Sunday, October 19, 2008

Blogging as a Public Diary

This is my 493rd post since I began the blog in July of 2006. How does my blog differ from a diary? First, I don't always write about what's important to me but what I think might interest others. I write for an audience, not my bedroom shelf.

My audience, after two years, amounts to 43 visitors per day, though those 43 are spread across all my posts, due to search engines that track things like poetry and depression. Thus by sheer longevity my blog becomes a bit of a reference document, as a recent visitor struggling with bipolar disease demonstrated, who just discovered it.

What's funny about my wanting to write about what interests others is that I get more attention when writing about my actual life than when I wax philosophical or poetical. I think this is likely because people are starved for authenticity. So often the authenticity that brings initial attention to someone is quickly swallowed up by commercialization. Once a personality has become a celebrity, he soon becomes a commodity, and then you know what to expect--and the personality is likewise constrained by its "image." A small-time blogger has no such restrictions.

Maybe my blog is more of a diary than I think. I write more when I'm depressed, for the therapeutic benefit of gaining distance from myself through words. In that state I need comments to prove I exist, while at other times I have faith that I do and the urge to objectify myself in words decreases. Then blogging becomes more of an occasional diversion.

These mood factors means my blog must be terribly uneven except for the unusual length of most posts, as I find it hard to write less than 1000 words once I get started.

Better perhaps to think of this blog as a public diary, one meant to be read by others. I don't report everything, my privacy restricts some matters, but when I do describe my life, I try for direct honesty laced with humor.

Blogging about blogging must be the nadir of blogging, forgive (or not).

I could cut this post short if I simply posted a poem from my upcoming book, one this blog has not seen:

As If

Below the first cross
of the brain’s junction
with the cerebellum
and the second cross
of the neck’s junction
with the shoulders
is a third cross
where spine meets pelvis,
the first chakra,
site of the commonest human ache
and cause of disability,
a small price to pay for going
where quadripeds can't:

the way of craving and surfeit
or the way of denial and longing,
the way of Narcissus
or the way of Christ
as you alternate
between serving self or others—
best trust your heart
and not think too much.

Step as if
you already stepped
where you are about to step,
balance as if
you already balanced
where you are about to balance,
write as if your words
mean something,
speak as if they do.

It's possible that in 493 posts I already posted this. I'll have to search the archives to be sure. (Tried, didn't see it).

How many mice does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Two, if they're small enough. Ka-Ching!

Flowing in the River of Life,



  1. Yes, yes! I love that last stanza. C.E., it's been a while since I checked in. Glad to see you're breaking through!

  2. Anonymous12:43 AM PDT

    Well, I didn't read the poem, but I think you equivocated when you said I despise fuzzy animals. I do not like DOMESTICATED mammals (with exceptions for individuals of my species) unless they are for human consumption. I think mammals are fabulous and beong in the natural habitat. I'm looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. 2 kilobunnies, great. I about neutral-1 kilobunny today, buit about 3 kilorats yesterday.

    Love, Proud defiant and inconsolable


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