Mapping. Knowing Yourself

The better you know yourself, the better others can know you. The more you map your interior, the bigger the space gets. Knowing the space, you can move the walls out. Knowing what the walls are made of you can take them down. Knowing openness, your heart can fathom intimacy. Knowing intimacy is knowing love. Knowing love is knowing God. I know, lots of big leaps there. But I have trouble mapping the details. So I take the generalizations and live by them.

Today I’m not very happy. I think I have too much expectation about blogging. As one blogger once reminded me, this is not reality. But it’s easy to confuse. The blogosphere is a huge, 24/7 party, with real people mapping out lots to absorb, lots to chew on, lots to play with. But online maps are only guides, not the same as food, water, air, skin. It maps only part of you. I often forget to eat, to live.

So am I mapping something by blogging? I started out approaching this as a vehicle for my poetry, then started to feel inhibited, seeing so many great poets out there. The fun was gone. Journalizing here is not something I want to bore other readers with. I find most journal blogs uninteresting. Plus a few too many of my readers know me offline, inhibiting me further.

I came here to map myself better. Now I’m caught up in so many inhibitions I’ve lost track of anything I might have to say. This happens often with me. I try to fit in, to please everyone, get in lock step, and lose myself completely.

Posting rich material daily is not possible for me. My expectations are too high. Writing (and reading) is a struggle for me. And the higher my expectations, the lower my self-esteem. So now I feel like an idiot with nothing to say. This happens often with me.

I also have to admit, I’m disappointed by the almost flatline response to the great comment list. I emailed dozens of bloggers. The only folks who participated were (I have a feeling) instructed to do so by Liz of the Commerati. Are there so few great comments to share?

Everyone benefits from participating, with linkiness for all. Yes, I ask that people to write a post featuring a few comments from their site. Yes, it takes some time to sift through your comments. Aren’t your commenters worth it? And I take the time to read all the posts, the comments, and organize the list. End of rant. (I certainly won’t die if this fizzles out. Then I can go back to full time posting for myself)

So what is my purpose here? Why do I let so much of my wonderful real life pass in front of this computer? The answer is not a happy one. I’ve cornered myself. But turning around to face the other way is harder than it sounds. I’m an all or nothing kind of guy, with a very convincing take it or leave it exterior.

So…mapping. Today the map is wet, smudged, unreadable. And I’m hungry for something real. Ideas and words are only a finger, a sign pointing at the moon. I need to visit the moon itself for awhile.

13 thoughts on “Mapping. Knowing Yourself

  1. I’m fairly new to your blog, Garnet, so I have not read very deeply into its past, but I’d say you’re getting to grips with a purpose or theme in this post. There are news and commentary blogs but I think you have to be quite obsessive about such things to maintain a reasonable blog on them; there are journal blogs and I agree that they’re mostly petty and boring; and then there are exploration blogs – blogs that explore the self and others, the world and ideas. It seems to me that this post (which is extremely good, by the way, honest and unafraid to be weak) points the way for you. Write of yourself and your thoughts and dreams, Garnet – it’s what most of us are doing too. 🙂

  2. Right on the money, “Mr. Way.” As one other writer suggested, I get in my own way. My sight is set too far up the mountain, beyond the clouds, and I trip over the unseen marvels right in front of me.

    Not being a writer, I am growing in fits and spurts to say the least. (I could barely write a decent paragraph, let alone hone an idea, in highschool. Music performance was my obsession and no other skills were needed)

    Onward ho, into the woods I go.

  3. What is the purpose? Sometimes my purpose is only to make me write. I long ago gave up the idea of anyone reading what I write. First of all, most people hate poetry. I could write a long sarcastic rant against the world (and that ain’t just whistling dixie, I could do that) and probably be inundated with comments and adulation. Hey, maybe that wouldn’t be too bad, but it’s really not me.

    So it’s not the real world. Reality isn’t all that real either, people aren’t all that real, even the ones who comment. Sometimes the quiet ones who never comment, are the ones who appreciate it the most and you might never know.

    I like what you write. I think if you just write what you want to write when you want to write it, that is all you need to do. That is the purpose. Be who you are, and let the blog be what you make it and don’t let it make you be someone you are not.

  4. Thanks, Ned. Now I’m a little embarassed. 😳 It’s funny how we need others to tell us what we already know to make sure we know it better. But I still need to eat real food once in awhile.

  5. Garnet:

    My first time here, too, but certainly I hope not my last. I appreciate that you took the time to come by my blog for a visit, and for taking the time to write such a wonderful, introspective comment. You are a musician, and as such, you live for the day of giving a performance. But it’s not just the performance that motivates our musicality. It is the desire to allow our creative spirit to express itself in its fullness, and to share that joy of expression with others. It is the same with writing, or for that matter, any art. Instead of being concerned with what to blog about, or what your focus should be, don’t worry. Find your own messages that need expression, and your blog will come find you, and with that, so will your readers. You write well, my friend, and you have a good ear. Trust yourself to the muse, and let your words take you where they will.


  6. Garnet,
    I often say “There are angels all around us. We just have to open our eyes to see.” I guess it looks that way from where you sit today.

    You write so well and so heartfelt. You art the first who got me to talk about some subjects publically. I trust your writing as truthful and honest. I like your warm voice in my hear. I know that when you say some that a real person is behind the screen and attending here.

    You have become part of a community and we care about you. Those who do things for you, do things for you.

    PS. The 65th Crayon thinks you’re really cute.

  7. Hi. Just passing through, and I read the latest post. I would just like to say, as a fellow “poet” (I use the term loosely, here) that what I write is what I feel, in the words that those feelings give me. Good or bad, whatever anyone else thinks doesn’t really matter. Of course, having someone like what I write it great, but even if they hate it, it doesn’t change the fact it’s part of me, and I love it. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and don’t worry about whether you should or shouldn’t, whatever. Write what you feel, put it out there as you wish, and remember that it is a part of your soul. As long as you’re happy with it, nothing else should matter. Great job, by the way, on your blog.

  8. As you’ve visited my blog and come back for more:0) your generosity to me as someone whose writing is less than coherent much of the time and always rambly needs to just be given back to yourself.
    I suppose I do not aim for anything at my blogs save for using the space to explore and discover that which I didn’t realise I knew already and find so much more I still have to touch.
    That this takes many and different paths of expression is reflection of me and my living. Small lives find magnitude in even smaller details but it takes the looking and seeing to realise it is my life that is so huge.
    I find the need for comment kind of passed me by, good job too as my blog is a quiet place on that level. I would wish I could comment more often on blogs I read but it takes me such a time to read then think and finally respond that the thread has usually moved on by many a post.
    What has happened through the blog are ongoing email correspondences where the one to one interaction I find easier continues at a pace I can keep up with.
    I have enjoyed, been challenged and given gifts by visiting your blog, thank you.

  9. Hi Garnet,

    My two cents about this commenting and blogging thing: I beg to differ from an earlier post you wrote that lots of comments signify a good blog (and maybe my renegade opinion will lighten the pressure you’re writing about here?).

    I read blogs that I think are beautifully written and crafted with skill and love, and see few comments. I read stupid, narcissistic, and/or plain boring blogs that have gazillions of comments. The question for me is what people are commenting, and why, and how, or if, if relates to the blog-writer’s intent for the space.

    Waiterrant, for example, is a blog I mostly enjoy. He gets a gazillion comments on every post. But READ them, and you see the vast majority are emoticon-laden fluff: “:) keep at ’em, waiter-dude!!! 🙂 🙂 :)” Only a few are intelligent, thoughtful responses to the deeper layers of what he writes about.

    Opinionistas is another hugely ‘successful’ site: it’s a ‘bitch blog’ – ie: complain complain complain – and written to appeal to the class-envious (‘oh poor me, my Ferragamo’s are KILLING me, and all those poor people in New Orleans don’t even have NIKE’S, Oh, I’m such a swine to complain about being a lawyer, but I hate my job, god, these shoes have a scuff, I’m going back to Gucci…” The comments are much like Waiter’s, except everyone seems to want to know if Opinionistas is ‘hot’ or not.


    It seems to me that the blogs that achive the ‘success’ of tons of daily hits and a long comment tally on each post have one thing in common: the writer identifies a clear theme – ONE clear theme – and finds a polished, slick, unchanging tone in which they write about it. They do not surprise their readers, or ask very much of them.

    (In fairness, Waiter sometimes does, but less often lately, it seems?)

    There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that, but it’s not what I want to do, and I don’t get the impression it’s what you want either: the ranging over many subjects and styles is what retains my interest.

    So all of that said, look at your comments. People engage deeply with your subject matter, with the personal level on which you write. They extend warmth, attention, and care via their language. They take time from their busy lives to react and respond to your cares and concerns.

    So whose comments are more successful? Yours, or the ones that get “!!!:)you go, dude!!!:)” ?

    I say yours are.

    And after that long rant, here’s a little humor for you, or for anyone experiencing Blog Depression:

  10. To all of you- This dense and satisfying comment trail is one of the happiest moments in my blog life. When I started, I never expected to commune so richly (I use that word a lot these days) with so many thoughtful and multifaceted characters on this electronic stage we inhabit.

    Jessamyn- Thanks for the laughs and the affectionate slap. Ow, don’t stop.

    Daisy-Winifred- I never come away from your writing with anything less than a truly satisfying peace and comfort. Your weaving way with words is best understood by us other Welsh Weavers!

    More than just sating my need for attention, (which it did gloriously!) this string has softened my compulsive need to blog until I “get it right”. I feel, at least for now, that I have “arrived”.

  11. I read many websites where there are often no easy words that come flowing out to leave in a comment (your posts are often that way, Andy B, is another, and so are Butuki, Daisy-Winifred, Fran, and several others in my first blogroll).

    Sometimes the beauty of the words leaves me speechless- What can one say after something strikes one as beautiful and/or profound, except just that- which winds up sounding trite for something so powerful. Other times the words describe something I feel in a way I might not have found or take me on layers and layers of tangents (there is a reason I used that word in the title of my blog)- that bear little resemblance to the writer’s original thought, but were a very worthwhile direction for me. How can I comment on something that struck me in that way?

    Hang in there. No comments doesn’t mean people aren’t reading. I love getting comments, but there are few conversations started on my individual posts (and very few posts worth commenting on these days- I am tired.. tired.. tired.. vaguely out of balance, and the posts reflect that).
    But I have made a few blog friends- people who took the time to comment and then write an email. And we sometimes correspond– I treasure those more than the obvious visible comments left.

    To keep daily or almost daily posts means by necessity that some posts don’t seem to have an obvious impact. That doesn’t mean folks viewed them as just noise.

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