Apparently some people are going through a moment or two of introspection during the VIVI nomination period here in J-Land. And I'm no different, I guess.
I've noticed over time that I am
not a writer of substance. That requires thought and most of the time I
can't be bothered.
I'm more a writer of the shoot from
the hip school of opinion, which requires no thinking, just reacting.
Being right or wrong doesn't enter into it. I just say what comes to
mind first, hoping that what gets on the page comes from my brain, not
my rear end.
I used to write this in journal only
to count how many people came by. But when my counter created a TOS
violation [still a mystery to me], I got rid of it. Considering how
addicted I was to its numbers, giving up my counter was probably the
most enlightened zen moment of my entire life. I realize that
saying "enlightened zen" moment is like saying "close proximity" -- I'm
repeating myself, being redundant -- but there are a lot of people who
associate zen with motorcycles so I thought I should try to be as clear
as possible about zen's meaning for me.
That counter had control of me like
a drug. Letting go of it was the first deliberate act of personal
sacrifice I think I've ever made. How's that for perspective on the
demands of my life?
After dismantling the counter I
found that I became addicted to the comments instead. And not just the
comments, but who has commented. There are some people who comment
better than others. And some people whose appearance as a commenter is
good reason to jump for joy.
And yes, I have jumped for joy when certain people have stopped by my journal to express an opinion. If only in my mind.
Comments are my barometer of
interest. And I can usually tell which entries are going to generate
the most interest and therefore more comments.
Have I mentioned I love comments?
They are, aside from gratifying, a wonderful source of new journals and
I am grateful that people are willing to leave links per my request.
Other than that, I realize that
what I have to say isn't going to change the world. But I love a good
pissing match. And J-Land never disappoints. I also love it when
someone tells me I make them laugh.
I get excited as a kid with a new
toy when I find a journal that keeps me begging for more. Or when I
become friendly with someone because an entry I wrote prompted them to contact me.
This place -- J-Land -- feels like
the front porch of a big Victorian house with plenty of places to sit
and a huge yard where the kids can play. It's the place where everyone
gathers to talk about the day. Where there's something different going on
all the time: A barbecue, a game of catch, a long afternoon chat with
the neighbors. We've had some scandal and there's always gossip.
It's not TV, it's our lives. Our writing gives meaning
to the mundane and matter of fact. We are the chronicleers of everyday
stuff, but we do it in a public place. We are the keepers of a new storytelling
tradition, fueled by our desire to write and that alone. We are the
ones who tell the tales of regular folks that will be passed down to
the next generation, instead of lost to the passage of time. Our
lives can no longer be dismissed as insignificant. We are keepers of a
history that never used to be recorded in a meaningful way. But now
lives on forever.
This unique community that exists
in the ether we call the internet has re-defined friendship too. Never
have I been so close to so many people I haven't met.
We write for each other the way we
party with our families and our "real life" friends. When someone
doesn't show up for awhile we fret and write about it. When relationships are troubled, we write about them, too. When we're
annoyed by anything from the president to poison ivy, we write.
We share in a community that is
bound together with a powerful glue -- words. Our citizenship is
based on nothing more. This is one place where your money is no good.
Your job has no influence. And nobody cares what kind of car you drive.
We are what we write. Period. No complaints here.