I Can't Blog On, I Blog On
...you must go on, I can't go on, you must go on, I'll go on, you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it's done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens up to my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on. Beckett, The Unnamable
In that silence, that huge world-wide silence, you don't know, do you? †You just don't know.† So you keep talking.† Hoping that the words will take you to the story that you want them to tell.† Will fill the silence.† But who is running this ship?† You, your story or the words themselves?† And so you try to know the words.† Words.† You study them.† To find the best of them, to†get the better of them.† Then you grow old and you forget them, but you never forget your belief in them, no matter how often you are challenged.† ("I've forgotten how to spell too, and half the words," says Beckett's Molloy.)† You try to take charge, but the words are in control, and the story writes itself.† (A line from a biopic concert-movie that's on right now* rings out at this point: "You're not in charge of the process," admits Leonard Cohen.)
The words have taken you to this sentence, but it is a sentence that you had not planned to write, that you didn't know was there, didn't know was in waiting.† Where was it waiting?† In you, in your story, or in the words themselves?
If it is so difficult why persist?† Why force the issues, force their issuance?
One blogger goes silent. Another blogger hesitatingly finds her lost voice after a hiatus.† A hiatus caused by her other life, the real one.†
So what? Big deal. Are we making money out of this? (Dr Johnson's words should be etched into your monitor - "No-one but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.") Don't we all have other lives, other commitments, other careers? Isn't this all just for fun? Does it matter if you blog, if you donít blog?
But are you blogging for yourself alone?
Don't you have a following, readers who email you out of nowhere, saying they are coming to somewhere near you, and hope to buy you a beer?† Do you owe them anything?† Indeed, look at it the other way.† What do *they* owe to *you*? What debt is created for all the entertainment you have given them? A free beer? Just one beer?
And so you have the electronic pen-pals that blogging creates, the usual suspects, those who comment, who come back time and again to praise or condemn your opinions and your attitude.† Donít you live for their praise, for their modest adulation? Do you thrive on it, do you cultivate it?
Or is it all a game?† What do you know?
There's this man who comes every week. Perhaps I got here thanks to him. He says not. He gives me money and takes away the pages. So many pages, so much money. Yes I work now, a little like I used to, except that I don't know how to work any more. That doesn't matter apparently. What I'd like now is to speak of things that are left, say my goodbyes, finish dying. They don't want that. Yes, there is more than one, apparently. But it's always the same one that comes. You'll do that later, he says. Good. The truth is I haven't much will left. When he comes for the fresh pages he brings back the previous week's. They are marked with signs I don't understand. Anyway I don't read them. When I've done nothing he gives me nothing, he scolds me. Yet I don't work for money. For what then? I don't know. The truth is I don't know much. Beckett. Molloy
*StarMovies: Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man. 11:15am Wednesday 7 May, 2008.
OTHER MONKEYS SAID
Sometimes the best way to communicate is not to talk, but to listen...maybe a blog in silence is the act of online listening.
Maybe the best was to see is to shut your eyes - a la Raymond Carver's story, Cathedral.
Then again, maybe not. It's a bit gay that story.
Maybe it's time to post "The Cartoon"