Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lingering on Blogs

I've been thinking about blogging and blogs and Google Reader for a couple of days now. I think it began with a Pico Iyer's article in the New York Times about how he detached from his successful (and I assume high-pressure) job writing for the Times and now lives in a two-room apartment in Japan. He has no internet and so is not tied to the quick life we lead now. He writes:
While I’ve been rereading P.G. Wodehouse, or “Walden,” the crazily accelerating roller-coaster of the 24/7 news cycle has propelled people up and down and down and up and then left them pretty much where they started. “I call that man rich,” Henry James’s Ralph Touchett observes in “Portrait of a Lady,” “who can satisfy the requirements of his imagination.” Living in the future tense never did that for me.
I have long since passed the idea that living like that would suit me. I like walking across the street to visit a neighbor, I like being connected and pursuing connections via the internet; I like my life generally. I say this not to tempt fate (as I knock on wood) or to say that all is nirvana and perfect (it's not) but to acknowledge that I've come to a place where I know where the equilibrium is. And I can tell when things are out of whack more easily than I could at age 30.

While I applaud Iyer's "stepping out" of the rushing river of modern life, or as he put it "living in the future tense," I sometimes wonder about the rivers I find myself stepping across. I've been blogging now for 363 posts, nearly three years. My first post was just a picture of the Disney Concert Hall in LA. I didn't know what else to post. It all seemed so self-conscious, this writing--as my brother-in-law puts it--one's journal on the web. Yet when I heard Trott's talk last night about the lady in England who died of cancer, or the one-pound preemie baby and how is father took a photo of him every day, I realized that like Trott I enjoyed reading other's "journals on the web."

I liked my niece Alice's blog. I still remember many stories she told, and the year we "spent" with her and her new husband in Switzerland. I lingered over many of those tales, adding others' blogs to my blogroll, linking them into my day's reading. Lingered is the key word here.

More about not lingering tomorrow.

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