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Location: Austin, TX, United States

Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Emily Dickinson's Frog

I just talked to my dad, who asked me why I hadn't shared everything I share in my blogs with him before, person to person. I didn't think I had actually said that much on the blog - I explained to him that the blog to me was just a place to write down the million trivial fleeting thoughts that roil around inside one's head when one is trying to sleep. "Why not tell them to a person, is it easier to write them down for the world to see?" His tone wasn't accusatory - that sentence suffers from the lack of context, tone of voice, and of course my crude translation from the Finnish.

This got me thinking, though. Why am I making public my private thoughts which I could just as well write in a diary nobody would ever see. Am I Emily Dickinson's Frog?

I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us—don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Emily Dickinson


I'm positive that papers have been written on the reasons people blog, and I will google that subject in a second, but I want to think on it, 'untainted', by myself first.

When I went to London to study at RADA, I kept an online journal at diarist.com (You can view it here). This was not so much a stream-of-consciousness-private-intimate-thoughts-sharing enterprise as this blog we're engaged in currently. It was a more straightforward travel and study narrative, so that I didn't have to email ten billion people individually, and that everyone interested in 'how and what is she doing in London' could stay abreast of it relative to his interest level.

[Before I get critiqued here: I am going to use the old-fashioned 'he' instead of the contemporary 'he/she' in the interests of time and readability, and because everyone knows we might as well be using 'one', except its usage is more clunky. The world is going Politically Correct to the point of idiocy nowadays. Wait. Was that un-PC against idiots? Hmm. Oh well. I don't set much stock, as Huck Finn would say, by idiots.]

But, I might as well return to the original path from the very satisfying side rant.

The original online journal, then, served as a tool of connection. It served a double purpose in that my mother printed the entries out and will, one of these days, give me a book of them to keep as a memento of my time at RADA.

So, since I have no scintillating tidbits such as "I asked Ralph Fiennes today...." to write down here, why am I doing this? I'm not entirely sure. I'm frequently not clear on the exact reasons for my actions, but obviously there's some kind of reward here or, as my psych classes eons ago taught, I wouldn't be doing this.

I think it's still a connection thing partly. For a shy person--and yes, I am shy though some people might not find it plausible, since I can put up a good outgoing front--it is sometimes hard to express one's more intimate thoughts, or to show one's true self, for fear of judgment or rejection. And yet, I am and want to be an open person, so perhaps this is a way of sharing some of who I really am in a 'safer' way - there is no immediate face-to-face disapproval or shock, even if they get expressed later either in person or in reply posts. It is a medium that affords 'shielded intimacy' one might say.

Pondering this and doing some self-probing, I wondered if part of it was a desire to croak like the frog, to get attention, or to make more of oneself. I don't think that is the case with me, though. I'm not really even thinking of this as writing for an audience. I'm writing this for myself, to purge the myriad thoughts that swirl in my mind - if it is of some interest to someone, great, if not, great. And the benefit of affording some of the people who love me, but are far away and can't share in the minutiae of my daily existence, a window into my days (and more often, nights).

So, now I know why I'm doing this. Googling this subject.... hold on a sec. Okay. Here's a few:

The Blog Phenomenon by
John C. Dvorak at PC Magazine

Reasons People Blog at PowerfulIntentions.com



Fascinating stuff. Well, I'm off to pick up two end tables from King of Prussia. Lovely Queen Anne legs, originally from Bombay Company. I'm going to sand, add an applique, and refinish in the Shabby Chic style and sell them right back on eBay again. Will add before & after pictures when it is timely (i.e., after).


I remain,
A

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