When I'm really in the habit of regular blogging, I find that I look at the world around me and at my regular, ordinary, lovely life with a journalist's eye. I compose in my head. I analyze my experiences, and thereby enjoy them twice. I thirst for feedback -- checking the "comments" tab throughout the day -- wondering if people will enter into discussion with me. I've met some wonderful people that way, some of them in real life. Blogging is like letter-writing: real connection, only with the advantage that you can throw it out scattershot and have a chance of "catching" some new interesting people that you might never have met.
Sometimes, though, the openness and the publicness of a blog makes us hesitate, doesn't it.
I know that a few bloggers have made their niche in the brutally-honest, tell-it-like-it-is genre.
I am not one of those, I think.
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It's open. It's public. This isn't an anonymous blog, although I don't put my name on it in a prominent way. Many people who know me in real life read it. It's a way for me to keep in touch with them, and I appreciate that. Also among my readers are a number of people that I hope someday to meet in person, but haven't had the chance yet. I am so glad for the chance to trade thoughts with them.
Google Analytics tells me that I get a lot of pageviews from Moscow. (Russia, not Idaho). What's up with that? Spam bots? Dunno. I guess I won't worry about those.
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One thing to keep in mind, when my writing trails off from time to time... is that I don't choose to publish here everything that I am thinking intensely about.
(Please trust me for a moment to be up front with these facts: Neither I nor anyone in my immediate family or support network is ill or in danger. My marriage is happy, loving, and safe. My children are well. I am not in a spiritual crisis, nor a financial one. If anything, the things that are on my mind have recently improved my outlook significantly. So: put worry for me out of your mind, if you have any.)
I have something on my mind that I prefer not to share. I almost wrote "that I'm not free to share" -- but that's not quite right; I'm completely free to write what I want. I believe it would not be right to share it, so I choose not to.
And yet, I wish I could. I'm bursting with a sort of epiphany I recently had. I understand something that I didn't understand before, or, at least, I have a new interpretation of the facts. And that interpretation has changed so much.
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Did you ever see the movie The Sixth Sense? (Spoilers ahead.)
You know how -- at the very end -- unless you figured it out along the way -- the viewer suddenly realizes that the way that she has been interpreting every scene in the movie was basically wrong? The film suddenly offers an alternative interpretation -- and thinking back over the film, the viewer realizes that it changes the entire meaning of every scene.
What's more, that new interpretation almost instantly provides the protagonist with the answer to the problem that has haunted him from almost the beginning of the film to almost the end.
That's the kind of thing I mean. I have an alternate interpretation of many scenes from the past.
Experiences that were baffling, now are grounded in a coherent theory. In that light, the scenes make sense, fit together.
And in that light, a problem that has been gnawing at me for years has seemingly withdrawn, lifted off, and... just blown away.
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I can't know if the interpretation -- the theory -- is correct. No, really -- I can't know. There is no fact-checking in my power that can confirm it. On the other hand, there's nearly no likelihood that any facts will arise that can controvert it. This hypothesis is testable, but it is not likely to be tested, and if it were I would not be permitted to know the outcome.
But the new idea suggests to me a certain plan of action that I hadn't thought of before. If I am right, it is, I believe, the best plan. So if I assume that I am right, I know what to do now.
But the brilliant bit is that this newly conceived plan of action is also an acceptable plan, possibly even an excellent one, if I am wrong.
Hence: the lightness of heart. The lifting of a weight. Long have I struggled between conflicting duties and desires. Suddenly the waveforms coalesce and I have all the information I need.
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But at the same time I have some grieving to do. Because certainty comes always at a cost, and here the cost is the death of a particular measure of hope.
Not Hope but a hope, a garden-variety ordinary one. The kind of hope one can place in a human being.
That hope out of the way, I can leave more room for the capital-letter kind to blossom.
I have a sorrow, but it's better than what I had before. I am grateful for it. I am grateful for clarity, for sorrow -- because I know what to do with sorrow -- and for hope that is finally placed where it belongs.
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And I choose not to go into more detail.
But it's not because I don't have anything more I would like to say.
It's just... not what I choose. Not right now.
So, yes, I'm deliberately vague. I am not anonymous. I could have written nothing, but instead I wanted to write something. So I wrote this. After weeks and weeks of constipated writing, jammed up inside with The Post I Want To Let Out But Won't.
I have a name, and them's the breaks.
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To reiterate: I am well. My family is well. My work is satisfying. My health is good. I see more clearly than I had before, and I am -- in a way I wasn't before -- free.
But you'll just have to take my word for it.