-"blogito ergo sum": I blog, therefore I am...
I am currently reading "A circle of quiet' by Madeleine L'Engle for part of my Fall reading challenge. Go here to see my list and link. I am enjoying her book immensely, she is so very quotable-I am marking my book all up.
A conversation I had recently on blogging brought to mind some of what Madeleine L'Engle had to say on artistic expression. Of course, I thought, "I have to blog about this!"...
"My husband is my most ruthless critic...Sometimes he will say, 'It's been said better before.' Of course. It's all been said better before. If I thought I had to say it better than anybody else, I'd never start. Better or worse is immaterial. The thing is that it has to be said; by me; ontologically. We each have to say it, to say it our own way. Not of our own will, but as it comes out through us. Good or bad, great or little: that isn't what human creation is about. It is that we have to try; to put it down in pigment, or words, or musical notations, or we die." pg. 28
"If something deep within even the most tentative and minor of artists didn't think his work was good, he would stop, forever." pg. 27 "...This is the price that has to be paid for inspiration of every kind. Is it all nonsense after all? I suppose that's why an artist or writer is so sensitive about the reception of his work. If the critics tear it to pieces, they echo his own inevitable doubts of his validity. Yes." pg. 28
"I think that all artists, regardless of degree of talent, are a painful, paradoxical combination of certainty and uncertainty, of arrogance and humility, constantly in need of reassurance, and yet with a stubborn streak of faith in their validity, no matter what.".."there is a faith simply in the validity of art; when we talk about ourselves as being part of the company of such people as Mozart or van Gogh or Dostoevsky, it has nothing to do with comparisons, or pitting talent against talent; it has everything to do with a way of looking at the universe." pg. 38
"what Will said is that in in group conversation I am apt to seem as though I were going to say something extremely important, and then come out with the obvious...Certainly much of what I was fumblingly trying to say..was obvious. But the obvious needs to be said. Sometimes the obvious is so obscured by brilliant analysis that it gets lost...But the obvious need not be shallow. Sometimes it is profound and painful, and can be written off only by being called obvious."pg.39
My discussion touched on my reasons for blogging. Do I blog for self expression, practice in perfecting the art of writing, sharing/communicating with family or merely for sake of self-dom,- talking just to talk?...
Why do I blog? I originally wanted to connect with family, share our life and the things that are important to us with them. I did re-discover a forgotten love of writing. Do I write merely to better my writing? Do I need an audience? Does it matter if 3 people read regularly, or 10? Does it matter if I get any feedback by way of comments or email? If I am writing for journaling sake only, does it need to be public? Do I need a sitemeter?
Out of my conversation came a more defining realization of the why's behind my blogging.
I began blogging to keep in touch with family, aiming at a more family newsletter feel. Along the way I realized how much I missed writing. I also realized, that beyond the sharing with my family, I have a strong need to be known.
I think that we, as humans, have an innate need to know and be known. This is part of what spurs on the creative arts. It is not merely the betterment of craft. If art was only for the artist, then the painter and sculptor would finish a work and store it away in an attic. The musician would play for himself alone, the composer would never write down a piece. On the contrary, the painter and sculptor enter their work into shows or put them onto exhibit. The musician joins an orchestra or group, or makes an album. Art is not always for the sake of art alone, but to share a piece of who we are and what is important to us. In this season of life, I am busy at home-as are my friends and any new acquaintances I meet. I have found that beyond my family I do not have the opportunity to spend time with friends discovering who we are inside. The deep questions are not often asked. So, for me, my blog besides a place to share my family with family- is a place to express what I think about, what makes me laugh, what makes me tired, what makes me an individual. What I care deeply about. The profound in me, the trivial in me.
Is there a danger of my blog world replacing community in my life? I hope not. Though I suspect in some ways that the community dispersed long ago. Do I share everything about us? No, some things are personal, and some things are not mine alone to tell. I long to be real, but I also long to be kind-to love those I love.
So, why do I blog? I think the answer is still in a process of becoming. And I think that is o.k.
"We need to write, otherwise nobody will know who we are." -Garrison Keillor
Laurel did a post that touches on these thoughts, go on over here to read her take...