An Upturned Soul – The Long and the Short of It
For a while now I’ve been having an argument with myself connected to how I express myself on my blogs. Every now and then this argument crops up in one of my posts. Every now and then I experiment with my posting style in an effort to reach a solution. Every now and then this debate causes a blockage in my writing arteries and stops the flow of blood which feeds my self expression.
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ― Ernest Hemingway
It’s an argument which is not solely mine and which affects many bloggers – Long posts or short posts.
When you first start blogging, your focus tends to be on momentum and keeping your blog going after the initial burst of energy starts to wain. Many diverse things can cause a blogger to lose interest in their blog. Outernet life also plays a part. People often begin a blog during a lull in their life. The temporary quiet allows you to hear what’s going on inside of you and your inner urge to express yourself creatively can finally get your attention.
We all have an unique story and we share it through our creative self expression.
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” ― Martha Graham
Finding your means of creative self expression is the first challenge. After that you need a showcase for it, which the internet provides in abundance. Once you’ve found your showcase you want an audience.
For those of you who are shy that may sound terrifying, the last thing you want for your blossoming creations. Big eyes looking at you. Staring at your creations. What if no one likes what you’ve done.
This isn’t really about people liking or not liking your creations, or even liking or not liking you. It is more about life, and the affirmation and denial of it. It is about exposing our real self, our love, our heart, and leaving it open, vulnerable to the world. We are revealing our soft underbelly and inviting others not to use the opportunity to slice us open.
“We all have secret lives. The life of excretion; the world of inappropriate sexual fantasies; our real hopes, our terror of death; our experience of shame; the world of pain; and our dreams. No one else knows these lives. Consciousness is solitary. Each person lives in that bubble universe that rests under the skull, alone.” ― Kim Stanley Robinson, Galileo’s Dream
That may sound a bit dramatic but when we express ourselves creatively we feel everything more intensely. When we speak our truth our voice sound louder as though we are shouting even when it is a whisper.
At the heart of all of my cyber bubbles, as I call them, is a person seeking to evolve. This goal has kept me on track and moving forward. Expanding my cyber bubble empire rather than contracting. When it all gets too much for me, I pause and wait for the feeling of being overwhelmed and overexposed to pass.
“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
I have spent a lifetime denying my creative self expression. Destroying the children born from the union of my mind and heart in Lilith style. Hiding in plain sight and knowing that is the best place to hide if I want to be unseen. I could blame others for this pattern of behaviour, and there are a few who went out of their way to encourage it, but ultimately the fault is mine. If I own the problem, then I also own the solution. If I hand the blame over to someone else, then I have to wait until someone else solves the problem for me, and I might end up waiting my life away.
“Let’s go.” “We can’t.” “Why not?” “We’re waiting for Godot.” ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
Whoever said that opportunity only knocks once must have been deaf and oblivious to the vibrations. Opportunity knocks all the time, but sometimes you have to be that opportunity who goes outside and knocks on your own door.
The New Year is a good time to reassess how we are living our lives, because we press ‘pause’ on life during the holiday season and review the year that we have just experienced and we make decisions about what we want to do with what we have done. We resolve to continue some things. We choose to stop doing other things. We see where a private revolution needs to happen or where a private revolution which has already begun needs to grow.
“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.” ― Jim Morrison
Many people review their blogs at this time. Many people start a blog at this time, either a new one having decided to delete an old one or to have more than one, or they start their very first blog. Many return to a blog they started and then took a break from at this time.
I have kept my blog going throughout the holiday season, for personal reasons – once I stop doing something it usually means I’m done with it, whether I want to be done with it or not. Absence makes my heart forget. – but I am reviewing it.
When I first started blogging it was all about me. I was challenging myself and confronting many of my fears and old habits which had once been a help and had then become a hindrance.
One of the biggest fears and challenges I have faced – this is a hard one to narrow down to one – is having an audience.
“My voice is born repeatedly in the fields of uncertainty.” ― Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice
I have always written my posts for myself with myself as audience, which is why they are usually so long. Because to get at the nugget of information which I am seeking I have to let myself talk until I no longer am aware that I am talking and thus no longer censoring myself, filtering what I am saying and hiding my secrets. That’s when I say what I need to hear.
I have been incredibly shy since I was very young. I know why. Part of the why is due to feeling that I bothered people by being alive. I did. But once you’re alive there is not much you can do about it except cease to be that way. Which is a great loss, because your life is valuable. There is only one you, and when you share yourself, you share a great gift with the world.
“If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.” ― Philip K. Dick
The long and the short of it is – I know some of my posts are too long for others to read, but I have to write those long posts. However I can create short versions of those long posts and I am going to endeavour to do so, thus opening my blogs up a bit more to more people and cater to the needs of different audiences while still catering to the needs of my most important audience member, myself.
Why? Because I have benefitted greatly from you, probably far more than you have benefitted from me. And relationships flow both ways.
My path right now in life is to develop my selfish muscles, yet to also keep my unselfish muscles toned. Find a balance and healthy boundaries between self and other.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” ― Hunter S. Thompson
One last thing… your comments are very important to me, and to those who when they get to the end of a post want to know a bit more, how others experience the issues in a post. Sharing our views is a very valuable element of human interaction.
When I first began to blog, dealing with comments was another challenge to face. I have always been under the impression that I scare people when I focus on them and talk directly to them. I have proof of this, so changing my attitude has been difficult, but you have helped me. I may sound insane sometimes when I reply, but that’s because you inspire me, and I am at my zaniest when I’m inspired.
“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” ― Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and Other Stories
You’ve helped me to continue to learn to embrace and accept myself as I am, a very ordinary human, flawed, prone to making mistakes, getting carried away by a thought or emotion, a bit self-centric, and often blinkered… who is unique in her own way. I hope to return the favour and help you to see your own beauty, uniqueness, value and claim your personal power. And express your self and your creativity openly and vulnerably for all to see and share.
“If I know what love is, it is because of you.” ― Hermann Hesse
*The photo I used with this post is part of the series from which the image I use as my avatar on all my cyber bubbles comes. I have altered it in Photoshop – increasing the damage to my skin rather than decreasing it. All tools used to erase blemishes, wrinkles and flaws can be used to accentuate them too. Your damage is your strength. Your pain is not an enemy, it is an ally.