I wish you kept a blog: take two

I agree. I have some friends and family who live quietly interesting lives and I am interested. I am going to post about my perceived need for originality in blogging and why when I try that I shoot myself in the foot.

When I think about a blogpost, which I do quite often, it’s often when I am out walking or running. I see a crop of toadstools or a broken gate or some such and it gets me thinking and my thoughts just spread out like an ink blot on paper which is just lovely and relaxing and playful. I don’t have a notebook to hand, like a proper writer would and so I have to try to remember them. Hard for the sporadically functioning middle aged mind, but one tries. Still, many promising blog posts are lost by the time I’ve changed my socks and I get caught up with washing and meals and the stuff of life and much of that spontaneous creativity is lost.

Who was it, Walt Whitman or Thoreau who went into the woods in order to live deliberately? “Thoreau”, reples Wikipedia and I am reminded that his sojourn there in supposed isolation was facilitated by his mother and sister who did his laundry and brought him food. http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2012/05/henry-david-thoreau-and-the-paradox-of-self-sufficiency/ Where would he have been without them?  Much thinner even than the gaunt figure we see in the link.

Nonetheless he took steps to simplify his life and find out what vein in the daily tasks of living was most rich in interest, and walking was fruitful to reflection and processing and, lucky him, he didn’t have to think about clean pants or tuck.

Back to me.

I think about what I write. What I might write. I have no idea why people read what I write but they do and sometimes they comment, which I enjoy. It makes it more of a conversation, less of a monologue.

I’d like it to be original but I realise with all the blogs, books and information in the world it’s hardly going to be. And if I overthink these posts they die in the water. Some of the the most popular blogs are about ordinary things, that many of us do. Being a parent. Drinking coffee. Knitting.

So if I put to rest my grandiose notions of being original, what’s left? Random reflections on my very ordinary life? Yes I suppose, there’s nothing terribly intellectual or profound. But I hope my voice comes through in these posts. I hope they sound like me, which is gentle and curious and often amused by the world. And more and more full of wonder. I wonder at the everydayness of things and enjoy them so much more than when I was young. And it’s that voice, my individuality which is unique and ‘speaks’.

Writing is either alive or dead. It speaks to you or it doesn’t. We read and hear so much which lies flat on the page. My daughter recently told me of a book she had been given which she threw away because of the fatuousness of the first page. It described a life she neither recognised nor had any interest in. More than that didn’t feel authentic. Maybe what sets apart all those blogs about parenting and sobriety is their genuineness and honesty.

I write a few emails, fewer letters. Even phone calls are less numerous than they used to be. Texting is so quick and Facebook offers fun but illusory friendship. I follow a few people on Instagram and get a snapshot of their world, in this country or abroad. I so enjoy it. The light and the shade. The pictures of dogs, food and family, shopping and sunsets. No pressure, but I wish you kept a blog.