Two weeks ago I decided to take a blogging break; not for any particular reason, just to see what it would feel like to go without my drug of choice for a few days. It occurred to me that after nearly four years of it, I must surely have said everything worth saying and if I’m beginning to bore myself, how much more must I be boring you. It’s not easy to come up with new ideas; writing a purely diary type of blog doesn’t suit me and following weekly me-mes is something I do occasionally, when I am lazy or particularly inspired by the prompt, but it does rather feel like being a Pavlovian dog. You yank my chain and I bark. Maybe not.
So, give up altogether? Let’s see, what would I miss? Rather a lot actually. I would miss this forum; being a woman of many words, opinionated and frequently judgmental, which other outlet could I find? Deborah of Temptation of Words has decided to write for herself only, cutting out comment; there have been bloggers who have found that the very success they have has become oppressive and they’ve stopped, only to start another blog under another name later on. Others have decided to change tack, change the nature of their posts; I too have played with the idea that that might be the way to go on. Suze of Subliminal Coffee calls blogging a ‘conflicted forum’; she is right; for those of us for whom this is more than a daily gush, who value the comradeship, the exchange of opinions, the friendliness and connection we have and the way we cause each other to open our eyes to the myriad of ways we act and react in our daily lives as well as interact with each other, this place is a world alive with conflict. You wouldn’t believe the number of times I have had to revise my opinion on some matter or other, just because one of you has shown me, in simple words, by simply recording and therefore explaining an ordinary event in an ordinary life, how ignorance creates prejudice.
I have had advice, commiseration, information, and many a congratulatory pat on the back, all by way of this free and easy medium. With some of you I share emails behind the scenes, which gently remind us that we are not alone in times of trouble or confusion. A skyped conversation is as close as I’ll ever get to one or two of you; I am grateful for this possibility, it’s better than no contact. The joy of receiving a postcard from distant lands is a great pleasure every time - here are just a few of the ones I have received. A far greater pile serves as bookmarks or provides a colourful backdrop on my kitchen pinboard.
When Benno’s death broke my heart Georgia Little Pea pestered her typist to send me a whole envelope full of Senhor Do Bonfim ribbons to make me feel better. And the terrifically talented Elizabeth Rose of Penspaper Studio sent me a beautiful card, which I have already displayed with pride and gratitude in a previous post.
And then there are the real life visits. When I first saw Susan of Prufrock’s Dilemma bound over the footbridge across the river which leads from the car park to the meadow below the castle at Valley’s End I couldn’t believe my luck. There she was, large as life and twice as jolly and bright.
Susan and I found an instant rapport. We talked as if we’d met a dozen times before. All the same, to be certain that this rapport would last for longer than the first ten minutes, we made a date to meet up in the village pub for a meal that very evening. After all, you never know with these internet acquaintances, do you? People had warned me not to be too trusting. What fools people are! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we, who write about ourselves in this forum for any length of time, give away an awful lot about ourselves, whether we know it or not.
Susan and her company came to luncheon and an afternoon at our house later on during the week and Beloved and I took all three of them to our hearts as I hope they did with us.
Next came Pondside, the lady who lives by the ponds on beautiful Vancouver Island. She is exactly as I thought she would be, sweet and friendly, calm and utterly capable. It was one of my local bloggers who brought her, the shepherdess at Snailbeach, who lives just down the road from us in one of the valleys. The two of them found a pair of admirers in Valley’s End very quickly, even before I could take them home for a piece of cake and a cup of tea. Our meeting ended all too soon, I would have loved to spend many hours in their company.
Snailbeach Shepherdess and Pondside
Last, but by no means least, I met Perpetua, a lady who is Perpetually In Transit, at the house of a non-blogger, Julia, who nevertheless reads blogs. (Should that be allowed?) Julia and her husband had provided scrumptious home baking along with coffee and a comfortable sofa, which left Perpetua and me to chew the fat. Beloved came too, but he found it hard to get a word in edgeways. We were lucky to catch Perpetua between travels, she and her husband were soon going off to the frozen north, leaving us to bask in the relatively milder climate of the Welsh marches. As we said goodbye, I asked Perpetua if her opinion of me formed solely on the basis of blogging came anywhere near the reality of me. “Oh yes,” she said, “definitely. Oh yes.” She left it at that. I am still wondering.
There’s no doubt at all in my mind, we most certainly give ourselves away in blogland.
Two weeks ago I took a blogging break; last week’s blogging break was involuntary, the dreaded AFib came back for a spell. I am still tired but better now; it’s time to blog again.