(For Those of you who have been with me from the beginning, yes, this is a re-posting of my first blog.)
When a friend suggested I have a blog, I was rather dismissive. Blog? Even the name put me off—sounded heavy and macho. I thought it was some kind of cyber shouting, a place where the strident could rant. I didn’t want to read a blog, let alone write one. Ah, beware a reaction devoid of detachment, especially when we only suppose we know enough to judge. Eventually, and in spite of myself, the seed my friend had sown sprouted into the realisation that I had actually been reading blogs for some time—interesting articles linked to the Society of Authors e-newsletter—they were blogs. Those various newsletters I subscribe to from people whose work interests me, they were blogs by another name. So did I grab my laptop and start typing?
No, I picked out a brand new journal and a favourite ‘mechanical’ pencil. Yes, truly, in this age of technology—which I enjoy immensely by the way—I love writing in pencil on paper. They were created for each other. The letters form fluidly, paper bonding with graphite in a perfect mix of resistance and receptivity, like lovers. Ball point pen slips and slides like my first (and last) attempts at ice skating. Fine felt pens are beautiful but they bleed through if the paper isn’t robust. Besides, you can’t erase them. Ah! Herein lies another clue to the seduction of pencil—change one’s mind and with the whisk of an eraser we can reshape the sculptured idea that is the written word.
In the Middle East we found people were reluctant to commit their signatures to a written statement of any kind. Why? Because when one signs something it becomes an oath before Allah. Spoken words disappear when the breath that expelled them is spent even if their impact and consequences remain. Apparently one is not bound before the Almighty All-knowing God by what one says but when it is written it is indelibly and forever marked on the substance of the Universe, recorded forever on the fabric of who we are. Like the idea that all our lives, all our thoughts and actions, are written in the Akashic Records—the papyrus of the etheric planes where our history, personal and collective, is written—like the Internet in a way. ‘They’ tell us our emails float around in some sort of cyber ether like a non-retractable Akashic imprint. Enough to put off a first time blogger perhaps?
For better or worse the Internet gives anyone who, with or without forethought, feels the urge to express an opinion to do so instantly and potentially on a grand scale. Where print media, for book authors at least, offers some distance between our writings and the good or bad opinions of readers, with the Internet, not even a publisher stands between an author and their public. Is this a good thing? Literally anything we humans invent can be put to use in a way that advances our physical, social and spiritual evolution or retards it. The responsibility lies with both the user and the recipient, the author and their public, the artist and the viewer, the politician and the people . . .
So why am I blogging? Blogs, I am informed, should be pithy and contentious. Yet the blogs I like to read are neither. They are instead informative, educational, and often inspiring. Sometimes they are short but often not. Being someone who thinks a lot, my offering I hope will give you something to ponder. I will doubtless lighten up now and then and tell you a tale or two. Perhaps under the dross of words we manufacture (yes, I plead guilty your Honour) you will sometimes find a gem that will inspire you as so many beautiful things in nature do, like the blue mushroom found under a pile of decaying plant fibre.
May you find many such delights under the ordinary.