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February 14, 2006

Snapshots

I've talked about this before I know. But on Monday night I was talking with Andy about blogging and he reminded me about the problems of recording our thoughts down in a journal format. What can be a blessing is also a curse. Each item posted to this blog for instance is a snapshot of one particular thought I had or one event, or a linking of several events and emotions, but it's not a complete picture of my life in this moment. Twenty, Fifty, or a million thoughts or events, significant or insignificant could have happened in the same day, which go unrecorded. For instance, If I kept writing just about this thought, I would not write about my experience of being interviewed and photographed for an article in the paper today. Or how nice it felt while biking today, or that I got my first flat tire of the winter while I was riding home today! Coincidentally, the reporter asked me if I had gotten any flats during the winter and I told her how lucky I was so far. haha. So on the way home tonight I got a flat. I was not bummed out or mad or anything, but made a choice to not bother fixing it tonight. I walked the last mile pushing my bike. I really enjoyed slowing down and taking advantage of the nice weather and fresh air. Sometimes we need an excuse to slow down. But even this is a snapshot, because it doesn't mention the artwork I did tonight, or the conversation I started with another artist through email, or my efforts today to work with the non-profit org I'm affiliated with. Too often I think we like to categorize and neatly order our lives. But life is not really like that. True life is more involved and is not a series of snapshots or anecdotes. It is about living and interacting with others and doing our things, whatever that may be. In my blogs I like to take an event and make it into a theme or topic for a blog entry, then apply a category for it. It's not intended to be an account of my life, though it's one of the most complete documents I've ever created and is better than not recording anything about how I feel or think or events in my life. But it's still not my life. This blog and the entries in it are still just snapshots of a particular feeling or thought or event.
Some people blog in a more random nature that defies categories, just as I could have also put this entry under the 'Winter Biking' category, or 'Attitude,' or 'Life.' The more things a person talks about in one blog entry, the harder it is to put it under one narrowly focused category. I chose to put this entry under blogging because overall I'm talking about the nature of blogging or journaling and the sometimes expectations we have about what it is we are doing when we are blogging. Even blogging can defy categories, because we can be doing something we do not realize we are doing. For instance, we can be posting a snapshot of an event in our lives, but really what we are doing is creating or continuing a conversation with other people. People leave comments or we meet in person and the conversation goes on.
When I first started blogging I read that a blogger has to have their own motivations for blogging. It's true. Every person I've met who has a long-standing, ongoing blog has their own reasons for blogging, and likes doing it. Of course life situations may change the direction the blog takes or make it obsolete and no longer necessary. One of my friends killed his blog and started a new one with a totally unrelated focus and feel. Another person I know has several blogs, not just one. Each blog in a way is one of his life's categories, each dealing with a different 'segment' of his life, such as his artwork in one blog, work in another blog, etc. It works for him to do this.
There is no wrong way of doing this. There can't be, because we are the authors of the blog, and blogs by their nature are undefined and difficult to categorize. Even when people say their blogs are about politics or biking or whatever, I read things from other aspects of their lives creeping into the writing. I think it's because we are writing snapshots while our lives are much more than snapshots and we know it. We want to share everything we are feeling or living, but can't possibly do that. It would take more time to document every thought, emotion and experience than it takes to live it. For instance, after all this rambling and talking about this, I still haven't told you that I read an interesting article tonight about how Steven Segal was discovered to be a reincarnated Tibetan Tulku:

"The degree to which tulkus have been able to actualize and utilize their potential depends upon how they have been able to use their past circumstances and how they currently use their present circumstances to develop their potential. Each tulku must work to develop themselves to the best of their ability. The essential point is that a tulku should strive to help others in whatever life situation they find themselves. It is out of such an aspiration to help all sentient beings that I have recognized many tulkus in my life and it is with this motivation that I recognized Steven Seagal as a tulku. If all beings seek to have this motivation, what need will there be for controversies and confusion over the motivations of others?
Penor Rinpoche"

I like these thoughts expressed by Penor Rinpoche, that all people should strive to help others. We should all seek to have this motivation. So now I can categorize this blog entry under 'motivation' as well. But back to the point... If I kept going, I could write about my entire life and it would take me multiple lives like the Tulku to do so. haha.

So today was valentines day and my wife and I shared speghetti and wine, like Lady and the Tramp...No, better get to bed now. It's late and tomorrow is another day to write, and bike and work and play and love...


Posted by carl1236 at February 14, 2006 11:51 PM | Blogging

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