Why Write a Blog?

Honestly, I’ve been about to quit writing this blog. There’s been a weird thing inside me, a knot of some unidentified feeling. I dunno. Then, this morning, when I saw the prompt, “break,” I started writing about how disillusioned I am with this place I once called “heaven” and how the realization that many of the people around me would have stormed the capitol on January 6 and how I didn’t want them to be like that. I started to write about how they aren’t how I thought they were.

And then I thought (which I wouldn’t, if I hadn’t written that) “What right do I have to decide how other people ought to be? Aren’t I the person who prides herself on seeing reality straight on?” A little voice said, “You’re really not that person. You’re just like everyone else. You want your pretty picture of things just like everyone else. That’s the whole ‘MAGA’ mindset but from YOUR perspective. You want people to be the way you think is good and they are under no obligation to fulfill your wishes and fantasies.”

Wow. Kick in the head that. And yeah; a lot of stuff in the past year was deeply disillusioning, hurtful, angering, disgusting and those are legitimate feelings, reactions, etc. but EXPECTING other people to fulfill MY idea of who they should be?

Nope.

Am I going to try to change anybody’s mind? Nope. THAT I understand. We are not living in open-minded days AND these people are STILL the same people they always were and that has always been absolutely FINE with me. Am I bothered that they wear their beliefs and politics publicly? Yeah, I think that’s stupid, but, again, I’m not changing anyone. My ONLY job in this world is to be myself. I imagine that is their main job, too. To be themselves.

So here we are. Another stupid ass learning experience. BUT sometimes it’s only when we write something down that we’re able to see it or think it through. No, WP, I’m still not paying $100.

29 thoughts on “Why Write a Blog?

  1. 1. Don’t quit writing posts for this blog. Please!
    2. I tell students to write a draft of everything, even if they don’t want to do it. That’s the only way to truly figure out what they want to say! (When they get to the conclusion, then they should make that the introduction for the next iteration.)

    • Wow. Thank you. I sure felt a lot better after I wrote what I deleted this morning. I was, “OK, they’re the same people. You’re the idiot.” 😀 always nice to remind ones self that one is an idiot…

      I just shared the second point (notice how I didn’t say number 2? I’m so mature) with a friend who’s about to teach his first community college writing class. ❤

  2. Last week I was ready to quit all technology. And had similar feelings. I have a 36 year old cousin fighting for his life in ICU. He has blood clots in his legs, neck, and lungs. The father of 3 little kids. My Dad will have a pacemaker implanted on Thursday ~with a 3rd lead ~this is the only thing that will keep his heart pumping. None of us can be there. And this weekend I visited a museum and decided I needed to write. Write about history. Write about my life. I remind myself daily about my idiot tendencies to think others will change. And I remember one of my favorite quotes ~ “Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.”~Rumi
    I just wanna be me. And when I need a break from it all, I will. There are times it’s overwhelming. And I go M.I.A. I’m so glad you’re here! Finley agrees with me {I just asked her and she can’t imagine not hearing about you, Bear, Teddy, and your amazing lives}. ❤️🤗🐶

    • ❤ ❤ ❤ It's funny how we are. I wish all the best to your dad — it will be OK. My neighbor had had a pacemaker for YEARS and he doesn't even think about it any more though, occasionally, his doc calls him in for a tune up. And your cousin? We both know whose hands he's in. ❤ But I hope the blood clots dissolve and he goes home again to be with his kids and their futures.

      • Thank you, Martha. You are 💯 on all of it. I know it~but need love-filled reminders like yours. ❤️His current pacemaker has actually damaged his heart more because he’s constantly in avib. He’s had it since 2014 (that man has overcome 2 cancers, brain surgery for aneurysm, and heart disease thus far~he’s tough). We’re all in good hands indeed. Thank YOU! Much love from Finn and me. 💚🐶

        • I hope your dad’s new pacemaker is a friend, not a foe. 😦 You know what I discovered today bothered me MOST about the resistance to wearing masks and getting vaccinated? That there are so many people whose lives are struggle and tragedy that CAN’T or COULDN’T be prevented. Why would anyone resist even the FAINT possibility that a mask could protect them (forget everybody else?) I could not understand HOW people couldn’t see that. Any MINUTE something can happen. My dad didn’t always have MS. He didn’t, then he did. He was doing pretty OK, then he wasn’t. I’m sure your dad didn’t always have all these physical struggles. You know?

          There’s actually a dumb ass sign on the window of a local attorney that says, “If you come here with a mask on, I’m not doing business with you. I don’t work for sheep.” This is the very thing that’s been troubling me and making part of me hate everyone I see in my town and environs for the past few months. No way to live. I seriously HATE stupidity, I guess after 38 years in the classroom, 20 of those teaching critical thinking, one loses a little tolerance, but why should the intolerable be tolerated? ANYWAY… I think today I managed to let go because I can’t change anyone. ❤

          • Right on! Exactly! It’s caused riff in my own family. I was going to go to a huge silent auction tonight to benefit the special adults I see each week. At least 1,000 people for this golf tournament event. I backed out. One, I don’t feel well, but mire importantly, WHY would I expose myself to so many and then try to visit my Dad? EVEN if we both are immunized HE cannot be compromised! And sadly, someone very close to me refuses to believe it even exists. I hate stupidity too. It’s hard to tolerate the intolerable indeed. I’m SO glad you let it go. I did too~to an extent. I go through these ebbs and flows of feelings ~but I base them on facts. And the facts look clear to me. ❤️

  3. On the news tonight, Mitch McConnell tells everyone to get the damn vaccine. I don’t know, Martha. Maybe he, too, got that kick in the head.

  4. Writing it down can make the clouds disappear in your head. I find that’s the case if I let it happen. Trying to make people change to our way of thinking is tempting, but as you rightly say pointless. But resisting that urge…”if I just said this!”…is also exhausting. I’m not writing as much because sometimes it feels like what difference does it make anyway. But then there are the bloggers I care about and who I enjoy reading what they have to say (including yours!). So I hope you keep writing. Good thing the text doesn’t add to the WP cost. About the vaccine – a friend of mine has a friend whose doctor said “I wouldn’t take a vaccine that hasn’t been around for a couple of years.” Yup. A real doctor. Her primary “care” doctor. I’d like to change him.

    • Wow. Some doctor.

      I read something yesterday that was JUST what I needed to read. Lately I’ve felt like everything I do is pointless. Who buys my paintings? Even I can see they aren’t masterpieces (some of them suck). My books? I have written 10. Yeah. OK, they’re not all for sale, but… All the shit that’s gone down in the past 4 years is ALL counter to what I believe, want, think, know — my whole teaching life. How can we NOT (sometimes?? always??) take things personally? So why bother to do anything? Seriously…

      I’m reading Liv Arnesen’s book about her solar ski adventure to the South Pole. She writes, “Why go to the North or South Pole when it’s been done before? Why climb Everest when [at least} 600 people already have? Why write poems when so many have already been written? Why compose music?…Those of us who are not artists must try to make something else out of our lives…”

      I would love to be her, to ski that well, to have grown up as she did, all of that, and here she is, “Those of us who are not artists…” I think reading that yesterday led to this blog post today. Even if doesn’t make any difference at all except to me, that’s OK. Why should the stupid shit people do all around me affect what I do? Then a woman I will never meet but have known on Facebook for a decade bought her second painting. I felt, “Why don’t OTHER people buy my paintings?” Seriously. Then I got the frame for it today (those icky thoughts had passed) and told her. She said she was sending me a check and said, “We may never meet in real life, but it means so much to me to have something of you in my house.”

      That’s nine million times better than being a great artist. I thought of Thoreau who wrote that it’s something to be able to paint a particular picture, but to “affect the quality of the day is the highest of arts.” And some how my little life improves that woman’s life.

      I’ve had a pretty hard time since the insurrection, honestly, but I think, I hope, I’ve turned the corner. We don’t ever know how we might affect someone in a good way, but we have to DO something for that to happen. So, I took my mentor’s advice and rather than being pissed off at the cloud painting, I’m doing a triptych of sky paintings with Mt. Blanca anchoring all those skies. ❤

      • It’s always good to know I’m not alone. Of course we take things personally – maybe not always, but often enough to throw us off and we end up looking down the narrow tunnel of pointlessness. I often write about my family/kids (a few follow my blog) and rarely get any response at all on or offline. The ignoring part is hard. And then a close friend of mine told me they’ll appreciate it after I’m dead. For some bizarre reason, that has been a small comfort. Ha! In the meantime, making a difference in someone’s life – like your painting does with your FB friend – is what makes a difference in my life. If I can “affect the quality of the day…” as you quote Thoreau – I feel much lighter.
        Sky paintings sound glorious. ❤️

  5. I think we all need a good dose of stoicism. The old fashioned kind, not the McStoic that’s popular today. Or a bit of Zen. They aren’t that much different.

    Why does one do anything? Because taking action feels better than doing nothing. That is all that is necessary for a thing to be worth doing.

    When people around me behave stupidly, I (try to) remind myself of Plato and the parable of the cave. (If I am fully wake and not especially pissed off. I’m no saint.) You can never truly know if you are in a cave yourself, so don’t disrespect the people you yourself think are in a cave. They are as much in the dark as you are and just don’t realize it.

    • Yep. I taught damned cave for 30+ years but it’s impossible to get out of it. It’s a multi-layer cave. I realized today that part of my problem is I’m sick of them rubbing their shit in my face. I’m not doing that to them. I think it’s tactless and destructive, but what I think affects no one but me. Disillusionment is just part of life…

  6. I hope that you keep writing, I your thoughts, your art, your walks, and your perspective on life, lessons and all –

    • Thank you. I’m not stopping. I just had to get through it. The insurrection really messed me up then seeing all the insurrectionist signs etc. around here, I guess I left in a way. I’ve been very hurt, very angry and it’s all pretty pointless since any one of us can be Hans Brinker. ❤

  7. I have chosen to remain quietly baffled. You’re exactly right, I’m not going to change anyone’s mind and I’d rather respect everyone’s right to an opinion (even if it’s stupid:-). I’ve been employing Brian Doyle’s mindset of embracing the quotidian, the every day, the non-dramatic, the common acts of living, the thoughts that happen when you brush your teeth, pouring milk on your cereal, frying an egg, and, most importantly, walking the dog. His theory was that’s where miracles live. I think he was right.

    • You’re totally right. I was good with “quietly baffled” until things got to close to home and too visible, and I became sad and disaffected (and angry). Embracing the quotidian has been my philosophy for a long time — I guess when I found some things on my quotidian doorstep, things I can’t embrace, it became really difficult. AND walking the dog right now isn’t as easy as it will be in a month or so 😦 and I think that’s a major source of perspective for me. I just wanted to move away but there is no where to go when all the places contain me and my disaffection. ““The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..” Good old John Milton.

  8. You have to hand it to the science “sceptics” and associated political ideologues, they have endless enthusiasm and energy for proselyting their theories which have no basis in fact. I wish I had this extraordinary energy they seem to possess. What’s more, although some now accept the virus is real, they are blaming those that have been vaccinated people for spreading it. It is certainly worth a little foot stamping in the privacy of your own blog.

  9. My whole perception of life has changed wildly since 2016. I feel like I’m on a bad LSD trip and I’m never coming down. My faith in humans has been shattered to be honest.

    • Mine too. I just got another one of those bizarre Trump era alternative facts kind of surprises about some of the really good people I know here. They are not getting vaccinated because of something they saw on “Warroom”. and the irony of my knowing this is because I was forwarded an email between this man and his son where they talk about painting supplies they got for their son. They know I’m an artist and they thought I’d be interested in the conversation. ❤

      My first instinct was to engage, then to say, "Take me off your email list," but then I decided just to delete it. They have always believed that. I just didn't know AND I have to live here, too.

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