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12/28/2005 Archived Entry: "Blogging from the heart is hard"

I EXPECTED TO BE BLOGGING MORE THAN I HAVE, even in my year of silence. Holidays, deadlines, and my planned de-emphasis on All Things Netly all contributed to a five-day blogging gap. But the biggest factor is simply a change in mindset.

It's very easy to scan Rational Review News each morning, find an outrage or two, and blog a personal riff on the latest depredations of "democracy" and the doings of demagogues. Righteous wrath is a familiar, and all-too-natural state of mind and lord knows the daily bad news -- and the entire blogosphere -- holds plenty of fuel to feed the flames of rage.

But I aspire to spend the next year in a different state of mind.

Right now, being a n00b at this contemplation business, I neither want to dwell on the daily outrage nor do I have anything Profound to offer. My thoughts on what to blog go something like this:

"The NSA is spying on Americans and not a single mainstream commentator is even mentioning the Fourth Amendment! But I saw a cougar yesterday, slinking elegantly into the underbrush."

"The country is governed by a megalomaniacal tyrant wannabe! But yesterday I drove over a bridge into the most amazing panorama of mountains and mists."

"The government-fueled real-estate bubble is bursting! But the stars above Cabin Sweet Cabin spin in violent glory, reducing all politics to less than a nit on a gnat."

When one enters a monastery, one sets out (so I imagine) to contemplate something very specific. The glory of God. The healing of mankind's pain. But what contemplation comes with simply shutting down the Net and turning elsewhere in a non-sectarian, non-denominational, non-doctrinal way?

I can't contemplate God; the stupidly noisy opinions of his fanclubs coupled with his own refusal to offer any clarification merely makes me crazy. The healing of mankind's pain? Harumph. Been there. Done that. Along with the entire rest of you guys in the freedom movement. Got a whole lot of tee shirts with a whole lot of pithy political slogans on them. And humanity is as miserable as ever. Although I cherish the fancy of simply sending good vibes out into the suffering world, my Inner Skeptic can't imagine that "vibes" will do what direct action couldn't.

So I'm left with an inward-turning: Who the hell are you, Claire, and what's the best thing you could do with the rest of this short little life you've been given? And face it, that subject is of a lot of interest to me. But does such navel gazing edify or entertain anybody else? I'd like to think so. One person's inner journey, well told, often resonates in millions of other hearts. OTOH, one person's inner journey can also be as boring as one person discussing his diseased pancreas. It all depends on how the story is told.

So on goes the work ... and the first job is clearing away a ton of old mental dross. The first job is getting rid of a lot of old accumulated mess so I can find out what the first job actually is.

I want to say, though, that I've already received the most tremdous support and good wishes from friends and friendly strangers. Whatever else might be wrong or just plain weird in the world, whatever else might be shadowed in confusion and doubt, I've got one shining truth here at the start: A person could not be blessed with better friends than those I've been gifted with.

Posted by Claire @ 09:50 AM CST

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