Thursday, April 29, 2010

Get a Life! Get a Blog Life!

Half-life is the time a decaying substance takes to decrease by half its volume and potency.


Blog-life, a term coined herewith by you, is the period of time an individual has been blogging.

The conflating fender-bender of these two concepts reminds you of something you wrote about here a half-blog life ago. In it, you described the keen excitement of having approached your blog site depleted, having written yourself empty of sensation necessary to drive an idea of concept forward, bereft of idea to light up the nurturing sensation that fuels either. At that state, an emotion-bearing concept appears.occurs, dazzling you and the surrounding emptiness, daring you to take it on, ride it, see if you can stay on it for a while or, like one of Annie Proulx's hapless cowboys, get thrown.

This sense of empty despair, fulfilled at last with some semblance of an interesting ride, is the major payoff for your blogging, at once an exercise in improvisation, discipline, and the absurd confidence that there will always be something there to care about and propel you forth to a discovery or connection. Approaching the blog site has become in the past years a cyber version of earlier forms of practice, be it a journal, the occasional essay between stories, or the William-Saroyan-like approach of making a story out of a defense against being broke and not having had anything in print for a while: writing an impassioned "letter" to a landlord, explaining why it is more important for you to finish the thing you're working on than to write something guaranteed to bring in enough money to pay the rent.

This last was done back in the days when you had a landlord named Mr. Bernard, a cat named Sam, and a Dodge convertible that frequently did in traffic the social equivalent of breaking wind at a large gathering. You did indeed make enough to pay for the rent because of a novel you dreamed up in one of those throes of despair in which you believed you had written yourself out and were now doomed to boring jobs you could not stand and in which, as payment of the most ironic sort,you were doomed to do well. It is a fact that given a job with a publishing company, you will be promoted to some sort of title that has the word director in it or the words in chief, a reminder very much like the one you are getting from these vagrant paragraphs that it takes more discipline to stick at something you enjoy than it does to be a leader in a landscape you enjoy exploring.

It is a rather huge thing to know that you have told all your old jokes, done things herein that you ordinarily do to get the attention of a waitress who is off reading Emma or Sense and Sensibility in the service alcove instead of inquiring after your iced tea, and face every day the frisson of having nothing to say, a shiver that becomes more intense as the day wears on, leading you to the notion that you'd best get it done early in the day if you wish to have anything resembling a good day. You have had enough days where the blog didn't come until later, much later, in the evening, by which time you'd hoped to have accomplished other things as well, including writing for ultimate publication. It sometimes becomes like the ballet dancer who is forced to go on cold because he has not had the opportunity to practice and warm up or the musician who has to do a performance before it is possible to run scales, try out tricks and inventions, and come face to face with the self in the mirror directly behind the barre.

You can stumbled into bed, somewhat taken in wine, then recall with a jolt that you cannot allow yourself to pass out just yet and thus prevent the room from doing what rooms invariably do when you've had that much to drink before you do what you have programmed yourself to do over this blog-life of yours. You can be in a situation where someone has said to you in so many words, here, let us commence to do to one another what we have been talking about with our eyes and body language for some time now. There may well have been a time when such sweet Hubble telescoping of the psyches would have had you writing yourself a hall pass from the blog paragraphs, but that was then and any such instance was an incredible gift, and this is now, which makes this a gift as well.


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