June 26th, 2007
I thought this evening about the limitations of communication and of memory. In the weblog setting, we sometimes revel in the liberating intimacy of personal revelation.
Yet so often the medium obscures the advantages in ways we cannot always control.
So many times intentions are good, but execution is imperfect. I once irritated a weblog friend through a needlessly encouraging word, when what was wanted was something less smug. Another time, I saw both sides of an argument, when one side was arguably sufficient--it is a habit of mine to see both sides of many stories, and sometimes halls of mirrors where another might only see clear paths and choices. At least one dear weblog friend would rather have me be a frank and advice-oriented as possible, which may be like giving chocolate to the allergic, to play to my inclinations that way.
Sometimes the sense of knowledge and a form of intimacy arises directly from this weblog experience. Other times it can be like my trip to Osaka last February--a blur of fascinating shapes and a murmur of interesting sounds-but what do I hear and what do I supply? Is the Japan I see the Japan of my eyes or of my daydreams? Is presence in the narrative a defense against inner story-telling? I do not think so.
I show you, above, a picture of a river in south Arkansas--but you must supply your idea of what a river means. Sometimes a cigar is not only a cigar, but also a cabinet, a smoking-room, a card game, and an intriguing smile.
Yet it's a mark of the virtue of the experience that I wish I knew some folks far, far better than I do, and there are none that I wish to know less well. If this universe is my private Osaka--absorbed in its difference rather than fully understood--then I will accept it with equal parts memory and new experience, and savor it as best I can.
Music: "My Impure Memories of Osaka"