May 23, 2008

On Blogging. More on blogging. Blog more. Blog?

From NYTimes article, Exposed, by Emily Gould:

"But while my actual participation in life shrank down to a bare minimum, I still responded to hundreds of e-mail messages and kept up a stream of instant-messenger conversations while I wrote. Depending on how you looked at it, I either had no life and I barely talked to anyone, or I spoke to thousands of people constantly. "

"But lately, online, I’ve found myself doing something unexpected: keeping the personal details of my current life to myself. This doesn’t make me feel stifled so much as it makes me feel protected, as if my thoughts might actually be worth honing rather than spewing."
Haven Kimmel is a famous novelist. And she recently published a "blog." I put that in quotes because this is more like an exercise in creative writing. Or a publicity shot. Or just more of her reliable brilliance. In the end, it doesn't matter which. When I read it, I remembered what she once said about learning to play the piano and then happening upon Tori Amos. She thought "why bother learning when someone already does it like that?" I know the feeling: Haven's Blog
Recently, its gotten harder to keep blogging. My life is harder, for one thing. Its been chaotic. That is fair to say, for sure. And, its come to my attention that people are reading this blog. Well, that shuts me right down. I've felt invisible all my life. Now that people are starting to look my way, all I want to do is run for my old veil. I can't write and hide at the same time. I'm too extreme and also lack the necessary finesse. And I am clear on the ways I fail here, the bad writing, the horrid lack of grammar, the shameless cussing, the insecurity issues stolid and flashing like the billboards they kept out of Chapel Hill (for good reason, girl, did you stop to think of that?) And lastly, my opinions are hurtful to people I love. That certainly dampens the desire to crow. People I love don't homeschool their children. They don't want to keep reading about the evils of public school and the "moral superiority" of homeschool. Imagine that.

What works? Our Report Card is an accurate, if selective, view of our homeschool life. Its the best scrap book and assessment tool we have. It allows distant family and friends a rocker on the porch, a way to feel connected to our life here. It allows us to review last week, month, or year with glossy photos and darling anecdotes. (They are darling to me, anyway.) Its an outlet for me. It connects us to other homeschoolers. It connects me to other mothers. It is proof that I am, at least trying, to think deeply about what we are doing here and how the children are being educated. I need that process to be open. I'm anxious to keep saying that I am learning here as I go. Learning, and logging the process along the way. I am not one tiny bit flippant about my children and their education. I hope Our Report Card conveys, at the least, that most important truth.

I'll sit here and keep saying for my children, I see you I see you I see you. I'm letting you run fallow, on purpose and with great intention, I'm letting you run fallow. Show me a southern wild place that isn't richer than any cultivated garden in the world. Now let's study permaculture some more. Let's consider what happens when you keep tilling and planting the same earth. Now let's turn that knowledge to our inner landscape. There are not many windows on that process, how can I grade what's happeing? I can sit here and keep saying, "I see you I see you I see you." And, I love you I love you I love you.

Who doesn't want their best love on a billboard? Hell, shout if from the hill tops.


Heather said...

There are lots of people I love that don't agree with all of my opinions in life. But those people I love also love me, and know that stating my opinion, even when it's different than their own, is not an insult to them. Because I love them, I don't say the things I rant about to their faces; in fact, because I love them, those negative things don't really apply to people I love. Because they love me, they know that. Because they love me, they offer me the same courtesy, and I would not be offended by their pro-public school (or whatever) ranting in their own right. Because I love them and know they don't mean to hurt me, and maybe those negative feelings don't even apply to me. Because they love me too.

Get it?

It's hard not to respect someone who is passionate and also intelligent. Even if they're passionate about something you don't completely agree with.

Katherine said...

Oh, I get it alright. And my friends get it too. But I also know that when someone keeps pounding with a hammer, at some point, you just want to say, "hey shut the fuck up already."

piscesgrrl said...

Hallo, I popped over at the suggestion of "Eclectically Yours" - I too am pondering the whole "what is it to blog" question. :-)

Xenia said...

Hey Katherine,
You write beautifully. Your beautiful writing is inspiring. You have a wonderful way of simply yet elegantly and cleverly stating what you see and feel. Your arguments are brilliant - you convince me every time! What is good about you is the crazy, "hell with everyone else, this is right for me" way you go through life!The reason it is OK is because every sane, thinking, reasonable person in this world can see that you are not out to hurt or insult anybody - you are being you and doin' what you do.

I totally enjoy reading your blog. I save it up so that I will have a few posts to read at a time.

Love ya!


Katherine said...

Ms. X! Everyone, meet an old friend of mine. Did you see Haven's blog? I have been meaning to call you FOREVER. How can we be -cue the 70s music- "so close and yet so faaaaaaar"?

I love you too. K