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November 27, 2007


Your wise words really sing for me, as I have been doing a lot of thinking about life and death right now. Thank you, Beth.

You can talk about change all you want, but I'm glad you're planning on sticking wth the blogging, Beth. Thinking about blogging in relation to aging, I wonder if it's really a coincidence that a majority of the blogs I read are authored by women in their 50s?

Curious. Why do you think that is? And thanks for being glad I'm sticking around. Hope you will too, in one form or another. It begins to be kinda like marriage for some of us who've been doing it this long - sharing the dry spells, irritations, and periods of boredom, and appreciating new qualities like loyalty and tenacity and endurance, as well as the highs when new insights and inspiration come forward. Watching good bloggers work through the challenges of the medium is a whole subject in and of itself - one that I think most of us never anticipated!

Why? Well, one can scarcely be a good writer without a deep awareness of morality and ephemerality. And in our society women even more than men are taught to value youth and fear aging. So it makes sense that thoughtful, middle-aged women would make particularly good bloggers. But there's also the simple fact that the most faithful diarists and voluminous letter-writers down through the ages have been women.

Make that "mortality and ephemerality."

Interesting what you say, Dave! And I tend to agree about older women bloggers, and about their 'deep awareness of mortality and ephemerality'. Like Beth, I'm glad you are reading us and we're all sticking around through the dry spells and the creative spurts! Not being a writer first, I've been an on and off diarist through life, but have found the blog has become my journal of sorts. Curiously most of my favourite blogs are by writers.

I'd have to agree with almost everything you say here, Beth.

I've never been much of a diary writer, but the longer I've blogged the more I like this medium.

So much so, that I don't really have any other literary aspirations.

A great post and the discussion that follows is evidence, in my view, of how the blogging form is actually like fertilizer for writing. I wish I could elaborate on this, but am pressed for time(from which I am hoping to press my own blog post, perhaps, on the subject -- one of these days.)

Do I want my writing to last? Yes, of course. I could seal it up and stick it in a history box and it would last. What do I want more than that? I want to affect people. I want to make people stop, take stock of their lives, and then move on. I want to put into words how I feel and hope someone out there reads them and says, as one man did when he got read one of my stories, "How does this man know how I feel?"

In the film Shadowlands, Anthony Hopkins, who is playing author C S Lewis, answers the question, Why do we read? as follows; "We know to know we are not alone." I have never heard a better explanation. Of course we read for other reasons, to educate ourselves, to distract ourselves even, but I am always taken aback when I read a few lines in a poem or novel that get it right, that say it like it is. And I can do that. I have done that.

So we write blogs. So what? Granted, it's not a particularly pretty name for what we do but a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. The bottom line is people read these and people are affected by these. They don't always leave comments but then more people who read our books won't give us feedback than ever will.

I've been an on and off diarist through life, but have found the blog has become my journal of sorts.
For what it's worth, I never managed to keep a journal for longer than a month before I started blogging. I guess I am a performer at heart.

Beautiful. The words you put down do communicate your thoughts in a clear and immediate way. That is one of the reasons I enjoy reading your posts. Whether they are introspective, or posts about interaction with others, I have a real sense of you, even though we've never met.

Blogging is doing something similar for me. Maybe it's because I'm feeling less and less "commitment to the medium" of blogging, however, that I still blog. If it were still another commitment, as it was as late as last summer, I'd have to stop. My commitment to blogging feels like another attempt to fix myself in time, to use your apt description.

Blogging relates to me slightly differently right now than it has in the past. While my site is still in many ways the monument to my disquiet that you describe, somewhere blogging is also exactly the mirror you describe. Blogging is too much like what I hope to get out of writing for me to want to stop.

(Actually, my blog comments serve me better as mirrors. There’s something about responding to well-timed stimulus that helps me the most.)

Thanks for sharing here, Beth.

Thank you, Beth, for this. So much food for thought. So much that I identify with. And other things I need to think about more. And so much love for you and what you're doing here. I will be back, to think and write about this much more.

While doing all of this, do not forget to eat your eatmeal!

Oops! Oatmeal instead of eatmeal. No. Stay with eatmeal!

Challenging and affirming at once. Thanks and good courage.

Thanks, Loren, it's always good to see you here. Yes, that's the way I feel much of the time - it suffices for me.

Hi Maria, thanks for the comment - and I do wish you'd elaborate on your thoughts soon! For me, blogging is both the fertilizer and the writing itself - I'm seeing less and less distinction or hierarchy of value between the two. What do you think?

Hi Jim, thanks for these quotes and your thoughts on this subject. I think you've pretty much hit it on the head.

Kaycie - thanks. You may be right - when I've met other bloggers in person, they've told me I was exactly the way I sound on my blog, no big surprises! I've never been very good at artifice, which can be either a liability or an asset in a writer!

Peter, thank you for making this careful point about "commitment." I'm glad the post prompted this response for you because your comment made me go a little deeper, yet again. Thank you for being the mirror for me!

Jean, because you're a longtime meditator, I'd be very interested to hear your further thoughts, so I do hope you'll say more on this eventually. Thanks so much for your kind words.

Fred - I love "eatmeal!" I think you've permanently transformed my mornings!

Your words are so profound, and so lovely to read, as ever.

At Thanksgiving, we remembered you & J. as one of the blessings this year brought to us.

Oops, should've said "two of the blessings" but in fact I meant that friendship is itself a blessing.


My breath was caught in my throat in your opening lines, as I feared a possible announcement of your "moving on" from writing this web log, and so soon after I've just discovered you! But wait...your post is to confirm, not close, the work you are doing here. Thank you for opening your inner world to the rest of us in such rich and vibrant tones, and for continuing to do so.

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.