Thursday, September 16, 2010

#78 - If a Blog Falls in the Forest . . .

I have found myself wondering lately with more frequency whether anyone "out there" reads the ramblings I post here from time to time. I would like to think so, but the image that comes to mind is of thoughts drifting aimlessly across the blogosphere, much like a seed drifting on the wind, only to end up on barren ground.

On the one hand, it is not important that anyone else read what I post here. After all, I write mainly for me, often as a form of self-therapy, always as a means of giving expression to that part of me that needs to attempt to be creative.

On the other hand, it would be nice to think that dozens of people read these posts and find themselves amused, engaged, challenged, or even angered by what they read. The realist in me (or pessimist, if you prefer) does not really allow for that possibility, but the more optimistic part of me, small though it is, thinks it could happen.

However, I probably would never know. The number of comments posted in the nearly three years I've been blogging still number in single digits. That tells me either that no one is reading or that no one is interested enough in what they read here to say anything about it.

Either way, I imagine I'll continue to blog as long as it continues to fulfill my need for self-expression in ways that my occasional attempts at writing song lyrics do not. The situation does, however, beg the question similar to that of the tree in the forest: if a blog is posted and no one reads it, is it truly a blog and was it ever really written?

Friday, September 10, 2010

#77 - Missing Old Friends

I find myself feeling a bit melancholy tonight. Teresa is sleeping, and Christopher is watching television, and I am alone with my thoughts. Checking out Facebook tonight, I am drawn to thoughts of old friends.

In a sense, I suppose I use the term friend a bit loosely. When I knew most of the people who crowd my thoughts, I didn't really know how to be a friend. I didn't know how to invite them into my life or how to be a part of theirs.

So I guess what I am really drawn to is thoughts of lost opportunities. I find myself thinking of people I once worked with, people I wish I had known better at the time. I also find myself thinking of people who slipped out of my life.

Of course, things change, and change is not always bad. If things had not changed, if I had not kept moving from place - running from something or in search of something - I would never have met Teresa, and we wouldn't have Christopher. But even good change can be tinged with a bit of pain.

Facebook has allowed me to reconnect with a good many people I knew in my younger days. At the same time, it has shown me a glimpse of what might have been if I had been more approachable or better able to connect with those around me.

Connection is a big word with my therapist, both making connections and dealing with those connections that have been broken. Making connections is something I have struggled with my entire life. I'm sure she would suggest that connections broken early on have something to do with that.

I never got close or let others get close to me. In a way, it is a variation on the old Groucho Marx line, "I would never belong to any club that would have me as a member." In a way, I applied that to friendships.

In some sense, Facebook has allowed me to turn back time, but most of the friendships are filtered through distance in addition to time. In a way, I suppose that makes sense. When I was younger, my relationships were all filtered through emotional distance. Now the distance is physical. I'm not sure one feels any better than the other.

I hope in the coming days any of you reading this will let your friends know that you are thinking of them. I just did.