Strange to think that there are people reading my blog whom I don’t know and who don’t know me. Obviously, as soon as I publish a post, it’s there for all the world to read, but I have to admit that I didn’t really expect anyone apart from friends and family to take any interest in my burblings. Now I know that at least three people outside my wide circle of acquaintances are reading my stuff, and maybe there are more.
Hello to you, and welcome! And thank you for identifying yourselves by linking me to your blogs, so that you are not entirely faceless. But it’s still a strange feeling, as if I’d suddenly discovered that what I thought was a private conversation is being broadcast from the housetops. Yet I don’t really understand exactly why I should feel that it is strange.
Why should it be any different from the readership of a newspaper article or magazine column, or of a book? I have puzzled over this question, and am still not quite sure. Perhaps it’s because a blog is so much more personal? Just as with social networking in facebook and twitter, where you write spontaneously what comes into your head mainly for “friends”, there is a much more intimate flavour to a blog. An article in a magazine or newspaper has gone through the editing process, you know there’s a circulation of so many, and you have a vague idea of the demography. With my blog, I feel I am standing naked in the middle of the high street. Not a comfortable thought. I’d rather present this view:
Okay, so I was warned. “What kind of exhibitionist are you?” one friend asked me when I started. Exhibitionism is not really one of my traits: I’m English, for goodness’ sake, and we are a very reserved nation. Or are we?
In this vein, here’s a poem I wrote a long time ago. Perhaps this explains some of my discomfort?
THE EYE IS THE WINDOW OF THE SOUL
The eye is the window of the soul
And mirrors what it sees
So we exist in our polished society of mirrors
politely reflecting each other
never penetrating beneath the silvered surface
of the Other
nor offering any transparency ourselves
to the Other’s gaze.
I am what you see you are
You are what I see I am
Always face to face
never exposing a vulnerable back
and even in profile
squinting out of the corner of our eyes
to see what effect we are having
on the Other.
We are afraid the Other might see
That our mirror is in fact a window
And so we put up curtains
even behind the opaque glass
Someone might climb in.
I dallied and dithered for a while before I took the plunge into the blogging pool, and it has been a cathartic exercise. It does save a lot of longwinded e-mails, and perhaps it is self-indulgent, focusing on me-me-me. But I was writing this stuff anyway, it needed an outlet, and sharing it has actually been quite a pleasant experience, with some interesting feedback.
So I shall continue to share my thoughts, feelings and ideas, my out-of-focus photos and even some paintings and drawings, for the delectation or disgust of anyone who happens to drop in. Always pleased to meet new people and make new friends, so do introduce yourselves and let’s get acquainted!