Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

Through the Pores

"You asked me, in relation to these seemingly autobiographical characters, whether my work is solipsistic. I think my style of writing and narrative is a cure for solipsism."--Donald Harington



I usually maintain a philosophic and emotional distance from LiveJournal malfunctions. On a given day, the posts don't "submit" well. On another day, the function that notifies one of received comments fails to do its notification part. Que sera, sera worked for Doris Day, and it surely works for me.

Lately, though, I notice that received comments fail persistently to be forwarded to me by e-mail. I never worry about the loss of a hair or two, but I suspect I'd notice male pattern baldness a bit more readily. I feel that way about my chronic comment failure function.

This LiveJournal shortcoming offers one huge advantage, though. I go and check journals where I left a comment, to see if I got a reply. That leads me, sometimes, to read parts of folks' journals, either old or new, that I somehow did not read the first time. Recently I heard a lovely phone post a friend posted in January.
I did not have my home speakers hooked up when it first posted. I really enjoyed heaing this person's voice--it was like putting a face to a name.

Lately I notice how much I enjoy the "give and take" of the LiveJournal. I pride myself that I am not a particularly "needy" weblogger.When a post topic falls flat with everyone but me, I chalk it up to "learning experience".I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with having needs. I find myself impressed lately with folks who point out how absurd the notion of a "self-made-man" truly would be. It's an interdependent web from which we dangle, fly-like, trapped in a mesh of interconection. On second thoughts, maybe we should be spiders. I'll have to remix my metaphor.

I notice that I sometimes write posts to entertain, but I also notice that the person I often worry most about entertaining is myself.That's perhaps the solipsism in a journal--it's such a self-created world of posts and inferences.

I think lately about self-publishing, and how LiveJournal in some ways surpasses any 'zine or Kinko's-derived chapbook. Once in a while on a weblog, an anonymous stranger sends an e mail or leaves a comment.I always like the sense that there's a broad universe out there, and there are so many connections to be made with people for that good, old-fashioned friendship experience. It's like owning one's own small press.

The absence of financial motivation, coupled with a cheap permanent membership, means that one can be one's own press (or, to be chic, "meta-press") via a simple to use medium. The experience is not just about publishing, of course, because I have made what I consider to be true friendships on line. I also have strengthened existing old friendships through on-line contacts.

I must admit that I take a real delight in planning post topics. I love it when that "got to write in my weblog" moment hits me. When I am stuck for a topic, sometimes, I will merely find a quote that interests me, and then try to take the weblog post someplace keyed entirely off or against the idea in the quote.

Sometimes I fondle a topic in my mind, not sure if I am to convert the fantasy into reality. It's a rather horrid form of infatuation, I know--the infatuation with one's own creative burst.The idea need not be any great shakes to inspire it, either. Lately, for example, I am fermenting the drafting of a post about a faux-quasi-legal document termed A New Lease on Life, but I am still turning over how to avoid the saccharine that can creep into my "peppy" writing.

Lately I notice, though, that I read journals written by folks facing a particular challenge or issue, as to which I wish I could help or comfort.But the words sometimes just sound so hollow. I think that sometimes it's very hard to be genuinely kind, and not just "making an effort at kindness". Genuine kindness meets the need, and does not follow the mere forms.But I know from a few family experiences that sometimes when people just reach out, trying to be kind, that's enough. Nobody can solve the problems, after all. But I treasure the effort. I will never forget various kind words my parents' community extended my mother when she faced the loss of each of her parents. It's not that the words were magic. It's that people tried. I must take a lesson there about trying harder myself.

I drove back from lunch today (my partner and I took a business acquaintance to lunch in the great new Mexican restaurant on the Main Street square in Garland), and thought about how I am sometimes kind on paper. I want to do the right thing, I want to help, but how much do I really do? Not enough. Not nearly enough. It's not enough to check the box marked "I would be kind". I must learn to more often actually be kind.

But sometimes it's so hard to break out from persona, and really reach out in kindness. I sometimes am fond of saying "it's all in how you define the problem".
I do not believe that all problems are self-created, but I do mean that many problems are problems because the solver brings to the table assumptions that may not prove valid. That's a key defense mechanism, and not always bad, but life is not all about defense.

I wish I had some "big finish" to tie this all down into a post about how I saw the enemy and, in the words of Pogo "he is us", and I'm now cured of selfishness, solipsism, and bad poetry. But the reality is that I love that a weblog is a universe I create. But I know that I must create more than a weblog. I want to create genuine bonds with real people--on line and off. It's so easy to just become encrusted in a bread bowl of good intentions.

But I will not leave this post with the vague self-admonition "I promise to be good, I promise to be good" (and I picture Dorothy "there's no place like home...."). Instead, I feel that I read, and learn, and enjoy and share, but I want to connect better, and I don't always know how. Relationships are difficult when one does not seek a lover, a financial advantage or admission to a social clique.When one seeks merely to present oneself, to learn and to accept, to give and to take, then the real challenge begins.
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