To blog or not to blog

Occasionally a lull in the wind, a momentary angle of sunlight, or a chance meeting with a brave dragonfly will spark my spirit. The smoggy veil of preoccupation clears, and time stops: I'm here, I'm aware... and I'm mad as hell that I've been caught up in petty left- brain pursuits for most of my life.

I'm not alone in experiencing these transcendent pauses, of course, and the trick (which I haven't mastered) is to extend them, to live in them while dealing with society's pressures and distractions. What I can do is to capture some of it in pixels and allow the images to prolong my inspiration. Milkweed and the Moon will be one space for me to do that - as well as a space to blow off steam when my BS meter maxes out. At present, I'm still in the blogging community at Don't See in Here, but my fuse burns ever shorter within the limits of a blog format (as well as those of the culture it seems to engender).

I thought blogging would force me to write, and in a certain narrow sense, it has. If someone expresses interest in my writing, I like being able to offer a sample by directing them to my blog. But the response, almost universally, is resistance; it ranges from professed ignorance of computer technology to a barely-detectable veneer of disdain. In any case, the idea of reading a blog is a hard sell. I'm feeling, increasingly, that having a blog is more a dirty secret than a source of pride. How did that happen?

Once upon a time, web logs were kept as a communications tool by far-flung archaeologists, explorers, photojournalists and the like. A scientific log might not have satisfied a reader's hunger for well-turned phrases, but it was a linear record of progress, available worldwide.

The rest of us caught on, sooner or later, to the convenience of using a blog as a sort of constant Christmas newsletter: friends and family could tune in and catch up on every excruciating detail of Aunt Mary's RV trip through Arizona, or the youngest grandchild's developmental milestones. This is all okay with me. "Mommyblogging" is one of the best uses of the medium; new parents often feel isolated from the help and reassurance they need.

But, in many ways, the remainder of blog society today has all the earmarks of a junior high clique. Claiming to be aspiring writers, bloggers offer up lunch menus and snot jokes. They don't proofread and profess not to care about spelling or grammar, yet they witter on endlessly about makeup. They care very deeply about the face they present in real life, but hardly at all about their thoughts - the "face" they present on the Internet.

I'm not saying the blogging culture should stop. I'm saying that I should stop hoping it will change, and I should stop playing the wrong venue.

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