Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blog in a Bottle

This little post is purely for the sake of symbolic #100, spanning the first five months of this personal experiment, and an excuse perhaps to take the weekend off. It also affords a chance to think about the weirdness of blogging.

Perhaps the first question the blogger has to ask is: Am I writing for myself or for others? However much one might claim the former ("I don't really care if anyone reads it"), we know it's bogus. If it were for oneself it would be in a journal stashed in the closet and not on the Internet. Even the radically reticent Emily Dickinson (at least where actual publication was concerned), did not after all burn her poems, and presumably died hoping against hope that someone would discover them--and her.

Of course, writing within view of others, so to speak, is not at all the same as writing for others. Most bloggers, I think, have the attitude of "I'm pretty much writing for myself over here, but if you want to come look no one's going to stop you."

Even in relatively formal blogs comprising amateur reportage, commentary, or professional insights there is embodied an aspiration to be found of interest--not to six billion obviously, and indeed six might suffice. Don't all human beings secretly fantasize that their deepest speculations might be widely found to be somehow remarkable? Don't we all wish at some level to be the writer, thinker, or even celebrity whose hidden journals, once found, are a source of endless intrigue? Well, maybe it's just my own narcissism ("Physician, heal thyself").

I am a devotee of the wide angle lens, of the aerial shot showing the interconnectedness of things, and of the ephemeral that is all the more valued for being so. It is in my nature to take things in in a glance as it were and move on. I don't say it's the best, indeed it likely is not, but it's the way I think and see.

Blogging can obviously be time-consuming. A major decision is whether to write only when one really feels some compelling pressure to express something (um, in a literary way I mean), or whether one ought to get something down every day even if it means a pedestrian post or two (or more). Some days one looks at the screen and thinks, "I got nothin' here."

So as a metaphor I'm sure others have probably used countless times already, a blog seems to me the cyber version of the message in the a bottle, sent out in a second rather than over a few years, but still providing one with the fantasy of achieving an unexpected connection. Human beings have a way of needing to project themselves across space and time.

So if anyone has any comments about what is useful or interesting in this or any blog I'd be happy to see them. Remarks such as "More interesting posts please" or "Okay, you can stop now," while understandable, might be best directed to my email. If you made it this far--thanks for reading!


Anonymous said...

I like best posts in which you, and other psyche-related bloggers, talk about what we do and what you think about. I enjoy the way you bring in art and literature the way you do. So, basically I guess I am asking for more of what you have been doing.

Anonymous said...

I like the way you place psychiatry and related issues in the broader context of what it all means in terms of the collective philosophy of our human lives (and cat lives).

And how you can always find poetry to match the post -- or do you match the post to the poetry?...hmmm.. a bit suspicious when it's always so resonant...

Oh, and your tangents and self- indulgence.

Yes, like what Cheryl said -- more of the same.

Maybe spark a few more contentious political debates! We don't want to agree with everything everyone says, otherwise we won't learn anything about ourselves. I think that's it --- you give us insight into our pathetic selves.

vanderleun said...

100? One hundred? You are but a mere neonate. I'm at 6,100 and am just getting started.

Anonymous said...

Oh Gerard, stop comparing penis sizes...we're in polite company...ha ha ha

vanderleun said...

How can I when... there is no comparison.

There can be only one!

Novalis said...

6,100? I get carpal tunnel syndrome just thinking about it.

As I think about the private/public paradoxes of blogging, I think of some future Thomas Pynchon character perhaps, some immensely talented, much sought after blogger whose blog permits access only to...its author. Hackers worldwide would try desperate stratagems to break in (well, this is why I'm blogging and not writing fiction).

Anonymous said...

Ditto above -- I really enjoy what you do here, please keep it rolling.