Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Portrait of my lack of self belief

Funny how things happen. The other day I posted one of my music therapy moments and received some really lovely comments. A small flourish of visitors suddenly appeared, all because this writer had listed my Fela Kuti ramble on something called Post of the Day. What a strange and wonderful feeling that is.

I read a lot of blogs. Today when I returned home from work, my Google Reader presented me with 45 posts to sift through. Some I skim, unless a line or photo snags my attention. Some blogs I read slowly. These are the blogs I have come to "know." I connect with the shifting moods of the author or photographer, see the windows of our shared humanity in their words and images. I often comment on their posts.

I also love blog bouncing. I see it as a combination of skipping rocks and playing pinball. Click on this comment, which leads you to this blog, which has this interesting-looking follower, which bounces you over to this other blog, where there is a link to some other great post. I visit Blogs of Note, as well as all the blogs that are featured each week on Five Star Friday. Now I look forward to bouncing via POTD.

Is it wrong that my sense of community is electronic? In my day-to-day life, I lack a circle of connection with the people around me. I always feel somehow on the outside, like I am missing something fundamental that would allow me to "fit in." But there is something about the world of bloggers that is reassuring and warm. It's that feeling of "these are the neighbours I've always wanted." Now if only you could all come over for a cup of tea and a chat.

If you're out there, how come I can't find you down the street, or in my work? Why am I so often so lonely? I know I'm a geek who likes world music and strange recipes. I'm physically aroused by languid, rich metaphors and the highlight of my day was when my parcel of raw cacao beans arrived in the post. But I assure you I'm genuine and curious and sometimes my jokes are even funny.

I like to please people and make people happy. Most days I feel like I fail at this. Yet I know that if I post this photo:

...that someone, somewhere might see it and smile. And that makes me feel good.

What am I trying to say. That I had a bad day today. That the girl who lives across the hall is having a party, and I can hear bursts of laughter and singing. That I understand the desperation that some old people seem to have, just to be seen by someone else. I understand the need they have to look for proof of their own existence, wishing they could pull it out whenever they needed it, like a magician who hides a scarf up his sleeve.


Anonymous said...

I was thinking just a few weeks ago that your blog has "taken off" in a way mine never will & i felt jeally for a few moments. Then I thought how isn't that just like you? You've always made these connections to people in "real life" - you workmates, lovers, random streetpeople - i've so admired you for it.
You are hilarious. AND you talk to strangers. AND i love being with you. AND i wouldn't have norah or maybe even Chris if it weren't for you...omg, i think that is true. would i have pursued chris if you weren't right there, gigling & dreaming with me? good lord, i have been a shy person who prefers to be admired from afar. (fyi - it doesn't make for a happy life)
So your post shocks me in that way - because it is opposite of how i think of you.
thank you. for everything. I am not giving you all the responsibility, but you play a part my friend.
yet, i also totally get-it. I think blogs get us closer, don't they. writing is more intimate, more often, than speaking.

ellen abbott said...

I understand because I feel like this a lot. I am not an easy person to know. I've never had many friends, usually just one at a time, and when I do find myself part of a group of friends it always ends badly for me. I am blunt in speech. I blurt out that the emperor has no clothes. I find it hard to talk to strangers, to get a conversation going.

I am much more tactful when I write because I can go over it again and again and think of better ways to express it. I also have a bit of envy when I stumble on blogs that started about the same time as mine and they are so popular. Why them and not me? Well, I know the answer to that so I am content with me. I am better than I once was. And I am happy for those who people flock to. I am happy to have my small but slowly growing group of internet friends. Some days I only get one or two comments and I wonder if my post was somehow wrong, did I offend or bore. Some days I get a lot but a lot for me is never many...8 or so. It's enough.

Anyway, here I am baring myself to a virtual stranger since I just found your blog via POTD and have no idea if you have even been to mine, but you have drawn me out. Drawn me to you.

I also enjoy 'blog bouncing' (what a great term) but haven't had the time lately being busy with the job I have in the shop, so I'm happy to have had the time the day I found your blog.

Cheryl said...

I thought that was a really excellent post (music therapy), really lovely writing.

I love blogging too because it makes me feel more rooted in the wider world. As an artist, it's too easy to get lost in my own imagination and coming back to earth can feel jarring. Especially since I work out of my studio apartment at the moment. So connecting to kindred spirits around the globe is comforting and even necessary.

Perhaps, though I'm only guessing, blogging is beginning to challenge your view of yourself as an outsider? If so, then maybe you can just consider yourself the awesome chick and leave it at that...

The Girl From Cherry Blossom Street said...

Sometimes it's easier dealing with people you don't know...

Jessica said...

Think of it more as, rather public, pen pals. And there is a shred of creator-type quality in that one can choose who and how they want to be in this medium. But the human quality invariably (and hopefully) emerges.

(Oh and hearing laughter when you are alone can be painful but sometimes it is just a cue.)
All the Best.

Dale said...

I used to wonder about whether I was just substituting imaginary friends for real ones. But then I got to meet some of my blogging friends in the flesh, and it really was just -- wonderful friendship, just what you'd think from the written exchanges. Its maybe something about being able to unfold your thoughts in your own sweet time: some of us need more time than ordinary conversation allows us. Or something. I don't know. I know I'm very grateful for this medium, and for the people who make it what it sometimes is. such as you. xoxo

Marcheline said...

We're real, we're out here, and we love you!

Okay, so I can't make you a Cosmopolitan and feed you some of my home-made salsa with chips... but I'd really LIKE to. That must count for something!

Cheer up! YOU ROCK.

And I LOVE that picture of the bird peeking out - made me laugh!

Rikkij said...

Hi! glad to find you. couldn't bring up your youtube as I'm deep in the woods with dial-up (yep, it still exists) I love the friends I've made blogging, but I'm really hurt when they disappear and they nearly always do, it seems. Hold on loosely I guess. Thanks for your kind comments at my place. ~rick