From Essay to Blog
I can’t say enough about the joy of blogging. I think in our hearts, every one of us yearns to have a platform from which to share our thoughts and observations. Somehow, in the act of blogging, one senses that there are people out there listening. The very state of having a listener is a healing process. How often as children, and adults, did we talk about an experience or a problem, not because we needed a solution, but because in being witnessed, we open channels in our own hearts and minds. You are your most important listener but it sure helps to know someone else is there too. Even one friend, one blog reader, or a hundred.
So I was very taken by a recent show on Forum in which Michael Krasny interviewed Sarah Bakewell regarding her 2010 book “How to Live” about the philosopher/essay writer Montaigne. I wasn’t familiar with his essays, but was astounded to hear Krasny talk about blogs as the modern version of essays – with the difference that with blogs, you don’t have to write in the margins and keep adding corrections to the original as though it was cast in stone. The blog is an ongoing, living essay. You just keep writing installments as new ideas come up, or even when you have changed your mind and want to contradict yourself.
My association with essays was once mired in serious homework assignments for English classes. Yay, we have been liberated. Everyone and anyone can start a blog and I guarantee you, someone will read it. It is so freeing, the juncture where left and right brain meet.
For example, I have been following the Occupy movement with great interest. I read a few blogs… So many points of view. It could be a full time job. I have seen some very angry blogs but I don’t want to turn the dream for economic and social justice into a hunt for a new enemy. Here’s the last paragraph from a blog that moved me. It’s called The Fearless Heart by Miki Kashtan. I’ve included a link in case you want to read the whole thing.
“In conclusion, I want to be sure I clearly articulate that no amount of love and understanding for everyone is a substitute for action to bring about concrete and material results. The point of this love is to ensure that our actions are free of violence, hatred, and separation. So that we don’t end up where so many revolutions have in the past: recreating the very conditions that the revolution was seeking to change.”
That’s my food for thought today. How about you? Do you blog, jog, journal, essay or email? What have you observed?