Nuts and bolts
I leave my blog perpetually open on a tab on my desktop browser. I leave it there so I will do a post. It’s a reminder. Somehow, I think if I leave it there it serves as a prompt. Except, I have become adept at ignoring it, behaving indifferently yet all the while it adds to my ennui. I want to be writing, I want to make stories and create a fictional world into which I can fall. I want to post pictures and funny observations and personal insights, yet, honestly, who cares but me? I have real people in my real life with whom I can’t engage in a conversation despite poking and prompting; even then the discourse is stilted and feels forced. So, how would posting my thoughts into the ether increase my likelihood at connectivity and intimacy? It simply creates an illusion from which I have this perception that people read, that they think about what I write and are having some cognitive response. Yet, there is no dialogue and so all I manage to do is expand the silence and the isolation.
So the tab sits there untouched. Why put myself out there only to get resounding silence as a response? I catch myself straining to ‘hear’ the response, I spend time waiting for an answer, I comb through my spam comments wondering if a real person has gotten trapped with all the web crawlers. I waste myself. Life and especially intimacy is not a fishing expedition. You don’t increase your chances of connection and intimacy simply by dropping more lines or switching to fly casting. You don’t catch people in a net. And even if you could, I’ve been doing this experiment for years and haven’t cultivated a crowd of followers that comment.
So, I don’t write. I don’t write here and I don’t write my fiction. I don’t edit the stories I have in the can. I know those characters. I know their stories. I don’t see any probability that anyone else is particularly interested in those stories, so why keep dragging them around with me. Sure, I could pay a coach to literally edit through my largest, most complete story, but in the end I get a more polished version of a story I already know. What do I do with it then? Who else will really care?
Isn’t it enough that I know these stories, that I like them, that they brought me great pleasure? It should be. But it’s not. I am not a hermit. I am not one to live n a cabin in the woods, isolated by the elements and geography. I desire connection that is tangible and authentic and I don’t perceive this space as connection. It served as a substitute, a surrogate when life’s loneliness chafed painfully. But, now, years later, the loneliness remains, the lack of engagement and connectivity remains, and I can no longer claim that this blog or my Flickr account or even my comments on the blogs I follow can be counted as real.
And so, either I double down and find my mojo, recommit myself to this experiment and the faith that if I share my heart, if I risk being wholehearted that my heart will be rewarded. I buy a theme of custom bundles to update my blog and change its appearance. I think that getting in shape and putting on better make up and clothes will matter. Maybe it will, if nothing else than to make myself feel better. Maybe, I will engage with myself in a better way. The dilemma is that I know how to navigate WordPress but I don’t know how to install the new themes on the host server. I don’t know how to back up my data and honestly, do I even want to keep all the bullshit I’ve written over the years. I depended on other people to help me construct this place. Those people are either gone or indifferent. Again, I could pay someone to do it. But, why upgrade if just for me? Why rearrange content or prune away the detritus?
I get to this point that I should just stick to the nuts and bolts of the day-to-day that I do, that I can do on auto-pilot. And I realize, I have come the full 360 degrees and end up back where I was five years ago. Shouldn’t I just learn to be content with my lot in life, stick to what I know and who I know? Why do I think that there is MORE out there, more depth, more passion, more LIFE? I should have swallowed the Blue Pill, put on my blinders and gotten into queue. Gone to work, followed the rules, not asked questions, been a good little sheep.
And there is the rage. It gushes to the top in a rush. I can’t imagine an existence – my entire existence – in those anesthetized doldrums. So my choice is to plug away at what I FEEL deeply about, even if the feeling is a deep ache for connection and genuine engagement that has not materialized. Or….swallow the Blue Pill and get back in line. Stop asking why. Stop wanting more. Stop seeking the richness and vividness of life. And stop trying to prompt and provoke others to join my journey.
In a way, this becomes my own personal cabin in the woods. It is a learning to be isolated with my passions, even in the face of no audience. I must be true to my heart, my whole heart and care less about if anyone else will care for my heart.