I read a blog post early this morning that criticizes another woman's blog. It wasn't guarded at all--just wide open and very frank. The crtique centered on the blogger being too positive and not "real" enough. However, the critic freely admitted that she doesn't even read the blog in question. She just looks at the pictures! I can promise you, she's missing a great deal of real. The words are honest and not always dripping with sweetness and light. Of course, you can't know that if you don't take the time to read the words.
When a long-ago friend first tried to persude me to blog, she pointed out that blogging would give me a platform to write more than the 500 words that was my (oft-exceeded) column limit. I admit, that facet is what sold me. I could write a complete thought, explore a big idea, really dig deeply.
Not long after I got going, several people advised that blog readers won't stick around for more than 300-500 words, so keep it short. Furthermore, no post should ever go up without a picture, preferably several pictures. Blogging wisdom from those in the know. To that, over time, I heard not to focus too much on homeschooling, because that readership isn't as wide and I'd alientate people who don't have time to do some of those things with their own kids. Not to focus too much on domestic arts; it alienates those who aren't interested or don't have time for cooking or crafting or making beds. Not to write sentences that are too complex; people are used to tweets and status updates.
I think there is a place for quick social media. Often, I prefer to text over calling.
It's 15 minutes until curfew. are you more than 15 minutes from home?
overtime. down by 1. katie at the free throw line.
Long day. Longer night. Wish you were here.
I see the benefit of making connections and getting conversations started with a few quick lines. But I don't fo a moment think I can get to know someone by just glancing through the sum total of their Twitter updates. Further, I don't know them or understand their message if I just look at the pictures and am too intellectually lazy to actually read what they have to say. Honestly, I don't think you can really know a blogger even if you read every word and scrutinize every picture. I know I've been very surprised, both for the good and the bad, to discover that someone isn't at all who they appear to be online.
All that said, if we are going to communicate with one another primarily in a digital world, I think there is a place for big thoughts, for carefully constructed language, for posts that fully explore an idea and invite thoughtful comments and conversations. I think we need to listen carefully to one another. This weekend, when I visit blogs, I'm going to read all the words, hear as much nuance as I can, and respond thoughtfully. The latter of which will be a big change for me, because I never leave comments. Comboxes are terrifying.
My time online is super-limited--or at least it should be. If I'm here, I want it to have meaning. It might be counter-cultural, but really, I don't want to waste a precious moment of this life on twaddle. If you're a 500 word reader, it's time to click away. If you'd like to stick around, I'll write about what's real in this snippet of time.
No pictures with this post. I welcome you to use your imagination to paint one in your head: I'm sitting up in bed. The house is quiet because the little girls are still sleeping; Mary Beth spent the night with a friend; the little boys have left with Mike for soccer; Christian stayed up until 4 AM playing guitar in the basement and won't appear 'til late afternoon; Michael worked the night shift and will sleep long; and Paddy will roll out of bed shortly to go earn some money referreeing a basketball championship. I awakened with Mike and enjoyed a way-too-brief conversation before they headed out into the dark for warmups before an 8AM game. I saw them off and then I headed for the exercise bike, still in my flannels. I prayed the Morning Prayer with Divineoffice.com while biking in my nightgown. Then I went to the kitchen to fix a cup of tea. I noticed that there are dishes in the sink. There were no dishes when I went to bed last night: midnight foragers, no doubt. Not wishing to spend too much time in a messy dish world, I crawled back into bed to write. I've just replaced the flannel sheets with lovely white Egyptian cotton ones. The bed is a good place. The tea steams on the nightstand beside me, Vanilla Rooibos in a brown stoneware mug. It's quiet and calm and my world feels peaceful this morning in a way I haven't experienced in over six weeks. It's been a long, difficult six weeks. I pray the peace holds.
I have plans today to sew with my girls, to deep clean several troublesome corners, to fully engage in domesticity. Then I think I'll probably join Nicky and Stephen when they watch Dr. Rubio's team take on Joe Skinner's team in the basketball championship tonight. That's how I roll. That's me. I'm looking forward to being me in the peace. Please, God, let there be peace.
After last night's thunderstorms, I hear birds chirping outside. They are very inviting. Could it be spring for real? I really should pull all those weeds around the tulip shoots. Those birds are insistent. So inviting and insistent, that I'm going to wave goodbye to you, pull on a UVA sweatshirt and a pair of Paddy's sweatpants, and finish that mug of tea on the front porch.
Thanks for sharing a bit of morning with me today. Happy weekend, friends.