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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This Isn't What I Intended to Write About

OK, I'm not brilliant. I'd read a number of blogger questions and comments for a long time. "How do you do this?" "What can I do to make that happen?" "Why do you moderate?" "I can't see your face very well." "What's your actual name?" "What do you think he means by that?" "Why do you suppose she publishes those fawning, prattling comments? It cheapens her blog." And while I did not possess the answers to all the questions, I'm a good organizer/gatherer/event planner, so I did a blog post that got some conversation going. I liked that. I learned some things, had some assumptions confirmed and just plainly heard some opinions of others. That's a good thing.

I went off on a self-indulgent, obssessive-compulsive, funny-to-me musical kick for a few days, all the comments coming in as flippant and amusing as I hoped for. Monday morning I even blamed my musical antics on another blogger (all in good fun, please understand). I asked myself what I was doing with all the melodic madness and I landed on the answer. I knew I would if I'd stop being manic and look inward. You see, I am avoiding writing about other things I've planned to post about, because I am a person who has some issues with the holidays. If I burn the days away by writing silliness, the holidays will have gone by again, me safe in my avoidance cave. So I determined to get back on track, be true to myself and do the damned writing.

Then came a late comment to the blog post about blogging. It took me a little minute to consider this comment. I didn't publish it for awhile because I had to ponder it. I'm revisiting the subject, because I like where this blogger, took the conversation. I asked the how. She asks the what and why. Here's what she had to say (the rest of the exchange can be read by clicking on the link just above):

Thanks for this. All your posts are thought-provoking. This one engendered a train of thought that pulled into this station: why do we blog, really? What do we want out of it? Where will it take us? And will we be there by next week?

The mechanics of blogging, setting, format, etc., are the means by which we create what we want to have happen. So what's our intention?

You knew right away that you wanted a blog. It took me weeks of hemming, hawing, gulping and trembling in my toe socks before I worked up the courage. Expose my attempts at photography and writing? Aaack! Well.

Not many things in life generate fear for me like this one did. So I used it to clear the fear. Blogging as a path to spiritual development! Who knew?

There's more, but this is long enough!

Thanks for putting it out there-you've got guts galore!

Readers, I like the questions that have been posed. And I am working on my responses. I had some immediate ones come to mind. But they weren't the full picture. I'm refining them. Spending some time inside myself. Please ring in on comments and I'll be doing the same - yes, commenting to my own post. Yike. I'll work on my OC tendencies in 2010. I really will.

And then: I spent a long time on the massage table last night. Stephanie kicked my sorry butt. I am a disaster this morning and had to cut my walk a few miles short. I don't like to do that, and I go to a hiding place - it's shameful to me. So, while I can say,"I had to cut my walk short", I won't tell how many miles. There's a nice piece of baggage to go to work on ~ if it involves hiding oneself or information, it probably needs attention. And yes, I'm smiling at myself, not cutting my wrists. Note to self: When it takes 10 minutes to dress after the massage, when Stephanie stands in the hallway looking concerned and says, "Limes, we did an awful lot of trigger point work tonight. Epsom salts. Lots of water." . . . the next day is going to be bad.

In my ears right now: I'm putting up the song that gave rise to my blog's name. I'm posting it as a reminder to myself to sit down in my seat on the bus. I've been standing up in the aisle, holding onto the strap for awhile. My balance isn't all that great. I will take the vacant seat over there, settle in among my bags, observe the other passengers, and move forward. Thanks to the blogger who probably was just asking questions, but aimed me toward some of my answers.

Something that charmed me: BFF and I were (mostly) missing one another on e-mail. She spends her day off alternately busy and leisurely. I spend mine going like hell. She was at the computer with coffee. I was trying to do the grocery shopping. I used the BlackBerry as much as I could. She asked, "Why will you be warm on your holiday camping trip? Did you get a new coat?" I burst out laughing in the cat food aisle. I haven't bought a new coat or much else of anything new since the economy terrified me more than a year ago. No, I haven't actually been hit in the wallet. I'm just afraid that I will be. No, I'll be warm for the holidays due to benevolent forces in nature that have deemed The Solstice Fairy of Past, Present and Future to be worthy of warmth at the holidays. In that magical place, we have been given warmth and unexpected gifts from the natural world that please us, make us gratfeul and make us look forward to the coming year. Or so it has happened each time before.

Photo credits for LimesRightNow and The Solstice Gift: J.D. Morehouse


  1. Limes - What a great post. You address so many things we all think about when we venture out into this sphere.

    I read in the sidebar that perhaps someone has taken your words and used them as their own. Now I'm nervous that I may have inadvertantly done this. Please tell me I haven't.

    Hooray for the new open communication and large picture!

    It's good to know where the stranger on the bus came from, musically and literally.

  2. @ Kass - good morning, my Sugarhouse cookie friend. No, you've not taken away any of my words, Kass. I think I'm prickly about the subject, though. I'm an only child (not literally, but basically). I don't want others to take my things without asking. And I give that in return. Remember when I asked you if I could use your words and pictures? Please, please come back and give some of your answers to the blue questions. I don't have all the answers to give - I want to hear from a few different bloggers. Signed, the old stranger on the bus, just trying to make her way home.

  3. At the risk of fawn and prattle, your hair looks fantastic! And yes Limes, you do have guts and they sit just underneath that (fawn and prattle alert) that heart of gold.

  4. @ Tree ~ {Clink} ~ I'm going to let that hair fawn and prattle in, Tree, because a week or so ago when all the blog sniping was occurring, it's not MY blog that was being flogged for that. So I accept it, and acknowledge it as my first occasion of THAT sin. Christine is the best colorist I've ever known. And I thank you for noticing.

    As for the other fawn and prattle, I can only say thank you. I don't see myself that way (yet). Not gutsy. Maybe gusty as in "the old windbag". But I thank others who tell me they see it.

    Tree, I think you would be an IMPORTANT blogger we want to hear from regarding the questions in blue. You've got time and experience spent managing a hugely ambitious blog (and more). Tell us your what and why. You put your essence out in several different formats and media - tell us what drives you. Please. <3

  5. I think first and foremost, blogging is a creative outlet, a place to write, sketch, draw, and paint. The writing can be poetic, fiction, autobiographical but it all serves a sense of sharing a part of who we are, which leads to the second 'why' of blogging--and that is the comments/feedback/camaraderie. Positive comments can be very affirming and I find most bloggers to be the affirming type and so in this way, blogging can give us a lift, of mind and spirit, a sense of appreciation, a sense of making a contribution depending on what we are posting, a way to connect with others and in that connection feel alive, important, valued. An unintended benefit of blogging, at least unintended for me, has been friendship and I don't mean just blogging friends, but friends who have come to mean to me, even thought we have never met and probably never will, but over several years have come to be as important as anyone in my day to day life. This didn't happen overnight nor without great effort, but I can say without any doubt, there are people in my life now, from blogging, that I will be/am eternally grateful for having met. In difficult times, those bloggers have been there every step of the way, something I cannot say for friends in my own daily life. Above all, blogging gives me a place to create a place of peace, tranquility and beauty, a place to relax and be with friends, a place to hug and encourage and support, to laugh and sing.

  6. @ Tree - I thank you for this very generous offering.

    @ Other followers and readers - PAY ATTENTION to this one. He's eloquent and experienced. This man is the good goods.

    I will be popping on with my first comments after I try to absorb Tree's.

  7. OK, my first general observation will build on something Tree has said. I've rarely been in a community of so many people who cheer for other people so much. Jump around on the blog comments, folks. Proportionately, how many times do you see "Beautiful!" or "Bravo!" vs. "Blecchhhh." How many times do we see, "I know how you feel" or "That must have hurt."?

    I think every one of us blogs because we have something to show or say. I've been open about saying I just need to slowly deliver my stories in my own way. This already has, and will continue to, require me to expose some pretty raw nerve endings. Nothing has come back to me other than support, reinforcement, "Limes, how in the world could anyone handle that any better than you did?" So I'm learning something I've ALWAYS needed. I'm a pretty regular Jane, with good traits and poor ones. And my take on things is typically within a range of "average" or "normal". If something is a trauma to me, it's likely it could also have traumatized some other person. That feels pretty wonderful to me, because I have felt like a stranger in a strange land every minute of life.

    And that is one miniscule part of why I blog. Who'e next?

  8. I do it because I like the thought that someone else might see/read what I've done. It also makes me take the time and energy to make it just right. It's a process, and it's an outlet that's open for comments. It's a vehicle for growth and self reflection as well as how do we fit in the world around us.

  9. Nicely said, Badger. I could probably have put those very words in your mouth, but I hoped you'd put them up for others to see. Thank you.

  10. Dear friend, I want to respond and I will, after I get back from visiting my son in Nebraska. My daughter and I are starting our journey tomorrow. It's not a pleasant drive, but I'm sure we'll be fine. I've got tons of things to do before I leave, but maybe I'll find some time when I get to Norfolk (that's where Todd lives) to get on his computer and give your queary some thought.
    Hope I don't miss too much of your Christmas Nazi cheer.

  11. @ Kass ~ We'll all look forward to your cogent comments when you get a moment, Friend. And you won't miss much. Remember, blogs stand as history now (or so think some wonderful people). You'll be able to go back and look it up. I wish you safe travel and warm times with your family.

  12. thought it might be nice to answer my own questions!
    this has been a way to dip my creative toe into the waters of scrutiny. my photography and writing endeavors are in their infancy; i have no perspective on them. to my surprise, what has been most challenging for me to take in has been the positive feedback i've received. i'm much more accustomed to destructive criticism and disapproval. (what's wrong with THAT picture?!)

    on another front, every interaction is fodder for spiritual growth. this has been true in my life for years. blogging is now the cyber version! and if something i say, write or photograph leads another into an area of inquiry, we all benefit.

    as usual, there's more, and this is enough for now!

  13. @ SOMH ~ I've spent much my life being SO wrong (I must be that, after all that's what they've all told me) that being OK at some small thing is pretty heady to me. I morphed this way: I was a wrong person. Then I was a wrong person who shone in her career and was applauded. But still a wrong person, let's not forget. I finally caught on that if I was OK enough on the job, maybe I could try one tiny thing in LIFE and be OK at it. Be OK in some small way when not wearing the cute little suit and pumps. I won't blow smoke at you. It's been a decades-long process to be able to look at some endeavor and say, "I think I'd like to do that and I think I can do it well." But that's where I live right now. I had some pretty shocking obstacles to overcome that have not yet been revealed. So if I can get there, anyone else can. And when some kindly soul cheers, that's dessert.

  14. @ The Readers - These are Tag's words, delivered by a different method.

    Over the years I've filled a number of notebooks with musings, sketches, dialogs with god, rants againest society, story ideas I'll get around to one day, and other assorted stuff. Unfotunately I've tossed most of that stuff during many moves. Most of it was crap, but every once in a while a flash of creativity would pop up. Which like standing on my head I suppressed, until a psych professor actually encouraged me to publish my thoughts on gender equality and gender roles as I had written them for class assignments. (The Psychology of Men and Women). I had never considered a blog until I came across Kirk Jusko's blog "Shadow of a Doubt" From there it became almost viral. A growing community of writers, artists and philosopher's who as Tre'e and LimesNow have said have become more than just 'tend friends. At first I was satisfied to just get the words on paper. However my fellow bloggers have inspired me to push myself a bit to become a better writer, much as my psych prof did many years ago. I appreciate it, and like a good support group I treasure the words of advice, encouragement and care that you all bring to this process. Plus you are all damn interesting.

  15. Limes - I had a feeling my daughter would not have her sh...stuff together to get on the road and so I have a few minutes.

    I'm afraid the original motivation for me to blog was that I found out you could have a 'sort-of' web site for free. I decided to publish the things I had already written, to organize and edit them. I was shocked when someone actually commented. I have since taken some of those posts down. Perhaps I'll get brave and publish them again.

    What blogging has morphed into is so much more than I ever envisioned. I feel my thoughts flowing more freely and I feel more creative. I have a reason to work on and finish that wall-hanging quilt that you gave me advise about (I'll do it after the holidays). It's amazing what 'other people' can provide you, despite what Sartre said.

    It's also a wonderful opportunity to practice detachment. I can sidle up to the computer or not. It shows me just how much of my reality is in my head - how I react to things - and I always have a choice. And I choose to interact.

    I tell my family that blogging is like TV that talks back.

  16. Oh, and I enjoyed Mother Badger's thoughts on blogging. Thanks for the link.

  17. @ Everyone ~ I keep hoping Kirk Jusko will appear here, because I think he'd have much to add.

    @ Tag ~ INTERESTING? We're the damnedest flock of seagulls! Challenge - any of you. Go talk about one blogger you follow to someone who knows nothing about it. It's hard to be succinct! "Well, he's a poetic racing cyclist computer specialist who takes breath-taking photographs and likes a little introspection and he's f-u-n-n-y . . . "

    @ Kass ~ get brave, my friend. Publish them again. I feel more creative, too, and that's saying something because I'm always pretty creative. But watching the ideas of the others, the risk-taking, has made be sturdier. I step out a little farther, test the diving board for balance and keep going. I'm with you, Kass - I choose to interact. Blogging is GOOD for me. It's been mentioned by others.

    Mother Badger's thoughts and ideas add to ANY conversation, Kass. She's got a wonderful curiosity and strong opinions about everything. She's sharp!

  18. Limes: As you know I'm a pretty new blogger, and still getting my sea legs. And I'm coming late to this topic. But it seems to me that blogging, at its best can be just what you, and I'm sure many others, are making of it ... it's a sort of hybrid between a private diary and a letter to the editor. You can be as private and introspective as you want, yet have the chance to share those intimate thoughts with a small circle of e-friends; things you care about. I'm working on an idea about an experience that happened when I was in my early 20's that deeply influenced me, but that I've hardly shared with anyone. Diary wouldn't work (the experience needs to be shared), and it's certainly not suitable for a letter to the editor. So let the musings and thoughts from deep down come out. That's how I see things. Thanks for that.

  19. @ Dan Crain ~ Wonderful observations, and I see that you've posted that piece you mentioned. Going to have a look at it right now!