Mr Crow with pigeons.
Why do I blog? I am asked. Because...
Why do I blog? I am asked. Because...
- . I like to look around me and to share what I see, hear or smell what may be of interest to others. Or may amuse them at least.
- Describing such encounters is rewarding. Words are always a pleasure to use as well as to read and hear.
- I like to record what is about me. The place where I live becomes more interesting the closer I look at it. That must be the same for most places.And apply to most other people wherever they happen to live. The principle of looking closer is easily extendible to taking photographs of what is discovered and to using the macro lens as well as zooming out. Invariably it is to compose a picture which includes only what is necessary and excludes nothing that might be unnecessary.
- I like, this blog in focus, to go to sleep thinking about what I have encountered during the past day and wake up wondering what I will find in the coming day..
- There are certain things that greet me first thing in the morning like old friends eg a pigeon on the parapet of the roof of the house opposite, the tulip tree through which at this time of year the sun climbs like a silver monkey. They would not be the same without the presence of a blog through which they may be shared.
- Of the choice of ways to turn when walking out of our front gate both of which offer Now's the Time their distinctive pleasures and promises.
- Of The Grove, a small park on our doorstep where there are trees, birds, people, dogs and squirrels to watch and comment on.
- There is, in a blog like this, always the opportunity for a gnomic pronouncement. Brevity is for me one of the great virtues. I like the aphorism, the one liner, the pithy summary. My concentration span is probably too short for anything more.
- Of other blogs. I owe the word "gnomic" which I have only just learnt to use to a fellow blogger, who has recently transmigrated into the personage of Lorenzo da Ponte. His blog Tone Deaf and its predecessor Works Well are instances at once of the charms and the perils of blogging. A world which is all charm and peril free is barely worth living in. So long live blogging.
- It is an exercise for the mind as well as for the senses. There is much to be missed if you don't look and listen and even more if you don't think about what you have heard and seen. And without the exercise there is the risk that the mind and the senses will go to sleep and snore.
- I have got into the habit of it. I have blogged almost daily for nearly six years. Without it something important would be missing from my life, like being without tea or The Archers.
- It brings news friends and keeps in touch with old ones. To both I sometimes think that I am sending postcards daily from where I happen to be which is usually the same place.
- In occupying the mind, it is a therapy against the awful noise of crisis and war, cruelty and lies, wickedness and stupidity, that streams out of the TV and newspapers, and which it is hard to escape unless you cover your ears with your hands and scream, or accept it with the detachment which comes from enlightenment or from indifference.
- ....because, to quote Kathleen Raine, my favourite poet at the moment, Because I love, all night long the river flows/into my sleep, Ten thousand living things are sleeping in my arms/ and sleeping wake and flowing are at rest."
This morning there is a mist rising which is silver tinted with gold. Good morning.
I'll get back to this in a moment, As you know I had something like this mind.
'the tulip tree through which at this time of year the sun climbs like a silver monkey'
that alone would have stopped me short, confirming why I love blogging in general and yours in particular. The rest is gravy.
I, for one, have grown fond of your blog, and look forward to your pictures, both visual and written.
I too have grown to love blogging, receiving as well as posting and for my own version of the reasons you mentioned.
I love good writing as well as good art and the exchange of ideas and stories.
Delicious inspiration and entertainment.
Its a pleasure to know you, though we are
3500 miles give or take distant and have never met in person. Keep up your good work, Plutarch! Your best fan in Philadelphia.
L d P You prompted it. I was attempting to answer your question. I still am.
Lucy Certain things which you see every day, you either take for granted or allow them to flow into and become part of you. I think I can say that of the tulip tree which when I raise the blinds greets me every morning.
Thank you, CC. I greatly appreciate your visits.
A shrunken version of the 1000 words I proposed.
Why do I blog? Because I want to be read. But it's a competitive world. There are thousands of professionals out there. And millions of amateurs. How do I set myself apart, muscle my way to the front?
Some no-nos. I won't win by splashing down the first thought that comes into my head. By letting punctuation go hang. By running on and on. By being lazy and turning the post into a host of links. By starting with "There are..." By telling someone else's funny stories. By being wilfully extreme. By being cruel - ah, yes - not by being cruel.
Some yes-yeses. Being observant at the micro/macro levels in all things: the structure of a flower, human behaviour, the pretensions of statesman. Thus: not all trees are lovely, not all nurses are honourable, not all statesmen are crooks. Distrust adjectives and adverbs because they can often be made implicit in the better-chosen noun or verb. Sounds like primary school, doesn't it, but these defects weary the reader. If it's easy to write it's probably unattractive (at least) to read. Don't have fun yourself, provide fun for the reader. Copy people who are recognisably good. With each post decide between instruction and entertainment. Clichés are things that have been said a thousand times before; do you want to be the thousand-and-first? Send yourself up a lot but not too much; it's a tactic that's easily seen through. If the empty screen looks menacing, go for a walk.
The perils (all of which I've been guilty of - probably somewhere in this comment too). Extreme views can amuse but make sure you know where the off-switch is. Don't use foreign words or long words unnecessarily. Make sure you know the frontier between teasing and insulting. More people have been criticised for over-writing than for under-writing. Don't repeat yourself.
Remember: Blogging is not serious for most of us; only merit can create a sense of obligation. Are we asking to be loved? If I blog because I want to be read (and I do) what does that make me? If I don't care whether I'm read, what does that make me? Consider this: the friends we make from blogging are often superior to those made by more conventional social means. That's a heck of bonus. Take care!
Thank you for that. It should be turned into a poster and pinned up above every blogger's computer even if every blogger doesn't agree with ever word of it. I am glad that I should have prompted it.It wasn't my intention to pre-empt your 1000words, by the way.
You and and Barrett Bonden meanwhile have a lot to answer for as ripple move out into cyber space.
Good morning! And long live blogging! Why do I sit now and ponder the rock garden at Ryoanji?
R Thank you for reminding me of the name of the garden in Kyoto. It is the garden with a stream and the manicured trees and moss beneath them that surrounds the rock garden which remains most vivid in my memory. But it was a long time ago and memories can be misleading.
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