Embers

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Biwa Leaf 400X283

Dried loquat leaf in front of my apartment door

Something happened in the blogging world that I had been inhabiting up until sometime around the end of last year. After two years of intense dedication suddenly the magic petered out. I even considered pulling out the stoppers and letting the air out of my own blog. Obviously I haven’t gone that far, but for some reason I have never been able to regain the momentum or enthusiasm I used to have. Maybe it is because I have tired of living vicariously in a digital world and have taken more and more to the world outside my door. I know that another part of the reason is that the close interaction with various like-minded bloggers, some of whom have become friends, seems to have evaporated. Even when I leave comments on many of their blogs or post my own essays there now rarely seems to be a response. People with whom I had had almost daily contact for those two years drifted away like autumn leaves.

Losing this connection to these people has, though I have been unwilling to really acknowledge it, hurt quite a lot, in part because I’m not sure if it was something in my own actions or words that caused the dwindling of interest. Until recently I thought it was just me, but in speaking with and reading a few people it seems the waning magic spreads further than just my own fretting mind. Maria of Alembic mentioned to me in an e-mail that she sensed a dying out of interest in blogging, too. Anne of Under A Bell recently wrote about not feeling the magic any more. Several people I used to read religiously have closed shop and disappeared into substantiality. So it isn’t just me.

When I stare at the blog entry screen now so often it feels like narcissism, pretending to reach out into some kind of network, when really what I am staring at is an opaque mirror, not unlike that of the Evil Queen in Snow White. When the computer lures me often I cannot extricate myself, the cobwebs of interactivity drawing tight around the silence of my solitude and need to speak. It is hard to formulate the truth that in spite of the hours spent cranking out words no voice emanates from the opposite end.

Like Anne I’ve been retreating to books and handwritten journals (and hopefully hand-written letters, as I have promised some friends!) and daily waking at dawn to hunker down among the wild flowers and stock-still vitality of the sprouts in my garden, sometimes poking my camera lens among the leaves to record the lives of all those little creatures that go about their business with full-fledged abandon. I find that I’ve badly missed the chill of the dawn air, the slow drawing of the deep sky, the whisking of dove and duck wings past the edges of the roofs. And, of course the unmistakable gaze of the rising sun…

The blogging world opened lanes with people I would never have gotten to know or speak to without the internet. I still hope to get a chance to meet many of them in person some day. But when the voices begin to die away it is like the rain, I have to forget the effects of their singular passage, and perhaps I, myself, must learn to fade away. If there is one thing that the internet has taught me, it is that not only is life impermanent, but ultimately there is nothing you can touch, either.

32 Responses

  1. I came to blogging later than you, Miguel, and found your wonderful blog later yet, not long before you took that break. I’m glad you are still here! I wonder if this waning is normal for a lot of people after the excitement of the early years wears off, as you mention. I’ve even noticed a drop in my readers and commenters in the past month, as well as other bloggers not posting as often. The novelty has worn off for me a little, and like you I miss feedback. Yet I’m sure it will pick up again, as there are still new bloggers coming on. This time of the year I, and others, get busy with gardening and just being outdoors more, as you are doing too, and that is important for nurturing our connection to the earth, isn’t it? I hope you will keep writing a bit here too!

  2. While I don’t have much experience blogging, I’ve found that the longer I have blogged, the less likely I am to take time to record my experiences elsewhere (such as a journal), letting them settle in and absorb. There’s a sense of urgency in the experience and the sharing of that experience that robs it of some of the soul.

    You’re essay here is beautiful, and I can’t help but think that some of those notes you’re making with the pen are the ones that would draw others in. I also appreciate the understanding you share about accepting the virtual world as one of change and illusion.

  3. Dear Miguel, indeed I don’t really feel the same magic anymore as I did when I started blogging 1,5 years ago. But other than many people took that post that you linked to here, I will not yet stop blogging.

    Before, I blogged because of the network of people, because I wanted to be known, to be read, to be appreciated and just to ‘be there’. As a result, I was only busy with the blog and not with my paper journal anymore and hardly with my “realtime” life, in which I could be truly “me”. A while ago, I realized I’m beyond that now. All I blog for now is the joy of creation, and the possibility to share that joy. I take it much less seriously. Blogging is now merely a very small but fun part of my life, and is no more a dominating factor.

    I hope that you won’t entirely disappear from the blogiverse either.

  4. I think I agree with Lene about the urgency of the blog. On the one hand, I find it helpful, in that it inspires me to write something every day; on the other, what I write is often crap, and so the blog can become irritating. Too, I’m now having to reconsider the relationship of the blog to my writing. The blog is wonderful, as you noted, as a way of connecting to other people. However, I find that the posts that stretch me the most as a writer are also those that get the weakest and poorest responses; it’s like people are afraid to comment on those posts. I know I often am, being unable to come up with anything much more than “beautiful post” or feeling intimidated by the beauty of the prose and reluctant to append anything less astounding to it.

    I wish I could write in journals. I’ve been trying it off and on over the years, but after the last one dwindled into a collection of sporadically cynical and unhappy entries, I’ve more or less given up on paper journals. I think too quickly for handwriting, and lose the flow of my thoughts unless I can type it out. I do think I could make more time for sketching, since there the point is to take the time to really observe something.

    I have to admit to feeling slightly guilty about not coming around here more often. You’re part of a group of bloggers I treasure but whose writing somewhat intimidates me. It’s both stunning as writing, and tends to jiggle thoughts loose in my head that require time and effort to process. I’ve grown lazy over the past few years, my mental muscles for deep thinking having atrophied along with my muscles for hiking and yoga. I’ll try to remember that it’s worth it to stretch more.

    And that parallel paths, like email, also exist.

  5. For a while you had no way to comment and no published email. I came by, read, and left.

    I’ve definitely flagged in blogging… and my readership has dwindled concommitantly. These things ebb and flow, and it’s almost impossible not to take them personally when we invest so much of our person in them.

  6. I can’t speak for others, but if I haven’t yet left a comment since you moved to this new location, it’s because I thought you required registration, which for some reason I always resent and resist. I’ve wanted to comment more than once. But I am subscribed and thus always read (and usually enjoy) what you write here. Thanks for sticking around.

  7. Hey, it worked! Cool.

    I’ve been blogging for about the same length of time as Anne, but my enthusiasm for the medium has actually grown. Though I take my writing seriously, I’ve never been able to keep a journal, I guess because I don’t find the details of my own life all that interesting, and it always seemed as if that was what one should journal about. Blogging has been intensely liberating for me as a writer, encouraging me to do all kinds of experiments I never would have attempted otherwise. For a poet, it’s self-publishing nirvana. A single comment on an essay, story or poem is one more than you will generally get if you publish in a print journal – talk about an unsatisfying experience! And it’s so easy to go back and change it if you don’t like it. The friendships I’ve made through blogging seem real, but I freely admit the possibility that I am a shallow and egotistical person with no strong need for deep relationships. I also don’t need external validation very much, so if I post something that I feel is among my best efforts and it garners little or no reaction, I think “Huh. Everyone has either been struck dumb with admiration – or they’ve all found something better to do than stare a computer screen.” And i feel that if something I’ve written causes one person – just one person – to turn off her computer and go for a walk, or pick up a book, i’ve done my job.

  8. I must say it is deeply satisfying to wake up this morning and find all these voices still here. Like bushwhacking through the undergrowth and suddenly dsicovering all these flowers arrayed all around you. So the voices are still there and people really do stop by and read. After I wrote my entry yesterday I kept thinking, “When you think of it, blogging and the internet without active communication with others is just TV all over again.”

    People keep saying that my writing leaves them unable to reply, which I guess must be one form of gratifying flattery, and it is good to know that my writing does affect people, in however small a way. After all, that is why I write here. At the same time, many of the people who stop by and leave comments themselves offer, in their sites, unforgettable writing and insight. Often I feel as if I were intruding were I to leave inane and irrelevant comments. My commenting has gone down a lot since the winter, though my reading is as diligent and wide-ranging as ever.

    Marja-Lena, I have been stopping by your blog nearly every day since we discovered one another a while back. It’s like looking through a scrying glass at the work you are doing, but more often than not I find myself unable to comment on your entries simply because I know so little about the art that is being made these days. Just looking at what you are and others are doing is educational and inspiring enough.

    Lene, I, too, agree with you about the urgency of blogging. It seems to be a constant thing, like a fly buzzing around in your head, and often it seems that everything you look at demands a conversion to a blog entry, instead of just letting those things remain in and of themselves. Like walking in a tenacious dream.

    Anne, I was relieved and delighted to find new entries in your blog, though was also glad, from your earlier post, that you had found reconciliation with the real world. Recently gardening, walks in the mountains, and two new friendships have been grounding me in a much more concrete way. I can’t deny the soil under my fingernails and the strain of effort in my calves. I don’t intend to stop blogging. I think, like you, thta I’ve found a better balance between the real world and this virtual playground. Blogging does have some important qualities that, if used the right way, can enhance your life.

    Rana, I really can’t allow you to get away with telling me that my writing intimidates you! My writing, you?!? Rana, I don’t know if you realize just how powerful and thought-provoking your essays are. You have a way of seeing things, cutting to the chase, and then articulating a coherant premise that not many people are able to emulate. And the sheer range of your interests and knowledge. Rather it is I who should be intimidated, you know. Some of your political outrage pieces were so scathing and so spot on that when finishing reading your words I was often left quite dumbstruck. And then you turn around and write the most elegant and tender observation of an animal or event. To be followed by hilarious or silly little fillers… It’s all wonderful, you know.

    Pascale Soleile and Dave, I’m sorry about the registration and commenting mixup. I was sick to death of spam and was looking at different ways to get rid of it once and for all. So far the WordPress setup has eliminated the contamination very admirably, but, until recently, at the expense of making people register. I’ve since turned off the need for registration and am waiting to see how simple comment moderation will work. So far, so good.

    It’s good to see you are still here Pascale Soleile.

    And I’m glad we’re still on speaking terms, Dave. I worried a lot about how things turned out since the mess back in February (though I have a feeling you are not someone to hold a grudge). Like you I am exploring the possibilities of blogging as a writer. I am in the midst of putting together a much more involved and varied homepage, that will include this blog and several other of my artistic interests, like photography, drawing, fiction, and possibly animation. I’m even thinking of how I might sell some of my work, like books and artwork, through a separate, professional site. Setting it up and designing it is quite an undertaking, though. I find myself doing it in spurts… I don’t want, again, to miss the green world unfolding outside. Your writing, Dave, has, as I’ve said to you quite often, always dug right into my soul. You use words like water and there have been many times that something you wrote has deeply moved me.

    Rana… here’s loquating right back at you!

  9. Hi Miguel
    I’m a lurker and first time commenter. Your blog has been one of those I check on a regular basis even when you stopped writing for a spell. In particular as a city person who loves walking and travelling I would like to thank you for the marvellous photographic essays of your walks in Japan – both from what I learn about the country and the details about you and your life there that put the walks in context. I hope you will continue with these in the future? Best wishes.

  10. I definitely understand what you write here, Miguel, havng gone through much the same thought sequence with regard to my blog.

    I have a selfish hope that you don’t quit.

  11. Hmmm… seems as if many people took my post to mean that I might be quitting blogging. I thought of doing that back in February, but right now mostly I was just wondering where everyone had gone. I have no intention of quitting, though the outlook on blogging may have changed. In some ways, the changes I am going through right now resemble the first transformation, six months after I started blogging, when I was trying to figure out just what I was blogging about and to whom. The writing these days is taking on a much calmer and thoughtful turn; writing out of anger or disillusionment no longer makes it to the blog, in part because I am tired of living like that. How much energy is wasted on being indignant and being right.

  12. What you have written here Miguel echoes so much of my own feeling. I too wondered if it was just my perception that was changing or whether there has been a real shift in these online relationships – and if the latter, have I been the cause?

    More and more I find myself questioning my own motives in blogging. Once upon a time, getting any comments at all was a bonus – welcome, yet not expected; now I admit I often feel disappointed if none materialise, but then I feel guilty about feeling disappointed, and so the cycle goes, eating me up more and more. A desire to connect, and something verging on disgust at my sometimes childish attempts and reactions.

    One thing though that I’ve noticed: looking down my blogroll there seems to be a correlation between the onset of this malaise and time since starting blogging – two years seems pretty typical. So I wonder – is this a hurdle to be negotiated on the way (and if so, the way to where?), or does it represent a fork in the road and a need to move to another path? I haven’t figured that one out yet.

    Hey, thanks too for bringing this up. I’d been thinking about a post much along these lines, but held back. Better to talk about it than brood in silence.

  13. Yes, I hold grudges – sometimes for as long as five minutes.

    Your plans sound exciting. I’ll look forward to it! You have a huge amount of talent, I just think you don’t always get enough sleep (something I can empathize with very readily). So perhaps a good rule for blogging and the like is to indulge in it only to the extent that it doen’t interfere with proper digestion and getting a good night’s rest. (Naps are excellent, too. F— the work-obsessed Japanese culture.)

  14. “Often I feel as if I were intruding were I to leave inane and irrelevant comments.”
    Ahhh.. yes, I know that feeling which attacks me frequently, as well as what Rana said; “You’re part of a group of bloggers I treasure but whose writing somewhat intimidates me”.
    As a lurker who has had you in my blogroll for a very long time, I seldom know what to say when reading, but your posts stay with me in thought for a very long time after. I have neglected to thank you for all of the posts in the past, so I will now and also thank you for this one.

  15. I just started blogging a few months ago. I’ve had to learn to balance the compulsive and obsessive nature of blogging with my real life. But as Rana wrote, blogging focuses my thoughts, which I could not do in a paper journal. I’m still finding a voice, but my goal is to explore spirit in everything I do.

    I have been frustrated that I haven’t found a web “family”. The most time consuming thing for me now is exploring new blogs. It takes time to find the community one seeks. You have obviously found it, judging by the warm and articulate responses to your post.

    By finding Stormwind’s blog tonight and, through her links, yours, and with it many others, I hope I have found a place where I can share and grow with other kindred spirits.

    Garnet

  16. it is hard work to keep up a relationship – even easier to neglect one that is comprised of pixels. shame on us all. i have read so many wonderful things in so many varied online journals. it doesn’t take a lot to tell the writer so, and yet still we don’t do it often enough. i often ask myself what i hope to accomplish with the part of me that i leave in my own online journal. do i want people to get to know me better – hmmm not always, as i am typically quite private. am i hoping to inspire others – yes, sometimes. is it a record for me or for the folks that stop by. are my feelings hurt when i post something that i am emotionally connected to and absolutely no one leaves a comment – yes, sometimes. it’s a strange thing these online bits and pieces. i keep a written journal. it is a ritual that i cherish. i like the tactile experience of paper and pen and leather binding. so much so, that i make my own books. and like you, i thrive on the experiences – i want to LIVE my life AND write about it, but given a choice, i would opt everytime for going out into the wild places and living it. i want to be irreverant sometimes and not have to listen to the feedback, i want to risk my fool neck sometimes and only tell my handbound journal how foolish i was. for pixels to be a real community will always be a challenge for me – for i relish looking into someones eyes. it is the only way my heart can tell if they are speaking the truth. but it is wonderful to read from the hearts and minds of people that i would most likely never meet in the real world. it is a gift that is shared with strangers. i have often loved what i have read here. i have not told you so near often enough. it is one of my favorite things, finding something new to read here. thank you, my friend, for what you share – for the commonality that i find here. thank you for your time and your heart.

  17. It’s always a surprise and a secret pleasure finding out about the lurkers who inhabit the underbrush around my words. Like those cool wild animals, like ocelots and kinkajous and tamanduas, suddenly appearing in the beam of my flashlight.

    Welcome and thanks for both your kind words and for taking the time to read my often top-heavy posts.

    Garnet, sorry to take so long to respond to you… I know how you feel, and I guess a lot of ther people who drop by here do, too, since we all went through the same fallow period at the beginning of blogging. In a way you’re lucky, because bloggiing has exploded in popularity since I started two years ago. At that time it was like floundering in a sea, with no idea where others of similar bent and outlook might be floating. Many of us found one another by chance, some by flocking around similar subjects… for my part at the warm community of Ecotone, which, sadly, has closed temporarily, due in part to neglect by people like me.

    But fret not, keep writing your blog and visiting others, leave comments and form the friendships. Eventually your family will grow and the people you seek will emerge. There are millions of us out here.

  18. Oooh, I like being compared to “those cool wild animals, like ocelots and kinkajous and tamanduas.” I’m one of your lurkers, stopping by once in a while, and rarely commenting.

    I wonder how typical this is? In a couple of years of blog reading, I’ve settled into a pattern: I have 5 to 10 that I check daily (depending on how much time I have). Those are blogs that I can count on to have a new post most days, and each has a general outlook or specific focus that engages me. Fragments from Floyd, by a fellow Virginian, tops that list. Then there are about 25 more that I check now and then. Yours is one of those. I like how you write and think and your honesty; I like your photos; and I like the cross-cultural insights your background and life in Japan produce. It doesn’t matter if you post sporadically because I only check sporadically.

    By the way, your girl turtle is lovely. And you might enjoy today’s turtle post on Rurality.

  19. Hi Miguel

    I’m also still around
    haven;t been checking here regularly since I subscribed to bloglines
    but I’ll put you on my list there
    and then I’ll know when you’ve posted.

    I’m coming up to the two year anniversary of my own blog
    and to date feel no fall-off in my enthusiasm

    I have written almost every day
    and some days more than once
    and just set up a second blog

    I guess that’s a sign of continued interest!

    glad you are still here!

  20. For me, it’s been a very complex process.

    There was a giddiness at first, when I was first finding readers and the intimacy seemed so almost-painfully but delightfully real. Then I had my first experience of being just dropped, cut dead, by someone who (so far as I know) just left the blog world, and wanted no more to do with me. That was hard. And then I discovered so many blogs that I thought were just terrific that I sort of overdosed. I’d comment with huge and perfectly authentic enthusiasm, and a couple days later think — who was that person, anyway? Where was that blog? And for a while I’d try to systematically read every blog on my blogroll, and not read anything else, because who had time for new people? But that made blog-reading and commenting an obligation — the last thing I wanted it to be; I have plenty of obligations in my life already — so I’ve become sort of deliberately careless. Willing to divorce the intense intimacy of reciprocally reading journals from the expectations of friendship. Letting blog intimacy be what it is, and no more, and no less. It’s difficult. I hate it when people in non-digital life don’t respond to me. But I don’t see how I can have the delight I have in reading and writing blogs without accepting that responses may or may not come. These virtual friendships may become non-virtual friendships. Or they may not. That has to be okay, or else the whole thing becomes impossible, a net of disappointment gradually drawing tight.

    I think most of us overestimated, in some ways, what these intimacies would mean. And re-evaluating has been a sometimes painful process, especially for those who like me have been, for long years, socially stranded.

  21. You too?

    I’m still hoping for the day someone will write the definitive post with the answer to this ‘why we blog/how to blog and keep your sanity question. I’ve lost count of how many eloquent pieces I’ve read on the on the topic. Yours is another such piece. Like the others, you’ve peeled off another layer and shed more light on this issue, helping me to understand it a little better. But it is never enough. I want the magic words to jump out make me scream, “EUREKA!” as this issue drives me nuts. For someone who claims to honour mystery I do a lousy job of embracing the mystery of blogging.

    It all became too much for me. I couldn’t find an answer and I couldn’t find a way to blog comfortably without it driving me mad and growing out of proportion in my life. I sometimes wonder if that was the whole point: the ability to face my discomfort, face myself. I have no idea. I just know that I miss it.

    On another tangent, is this angst a common blogging experience or is exclusive to us sensitive navel gazers? I don’t read enough variety of blogs to know, as I tend to bypass all but the personally reflective writers. Or are we all simply in early stages of our cultural compulsion to dissect and understand this relatively new phenomenon. Again, I don’t know but I’m always wondering.

    But I still drop by and read all my favourites regularly, daily mostly. I tend not to comment though as the best entries leave me lost in thought and lost for words. You write a lot of those entries. Always a pleasure to read.

  22. Hi Miguel

    It’s bittersweet to come here and see what you’re writing and what’s being said after you’ve been so encouraging, friendly, and welcoming in regards to my new blog. But blogging isn’t something that’s totally disconnected from the realities of cycles and human nature. People weave in and out of things, life paths change or have suprises in them. I always imagine the places on the earth that I love the most and how even though I may not be there they flow on, and people inhabiting them move through with their own realities and perceptions.

    Though I don’t know your blog yet it’s obvious from what so many people have said that it hits a chord. I for one am a bit like Dave, in that I’m happy and pleased if someone overlaps with me, but I’m not used to it. In fact, I’m used to feeling very much like the misfit in the rural life we are moving away from. But I’m also new in blogging and looking towards the future, and not so much at the past. I hope that you’ll find sustenance in your writing and connections here not only so that I can read you but so every one else can too.

  23. I had a good laugh this morning when I opened my site yet once more and found comments still rolling in. After all that I wrote in my post, it seems that I haven’t a clue as to what I am talking about. There are lots of you out there, still reading, still leaving comments, still very much alive. Perhaps it is just me who is fluttering about.

    Anyway, Penny, it is great to see you again. You’ve not been around in a while and I haven’t been able to log on to your blog to read and leave comments. Hope everything is all right.

    JonZ, welcome. You’ve gotten off to a good start and I hope your first experiences with blogging are positive, as they were for me. I was lucky to find blogging right in the middle of all the madness leading up to the war and thereafter. Living in Japan, with few friends, and no one to sit and talk with about all the anguish I was going through (Japanese are singularly aware of the wrongs being done in Iraq and Afghanistan… their experience with the A-bomb and much earlier with the American Commodore Perry and his “Black Ships” steaming into their harbor and demanding that they allow trade relations, gives them a unique perspective towards Americans… but they rarely protest anything or even voice much criticism, part of which is a cultural thing of course) having bloggers to open up to was a godsend.

    I write for different reasons now, though. Part of that is an attempt to be out about in the real world more and then to come home and write about that, rather than living in the blog world and twisting my mind around purely verbal concerns. The urge to get out into the garden is strong. And it feels right.

    But I also love the blog discussions and the alchemy of changing the quicksilver and lead of thought into the gold of words.

  24. Koshtra, your words have hit a deep chord. I’m having to think hard about them, because they apply to me. I’m getting ready for a two day hike this weekend (though the monsoon is hitting hard at the moment so it might be a weekend of endless torrents of beautiful rain) so I can’t spend more time writing right now, but let me get back to you.

  25. Butuki: I hope you have a wonderful time in the rain. We’ve been enjoying it here in North Carolina, on vacation from the California summer.

    I can’t tell you how many times I stop by hoping you’ve updated your blog (I had you in my feedreader but it stopped working after a while). And, yes, sometimes I don’t comment because it seems to require an extraordinarily thoughtful response (which you, I notice, seem to provide generously on other people’s blogs) — and sometimes I simply don’t know what to say. But like others above, I am almost always left very thoughtful after reading a post of yours.

    And I drew a lemur skull yesterday at the Duke Primate Center and thought of you. :) (And Siona who loves skulls.)

  26. butuki … I am still here, like Dave, checking in via my subscription. I have meant to comment often, too … but there is so much going on in my life that I barely have time for keeping up my blog, let alone comment on all the wonderful blogs on my long list of subscriptions. Bu I do keep up with them! I try to…

    Then, there is also my plan to write more “playfully” and less “personally” — that is, work on my fiction, which leaves little time and room for the personal type of writing on the blog. And yet, I am not about to give up on the blog either!

    If one thing that all these years of writing have taught me is that it’s always nice to have enthusiasm for writing, but it certainly isn’t necessary. Discipline — as in regular practice, is what makes the difference — at least for me.

  27. Melinda

    Have been reading you daily since before your blogging break. Never commented once – for all reasons mentioned above and then some. Have no internet presence other than the few odd comments on a few blogs here & there.

    Your blog is good. Worthy of being included in my daily “nutrient sweep” of the internet.

    I’m a shit writer. Having good ones like you is absolutely necessary to the ecology of soul for a wide, wide group of people. Many of them non-writers. Non-artists. Non-anything.

    Just people – benefitting from your daily offerings here.

  28. Butuki, like others here, I came by and tried to comment several times and got discouraged. If this work, I will be back much mroe regularly, as I used to be! Yes, Andy, I think after two years or so we do find we need to reassess what this thing I in our lives and what we’re doing. I’m less discouraged than many longer-term bloggers seems to be, maybe “both because my expectations about feedback are lower (my best” posts often draw the least comments too, and that’s OK) and the friendships actually do feel genuine and satisfying – including with you, Butuki! It’s good to have a few things in life that we just stick to because we like them and because they are “practice” – be they playing an instrument or doing yoga or writing. This is so much better than the journals I kept for decades that I can’t imagine going back into merely hearing my own voice. And I READ blogs because I care about the people who write them.

  29. Yes I echo much of what has been expressed by others. I also read blogs because I am interested in the people who write them. Care for them. Is that helpful for the writer?

    It’s really made me think about blogging some more. Do you feel a sense of obligation to continue? And if so does that cramp your “style”? I am aware that there are many of us who want you to continue and say so. I don’t think people should censor themselves but I’d like to know what the consequences of having a fan club(!) are. I’m sure it is different for everyone. And do you you feel you can grow, morph within this format or do you feel “your” readers expect a particular and static version of you? I wonder what others feel?

  30. Coup, sorry to take so long to reply. Your comment made me think. I’m not sure which it is, whether I feel obligated to write, or whether it’s staying in touch with people whom I, too, care about, or whether it’s just plain vanity, wanting to be noticed. Maybe it’s a combination of everything? I do feel that I can just be myself when I write here, but there is also the aspect of blogging that makes it quite misleading… we rarely write about the less publically acceptable sides of ourselves, like sex and anger and personal prejudices and addictions. If you do your readers tend to slip quietly away. So it is not entirely honest. I’m pretty sure that the image that I portray in the blog is quite a lot more two-dimensional than the three-dimensional person you would see in real life. But I guess that’s the way it always is when you portray yourself through any kind of media.

    I think having any audience that you can communicate with makes a huge difference as a writer. After all the old saying is, “Write for your audience.” So what better way to do that than through live interaction with the very people who make you who you are in the public eye?

  31. Epic description Butuki and great photos. I vouch for the blog persona being two-dimensional by the way. Get yourself up to the heights again soon. My uncle is coming over next weekend and we’re doing Kitadake.

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