Virtual and Sometime Friends ( Really Careless Talk!)
I have taken a long silence in the past weeks. Many loose threads are now waving at me to be woven into some kind of order. Having briefed the court case and found the book judged ‘not guilty’ I was bereft of purpose. Bereft also of much conviction that anything else I could say would have the value that justified saying it.
Some of those threads. Casual Observations, all.
Unlike cooking which presents the necessity at least once daily, there is no appetite for a blog that is reflective, philosophically reflective, or too argumentative, or too long. Guilty as charged m’lud. I have perhaps twelve faithful friends who read and comment, and some at extravagant length. That is most warming and I can answer at equal length and never write anything else. This might discourage others who prefer to mwah or contrive pithy aphorisms. I have never prompted virtual kisses, probably not cuddly enough. I have my ‘demanding’ books and odd ideas about life, of no compelling relevance to anyone.
I did start a blog in the hope my books would gain readers, and many of my verbal followers have read one or both- perhaps eight altogether, and given the nature of those books they know me rather well, already.
So how to blog without skills to share for no evident appetites?
Yet without those friends life would be lonely indeed. They have come to be important, each one, and I can track them on the ‘like-lineup’ of other blogs and give a brief wave to their familiar avatars.
Another thing ( and I would like to know if others find this). I have ‘used up’ ideas on blogs and it has prompted suggestions like ‘Turn the Court Case into a Stage play’. But the salad wilts. It has languished on the table of my blog and been mostly ignored. I cannot make anything with it but a sort of spinach soup. I would much rather shop anew, but since very few read it, that is tantamount to waste. I might do it in time when it has been rinsed under a cold tap of neglect.
• Virtual Friends
It occurs to me that on line friendship should never be assumed as having much in common with the stop-in-the-street, have-a-coffee sort. Blog posts are like a brief torch that catches a facet of reflection. We face one another like crystals briefly stilled because we catch the same light. Another facet fails, or catches another nodding head.
For me this is the strength of on-line friendship, we relate to what is important that we share and move along. Many feel that this is indicative of superficiality. I disagree. There is a great economy in acknowledgment (or disagreement). I think where ideas are in the mix it is intimate, and real but perhaps being intimate needs no pursuit, or much time. A firefly should be enough to light up the dark.
If one was to meet for coffee it might spoil everything. One would probably find that we shared only ideas but not tastes, or values, or the use of money. If I had to double the tip for the nice waitress,to save face for another’s neglect, even good ideas would no longer retain their sparkle. It would spoil it for me if someone I really valued for ideas turned out mean, or vulgar, or emotionally up-tight.
I am not saying I suspect my friends of any of those qualities ( they are all extraordinarily generous) but I cannot talk about cricket for long..or show much interest in hair colour. Kindness might demand both!
I am half way through ‘Go Set a Watchmen’ and now remember why it is I write (and maybe should stop!) I won’t spoil things before I review it (and won’t then) but what is encountered is Harper Lee, who would never need to blog or talk over coffee. She is in every line and between them. I am not venturing to comment on the book but the revelation of someone who took the context of her childhood world and wove Maycomb so discerningly that Maycomb is my backyard and all those citizens, with their idiosyncrasies the aunts I never had, the bus drivers I know to avoid, and the short cuts through the yards I know to take. Yet she never ventured far afield and still could see them with that Austen eye for minutiae that told the whole story.
Oh Lord writing! It’s a bugger, it’s a bitch, and such a come hither seduction. Whatever is the opinion of the moral defenestration of Atticus Finch ( and I sense the way we could be headed, but may be rescued?) it has allayed the belief that Mockingbird was a one horse carriage and a kind of happy-catch-the-current-racial-tension fluke. She is a master of time without even bothering to signal what she assumes her readers will intuit. She flips into the past without even putting on shoes or a comb through her hair, and comes back full tilt through the doorway of the present. Scout always broke the rules, with a finger to her nose and thank God, with the-proper-way-to-write police, she did. She pays all of us the compliment of understanding her deeply and seeing a story through her eyes. All the way. No blog necessary!
Yes, I know what you are going to say.
Courthouse By TheHistoryPirate (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Featured Image By Jeff Reed (Altairisfar) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 us (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons