I crave your indulgence. It has occurred to me over the last year or so, that a blog could be many things:
a) An opportunity to flaunt one’s ideas or opinions,
b) A conversation,
c) A place to wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve,
d) A place to purge oneself (but why in public?),
e) A forum to share things that may interest others.
The list could go on, but the truth is that I have been feeling a little self-conscious at times, that the depth at which I have “bared my soul” in recent posts, could be considered self-indulgent, too private, or even egomaniacal. Maybe it is all three to some degree, but something compels me. To me, that something is twofold:
Firstly, I have always written poetry. It is a – possibly the – way in which I process my life. It enables me to examine, evaluate and allot a place in my consciousness to the events, people, emotions and circumstances that are part of my life.
To write poetry requires me to dig deep, as it were, to lift up the said event, person, etc, and look at its roots, how it works in my life – how it affects me.
In recent weeks there have been times when to dig so deep was very painful and difficult, so I journalled instead. At times, even this was a challenge; obviously, because of Ngaire’s death, much of my writing of late has been touching the profoundly emotional. If there are those who have found this difficult, I apologise. The great thing about a blog is that you don’t have to read it. This brings me to my second point:
I do believe that, in my compulsion to write, there is an element that relates to filling a need in others. As a poet, it has always been my desire to help people see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Interestingly, I think that was also one of Ngaire’s great strengths in her art. But beyond that too, is the narrative of the journey of Ngaire’s last months and the time since, where I have touched things that I haven’t read in other places, possibly because of our society’s unwillingness to go there: the western social paradigm that if we avoid death, it will avoid us.
I have had a great deal of feedback from people who have been deeply moved, touched and helped greatly by the things that they have read in this blog. Some are friends of mine and Ngaire’s; some, I have never met or heard from before. Because of this, I keep blogging. Slowly, more people are subscribing, which of course, flatters the ego, but more than that, I think that people are being helped. I hope so.
A footnote on this subject: WordPress, who publish this blog, also give a lot of statistics and allow comments, as does Facebook. One of the things that I have noticed amongst all who have commented or “liked” any given blog, is that the vast majority are female – a ratio of about 10: 1, in fact. This gives me pause.
It could mean a lot of things. Maybe men don’t read blogs or use social networks as much as women. That’s probably true, however, not in that ratio. I suspect that it relates more to the innate “maleness” that says we blokes need to keep it together: we have jobs to do, support to give, problems to solve, buildings to build, holes to dig; and to dare to go deeper and engage in the things that may expose us and make us vulnerable is too dangerous.
I understand that; I get it. But, along the path I have also learnt that unless we become vulnerable, we will never know the true strength that lies within us. But that’s for another time…..