This is my second blog; the first one is Discipline Deficit Disorder. “DDD” is a place I park my fiction; it is subtitled, “Shouldn’t you be working on something?” Two things about this blog here: its title reduces to the acronym T’DAI, which serendipity I discovered only after the fact. And its subtitle (“Go on about your business; don’t mind me”) is of a piece with the subtitle of my other blog: both express my impulse to divert the attention of any casual browser away from whatever might be discovered in their pages. I contemplate both subtitles and soon I see: I have some kind of problem with getting caught. 🙂
And that, in the proverbial nutshell, is the problem with blogs, for me. They are “too” public! I can’t think freely in the “Write Post” space; I self-censor, and end up saying nothing terribly interesting. Blogs are the wrong venue for me, as a composition-place. They are good for something, but it’s something else.
The kind of Good that a blog can be good-for (for me) is the kind of good I get from laying out a nice turn of phrase — having partly to do with the basic urge to make work, and partly with vanity when the work pleases me. Blogs, therefore, are for things that seem to me relatively “finished” — which is to say, things that I have worked over until improvements have stopped suggesting themselves (which really has more to do with my stamina than with the state of the prose). A blog serves (me) best, (today,) as a kind of trophy case for the display of the vivid anecdote, the graceful rhetorical crumb, etc. Blogs are of a class of Goodness with other things whose merits lie obviously (and sometimes entirely) on their surfaces.
But the more satisfying Good, the one I am always after, the one that blesses me deeper down, is messier, and risky-feeling; it is likely to answer a knock on the front door by opening a side window, and it often shows up (inappropriately) half-clothed — or (rather) clothed half for one occasion and half for another1. To get that sort of Good — me & my nervous little language-maker, we needs our Privacy.
Perhaps it’s the times I grew up in; I began as a pen and paper writer. Then in college for a while I cranked out stuff on a typewriter — an old, blue Smith Corona electric typewriter that I probably still have somewhere. Then in the late ’80s when I was living in a big grey farmhouse and sheeping and audioing, I used a Tandy 1000 to write and send email over a 300-baud modem to my Internet (Compuserv) friend, Rick Stone, of Tampa. And I discovered, in so doing, that I thrive on the page when I believe I am writing to someone who appreciates what I say and how I say it. So here’s the weird thing: I may need my Privacy to put words together, but I also need a Muse.
A blog is “out there” in the world; a blog could draw an audience. So a blog has that potential — as a venue for thinking as one of the plastic arts — thought made to a form, thought made to cut a particular path through the air, through time. Thought that is capable, actually, of assuming multiple, varied forms. Thought Expressed, in other words — extruded, drawn out of one person’s mind by the inexorable, gravitational pull that is exerted by an Other mind drawing near.
Gawd, banality! Everyone know intimacy generates a pull. Mistaken for magnetism, is it actually gravity? Physicists speak of a “weak force;” I wonder if this is in that class, because this force is so easily disrupted — by lapsing faith, by feeble trust.