On Blogging Itself…

A strange day — not like what I expected, really — has finally given way to this chance to write what I’d thought about earlier.

I really hate it when the media covers itself (remember Michael Jackson’s video, The Making of the Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” Video or the Press coverage of the press coverage of almost anything?).  Given that, I will understand if you, the reader, don’t want to read this.  I’ll try to avoid the self-congratulatory part of this little essay.

On July 4th of this year, I started blogging. I’d tried it before but a) didn’t know how to set one up and b) couldn’t keep it up because c) I just didn’t enjoy it.  This time, though, something happened.  My friends Cathi and Liz did know what they were doing and gave me help setting it up. I got some response and gosh darn it all, enjoyed it, and found my creativity coming out — a creativity I’d forgotten was there. That is what has made all of the difference.  (Thanks, Cat and Liz!)

Blogs — everyone should get one if it does for them what it has done for me. In the old days, preaching accomplished the same thing: It let me speak for 20 minutes and feel heard once a week. People actually listened.  Now, teaching does it for me in addition to preaching and blogging tops it off.

Virginia Satir, the queen of all family psychology and world change theories says that at the base of it, underneath it all, we all want to be known and loved.  By that, she didn’t mean liked or popular, but more like treasured for being yourself. If one person or two does that for you, your life is doing damn well.  That’s what blogging has done for me.

I have been surrounded for a great portion of life with an incredible list of friends — true friends who know that I’m a bit eccentric at times — “strange”, “unique” or straight-out “weird”, depending on who you ask.  In the busy-ness of my life and the transitory life-style, I just haven’t gotten a chance to see them and shoot the breeze.  In short, I have missed being treasured by the very people that I treasure as well — people who are just so cool I can hardly stand it.  Rob McCarthy gave me this computer. Cathi and Liz gave me advice and support. Val Perrins lets me know that I’m not the only one in the world who thinks like I do. Bob Cunningham gives me a loving run for my money, even when I don’t share his opinions.  Becky from Hall is incredible.  Dawn, Derek, David Ratz, people from South Church in New Britain, people I went to seminary with, people I went to High School with (Joe Roberts is sooo damned interesting and cool!), people I went to college with (Hi, Ron and Margo!), spiritual people, liberal and conservative people — they all check in every once in a while.

The apostle Paul talks about “being surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses” within time and the church.  That is how I feel as I write this blog.  That is how people are supposed to feel when they’re part of a religious community. This is what Christianity (and, I gather, Paganism, Quakerism, and so many others) is supposed to be about at its core. This blog, in other words, helps me to feel blessed — known and loved.

If other people had the chance to feel this way (and they do!) through blogging, then I say bring ’em on.

But it’s not just that. Blogging, at least as I do it here, allows me to think.  I feel all day. That’s my job.  When I blog, I get to think and hear myself think before I send it into the airwaves or ether or whatever the web is.  When I’m home and watching TV, I see a culture that feels a lot and doesn’t think much at all (i.e. Jerry Springer, the People’s court, game shows — I watch afternoon TV before the kids get home).  I sooo wish we spent more time thinking (Health care, anyone?).  I am also blessed by well-thought out responses to my own thoughts.  I love thinking and writing, and it’s great when people apparently do the same. I look forward to reading and more thinking about what they say — so the cycle goes on.

If Satir is right — and I think she is — then blogging allows me to safely be known.  My friends let me know that I’m loved. All in all, it’s not a bad life. May everybody feel this good.

Peace,

John

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