And this blog looks lately to have suffered a dose of stereotype in this regard.
So what's really happened, what have I learned from it and importantly what does the future most likely hold? Let's take a leaf from the "Top 10 Ways to Write a Blog Headline That Drives Traffic!" (gag, retch) meme and number it up:
1) Champagne Cork Syndrome; not to be confused with First Album/Novel/Film etc syndrome.
In essence, I had a backlog of stories and things to say that I felt needed an outing, and once I opened the floodgates, a whole bunch of bottled-up verbiage spewed forth with little or no conscious direction from me. Some glorious catharsis and indulgence in the oft-touted Opinion Tantra (see #3, below) ensued, and although there's still plenty of historical anecdote and current opinion there to be aired - with more forming all the time - the pressure's gone. I no longer have thoughts like "gee, I really want to say X, and also Y, and a whole bunch of other capital letters, so which is closest to hatching today? Let's go!" Nope, don't have that any more. Which is nice in a way, frankly.
2) Hands. Dodgy.
A little pout of resentiness for a bit there, sure, but mainly just bother and inconvenience. My once good typing ability - not a touch-typist, but pretty handy and very accurate using most fingers - is no more. As my fingers continue their inwards bend and lose reach and dexterity I am now down to index fingers only. this means you basically have to move your whole arm for each keystroke and watch the keyboard carefully because you're shooting each stroke further than when you can spread a hand of working digits about. This is a disincentive in itself, as it's tiring and makes for bodily soreness much faster, but it's a deeper thing than that. It's that I'd already had to slow down my thinking/word generating off-the-top-of-my-head speed to 'keep down' (as opposed to 'keep up') with my diminished pace, but now it's gotten so laborious at times that entire thoughts rush by and are forgotten while I'm still trying to remember what it was I was thinking/saying from before.
Awesome for hunting. Not so much for typing.
This is a blessing though, I've decided. A whole new way of thinking in words has been called for and I suppose you could say I've been having a little time off whilst developing this new way, making a cleaner break with the older more quick-fire stream-of-consciousness stuff, but a way that does not unduly censor myself. There's the rub. Still chafes a bit too.
3) Opinion Tantra.
Maybe they'll invent a drug like Verbagra for when you can't get up the verbiage to proselytize or pontificate on your point of view. But again, it's deeper. But I would say that.
The at times very public journey of Opinion Tantra - in a nutshell 'doing' opinion as much or as fully as the whim takes me, indulging it wholly without censoriousness or any limiting set of 'shoulds' - seems to be doing its trick. Helping me outgrow caring so much about things that will sort themselves out without me banging on about them anyway. But then what's followed on from that, logically in a Newtonian sort of way I guess, is that I eventually came to realise that opinionating was a starting point for me to develop my themes of caring and compassion, and I very literally woke up one day with a feeling that I'd not been caring enough of the world, of strangers, of the unseen. Because I'd not replaced the fulfilment I received and reciprocated in allowing the opinions to go to their 'right' place within me and end up more often than not as something good and kind and caring at its core - regardless of what others may at times have thought, because of course I am as imperfect a communicator as the next opinionator.
This is one of the foundation reasons I think this blog may become reborn.
4) Eyes. See #2, (Hands. Dodgy.) above.
Luckily my eyes are not curling inwards and becoming clawlike. Ooh, imagine that. But they are becoming more troublesome and for a spell there I just couldn't do the computer thing sufficiently well or without pain to write. Because suffering is, contrary to much bullshit opinion, not greatly conducive to positivist creativity.
This too is retrospectively accepted by me as a blessing. It made sure I didn't struggle through with writing when I was best not to. Perhaps if I was less conflicted by all this stuff and acting it out internally so often with the act of writing in mind then my eyes wouldn't have gotten so bad. Or maybe not, just a thought.
In any case, I seem to have effected a workaround for now and the visible world brings me not pain again, unless the light's too bright. Result!
'Tis spring, and a young man's fancy lightly turns to.......well, gardening and home improvement mainly. Despite all the trials and tribulations of the last few months I've been spending quite a bit of my available time and effort on things homeish. Pictures of strawberries and artichokes will follow in due course. Especially if I can get a faster broadband speed out here - uploads go at the speed of a recalcitrant donkey, I tells ya.
6) The Social Network
I beTwittened myself, which was interesting for a bit, but then not really. Handy wide-ranging news aggregation network with added random funnies and wit, but now only worth five or ten minutes in my day.
What really changed was my engagement with Facebook. I do strongly recall saying (here, as it happened) that I would not 'become one of them' and this is true enough, I haven't really. You know 'them', the cliche of the person who would suffer contact deprivation disorder if deprived of their FB connection for more than a few hours and would possibly die from a sense of lack of relevance if it lasted a couple of days. But my interest has grown, and I am comfortable enough there now. So what once may have been simmered more slowly for a blog post now gets kernelled down to less than 420 characters and posted. Or what may have been the start of a larger inspiration then sort of loses its mojo once spoken of elsewhere perhaps.
There's another little symptom that Facebook, Twitter and their ilk can throw up too, it's what I now like to refer to as the Helen Razer Effect. She is an Australian pundit of sorts in various media, and semi-famously deleted her Twitter account not long after one of her mates, Catherine Deveny, lost her job in journalistic humorous punditry through fallout from Tweets deemed injudicious by her employer - but not for fear of that sort of reason. Ms Razer (I refer to her as 'Ms' in deference to her notorious feminismism) explained that she felt Twitter and the short-form, always-on, hyper-connectedness of Twitter she was "becoming more of a two-dimensional person". I can see what she means now from a personal, as opposed to a theoretical perspective. The flattening effect one gets from too much multitasking, too many inputs in too short (or simultaneous) succession, that can so easily prevent you from doing any one thing in depth; or being in a single flow as deeply as you might like.
It's not a bad thing at all, necessarily, just a thing that requires learning a new way of self-management so I can have the best of ways without the worst of ways. Learning it though, took me a bit further than I'd like to regularly go down that path. I'm back in the middle now, I feel.
7) Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid
And I've had quite a few of those in my life just lately. You know about my honesty policy for myself here, that's not compromised by me going a bit quiet. For in what there is that I do say, there is the whole truth - of me, that is - because it invariably leaks out and spills around the edges of my inability to shape myself in words anyway. One does not necessarily need to hear the details of the regrinding of the valves and the porting of the head to hear just by note that an engine has been undergoing an overhaul.
Sleeping dogs. Let 'em lie?
Seven's a good number. So what of the next bit? Of course, I can't say with any certainty, but on a few things I am clearer. The inhibiting factors I've been experiencing look now to me as a sort of set; all of a oneness, and I feel like I just passed a tipping point a little way back that's sliding these ills (/blessings) down the lever into the past now. So if there is no real change in the frequency here it won't be due to 1 through 7 above. My guess is no good for this. I can see a new rawness, right alongside a new gentleness. More inspiration to write with less care about whether I do or not.
Ah yes, freedom - just a little bit more. That's nice. Time's too short to give a shit about such frippery, yes?
So, just sayin', is all.