Excuse me, but do you take requests?

January 15, 2008 in It is what it is - opinion column | Comments (0)


When people ask me if I’m a blogger or if I have a blog. My answer, generally, is no.
Of course I have this site, which contains my various ranting, raving and occasionally ponderous musings, but it’s not a blog.
Because something rather substantial is missing …

By definition (at least my definition) blogs should be interactive allowing readers to comment directly on the site – either in freely posted or blog writer-moderated mode.
You’ll notice this functionality does not exist on this site.
You’ll probably also notice that, for the most part, the writing here isn’t necessarily of the ilk asking for a “so what do you think” response. This isn’t to say that people wouldn’t comment if given the opportunity, but when I set out to do this site it was largely an exercise in rediscovering my own voice and having a place to share my thoughts.
I did, however, have my superb designer build in the capacity for people to email me directly from this site, and over the years I have received occasional notes. Generally these consist of greetings and “how the hell have you been” notes from individuals with whom I’d lost contact and on some random meander of the Internet they found my site.
In recent months, the volume of these emails has increased – a fact which humbles me greatly as it means there are more of you fabulous people out there reading and based on the notes, it seems that my commentary and other postings are serving some purpose.
I’m also getting feedback from other places, more specifically from Facebook. I channeled the RSS feed for this commentary section into my Facebook profile and have found quite a few people are actually paying attention to what I have to say.
It seems that Facebook’s impact on this site now has another angle.
I’ve gotten a request to write more on a specific subject.
In my last commentary piece, I spoke about a rather unusual experience I had with the Honesty Box application on Facebook.
My thoughts after this Honesty Box experience were about courage – and the fact that it is far more simple to be brave when the implications of your actions are slim to none. It’s kind of like the little dog on the leash that barks madly at the bigger dog when it walks down the street, but the minute that the larger one stops and turns, the more diminutive canine retreats behind its owner’s legs.
I don’t mean to imply that those who retreat from things that might be scary should be compared to yappy ankle-biters … well, maybe I do a bit …
Joking aside, I made some rather strong statements about my deciding to have a zero-tolerance policy for anyone who was not prepared to stand by their own words.
That makes me a total hypocrite.
You see, not too long after posting that commentary, I found myself perusing old posts one day. In doing so, I came across something that I wrote back on December 1, 2007. At least one person I know has suggested that I take this post down. They suggested that it’s just too raw and personal. It is for that precise reason that I have decided to leave it there.
What, you may ask, about that makes me a hypocrite?
That particular post is something that I wrote and posted on this site when I should have had the balls to just say it directly to the person about whom it’s written. Or perhaps more accurate to say to whom it’s written.
You see, I wrote that post telling myself that it didn’t really matter whether or not that friend read it. I wrote that post, convincing myself that while there was a chance she might catch sight of it – we are, after all, connected on Facebook and so the post would end up in my profile and perhaps show up in her newsfeed – it didn’t matter whether she did or didn’t.
I was lying to myself.
I got the idea from an old practice I had many years ago. It had to do with an ex. That relationship was one fraught with drama and chaos. (And that also serves as the basis for another commentary on which I’m working now and hope to post in the next couple of days.) When that relationship ended there were many loose ends and raw emotions that continued to emerge months after our last contact. They were the type of feelings that needed to be processed, and while we were still at a point where I could have reached out and talked with her directly, doing so was inadvisable. (Mostly because any time we talked we ended up getting back together – briefly but disastrously.)
At a friend’s suggestion, I wrote everything down and then put it into an envelope. I then addressed it to myself and put it into the mail. When it arrived back in my own mailbox, I burned it without opening. The mere act of hearing the mailbox clang somehow helped. The burning was a final purge.
In this digital age I thought this Web site could serve the same purpose but rather than sending thoughts out in an endless loop I could share them and in doing so offer others who might have had similar experiences some solace.
I told myself I was doing this for the greater good and it didn’t matter if my friend read it.
I’m not sure who I was fooling – except maybe myself – but that was crap.
This friend and I haven’t really spoken – actually we haven’t spoken at all – since the events that transpired in November. There have been a few email exchanges in which the vague idea of getting together was tossed out. But nothing.
And so one day I updated my Facebook status and commented that I wished a certain friend had read something I wrote. A rather passive-aggressive move on my part that perhaps she’d see and be curious.
It was either that day or soon thereafter I got another note in my Honesty Box.
“I read it. Will you write more?”
There had been several posts to my site and to my various other online enclaves since that December 1 post, and so while in my heart I hoped that this note might just be from the person to whom I’d written, I was pretty sure it wasn’t.
The next day, another note.
“Not all of us have your courage. Will you write more?”
I replied to the second note asking if they were the same person who’d already asked for me to write more. Because at least this clarified on what topic I was being asked to write.
No reply.
Then the next day, a new note that said:
“I am the same person.”
This mystery woman and I have exchanged a few notes within Honesty Box about my writing on the subject. She has been quite gracious and complimentary. I told her that I’d write something and had promised it last week.
But I just couldn’t get finger to keyboard – mostly, I think, because I feel as though my bravado has a pretty serious chink.
Of course that merely reflects being human and so isn’t grounds for self-deprecation, but I do find myself re-evaluating my own sense of courage and wondering …


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