Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Blissful Blog

I’m going to set aside the dreary rant I wrote today to discuss something else – the content of Blogs.

Of all the reasons I have contemplated for writing a Blog, aside from my love of writing, the one that I think is most accurate is the desire to ‘provoke thought’. And excuse me, but provocative thought can spring from weariness and dreariness as well as cheeriness.

I hate the terrible guilt I feel every time I yen to write about a melancholy state of mind. I want to write truth more often than fantasy and God knows I try, but at the same time there is fiction in the mix if you are left thinking I am always in an enthusiastic state of utter delight. I want to use my Blog to burrow into human consciousness even when it is in a state of decline.

Seems odd that I can write without guilt about clouds and rain and any other dreariness that nature can deliver that I see out my window. I can write without guilt about physical disasters. But at the same time I feel that I can't write about dreariness in my soul that springs, not from any conflict around me, but from the natural well of my humanity. Emotional realities that have as much of a rip tide, as physical realities.

Yes, I understand that in coffee conversation, such things should be avoided. But somehow, I want to see a Blog as different from that. I want to see it as a flexible thing that can bend when buffeted. I don’t want to be dogged by an obligation to be cheery. Some days, being cheery is the most painful of all of life’s miseries.

I am certainly glad that way back in 2003 when I began blogging I posted a bit on my sidebar about being ‘abstracted, distracted, and sometimes lucid.’ It doesn’t give me a whole lot of squirming room but it gives me some. And man, I wipe the sweat from my brow with utter relief that I didn’t name my blog something like ‘Blissful Blog’, or ‘Cheerful Chatter’.

The rant I set aside? What will I do with it? I’ll give it a few more days to season and then I’ll decide.


Jayne d'Arcy said...

I think you should post it. The last thing a blog should be is another thing that restricts you. Blogs are wonderful because you can let loose and write whatever you want. Of course, some people have to temper themselves, if relatives read, or friends do, but that's only for those folk who get too wild.

Write what you want. It's YOUR blog.

Julie Oakley said...

I understand completely what you mean. Nonetheless thank you for making me laugh out loud at the thought of a blog called 'Cheerful Chatter'

Joy Des Jardins said...

Oh I couldn't agree with you more Roberta...and I definitely think you should post that rant. We're all creatures of many moods and emotions experiencing the joys and sorrows of what life throws at us. I've been equally touched by someone's heartache as well as someone's all touches the same place. I think many of us are afraid to write about the sad things in our lives so as not to be mistaken as having a sad or sullen persona; when we all know that it's all part of the package of what makes someone tick. There's beauty...and knowledge in all of it.

Cowtown Pattie said...

Yeah, "Trifles", even though they're the special Texas kind, might give the impression that nothing deep gets cussed or discussed at my place.

Au contrare, mon frere!

However, as I scan over past posts, I see that the cheerful/funny posts far outweigh the dark/serious ones.

Oh, but who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of cowgirls?

Ahhh, the Shadow, he do! Or, so I'm told ;-)

Just being silly....write whatever you want, it's your thing, you know. And I do understand the conflicted feelings.

Jim Murdoch said...

I'm someone who veers from melancholy to sad most of the time and if I'm not one or t'other I'm probably just plain knackered. I hate reading blogs were everyone is so up and positive and go-get-'em-tiger-ish.

Even though my general state can be classed as "low spirited" that doesn’t mean I take the whole thing too seriously. You can't. I'll be honest, I don't think of myself as a particularly cheerful blogger but people still read what I write because – I hope – what I have to say is interesting or, if not always of particular interest to the reader, it's entertaining. I suppose that is the bottom line, we want to be informed but entertained.

People love a moan. I've read a few sites recently where the blogger has gone off on one and people they never knew were reading their sites have crawled out of the woodwork to be supportive. Just don't moan too much. Real friends will put up with that for months but internet friends aren't quite so forgiving.

As for your blog in general, set your parameters and try and stick to them. People come to my blog expecting me to talk about writing, they expect it'll be poetry or prose but if I drift onto TV drama or the odd book review they're not exactly going to leave in droves. Now I think about it how many is a drove? I might not even have a drove to start off with.

Nora Christie said...

Your thoughts mirror mine a bit. I've set the tone on my blog of being light and humorous but find occasionally I want to moan and beat my breast. I'm sure there is a way to do this without being a "downing" influence. We should try to find it.


Matty said...

Go ahead and bare the beast..I find that I am not portraying the real me. I'm not chatty cathy all the time...but yet I do not want to encourage bloggers to leave sappy comments like...'smile' or 'I'll pray for you'....thats not my intention.
I also will try to find a way to show my true colors while avoiding well-meaning family, friends showing up on my doorstep dripping with kindness.

WheelDancer said...

Nice work as usual Roberta! From my perspective it seems we often try to shun the darker side of life but isn't our center of life the point between the extremes? If you mute your voice in the valleys and only trumpet your thoughts at the peaks, your feet won't touch ground since you will appear falsely elevated. Share your melancholy, keep your feet on the ground!

Roberta S said...

jayne d'arcy - Thanks for the comment. So let's hear it for the Freedom Blog rather than the Restrictive Blog. A blog-bra burning maybe?

julie oakley - Thanks for the note of sympathy seasoned with the sound of laughter. A good mix, I would say.

joy des jardins - Oh, joy. There is no way to say it better than the wisdom you've expressed. I'd forgotten that real life offers "beauty and knowledge" wrapped up in ways we might not expect.

cowtown patty - If you can loose your evil alter-ego, The Shadow, then I am encouraged to loosen the villianous thing that stomps and cusses about (if I may borrow your expression) "Trifles" not yet expressed in my world.

jim murdoch - Thanks too, for your kind support - but must I set parameters? Maybe I already mentally have and that's what brought me to this discussion. Parameters to write what I write but always in a cheery voice. No more, but I will keep in mind your sound advice not to moan TOO much.

And about droves? I don't know. I'm still trying to figure out the relationship of 'clutch' and 'brood'. :)

nora - Thanks for the visit. It's a delicate balance but I would say from comments shared here, readers are more understanding and forgiving than I might have otherwise thought. So let's pick occasional times to be sullen together. :)

matty - I always know whatever I write is okay with you. You are certainly consistent in your support.

wheeldancer - Beautifully stated, elegantly put. Thanks and thanks again.

Pauline said...

A writer should always write what s/he wants - a reader can always skip reading what is written. It is what I used to tell my column readers when they complained that a) I always seemed to cheery and no one's life was THAT good, or b) why was I not my usual cheery self?

I say, write what you want or must or would rather Roberta, and let readers be responsible for themselves..

Roberta S said...

Hi pauline, and yea! Never thought about transferring responsibility but I really like that idea. Thanks. You always come up with really good solutions.

Now if I can just find someone else to attend to the other stuff I need to do, while we're having this good discussion, I'd be laughing.