in adversity is simply not permitted, a place where a cry for help is answered by neighbors with open hearts......

When spirit moves under the stars, memory stirs like a rattle of snakes, like scorpions rising to the cool of night, these eyes, this love, this lifelonging taste for the beautiful terrifying edges of the world. And self is the trace it leaves passing through. No matter what......

You can only BE THE VOICE ON ONE OF THE ENDS and that's all you can ever BE. The Fact that YOU are there doesn't even MATTER. It's Your Voice at the END that you are willing to HAVE and Your willingness to LISTEN to The VOICES of OTHER ENDS......

I also had some problems climbing around the rocks, trapping my foot between two at one point and falling into a boulder. You should have heard me cuss. Boy did I cuss. Kicked the rocks, too, when I freed my foot, as if half-ton rocks that have been around forever are going to worry about the kick of a tennis-shoe clad foot attached to a cranky, middle-aged woman......

Worms on the kitchen floor. Lumbricus terrestris, last seen this closely when I dissected one in Fifth Year biology. I’ve always been fond of earthworms, with their groovy mating habits and fine work ethic. I just didn’t understand why they were now crawling out of the fridge and across the floor. While she tapped away I opened the fridge, so ancient that a springclip holds it shut. A mystery tub had lost its top. Earth and worms spilled out. The worms were jolted out of hibernation and were now making confused bids for freedom: through the vegetables, beneath the fridge, under my boots.

I see it in them. What are you trying to get good at here?

Don't forget to tell your story here.

More and more, it's big-media topics and news and politics. Why? Why do we want to replicate what we came here to escape? What are we feeding on here with aggregators and all news all the time.

We have no mandate, no laws of decorum, no way to say, Did you read him? did you read her? can you see he's hurting? Are you looking past your own post? Your own site meter? A post above or below the one you followed the link to?

We're losing one another.

Go back and read your own old posts. I've been reading your old posts all week.

I saw you there. You and you and you.

Don't forget where you came from.

And don't let me either.