Karen Huber of KMHuber’s Blog (“Zen with a bite”) wrote this recently:
A blog is a way to explore an idea, if for no other reason than to find out what it isn’t.
I resonated with that for it sums up my process in choosing and presenting my blogging ideas.
Take today for instance. It’s Tuesday evening and my blog launches in four hours. I had hoped to present photos of my subjunctively experienced trip to Cuba, (read A Missed Opportunity here) but could not get them organized in time.
It had to admit it had become another one of those works in progress we are all so proud of (insert sardonic happy face here).
What to do? What topic shall I explore only to discover it really won’t work? There are many from which to choose. Here are two. Neither of which worked.
I could write about hot dogs.
This is how I LOVE my hotdogs. Burned and hot off the grill. Don’t they look good? I eat them with my fingers, and we all know that everything tastes better when you eat it with your fingers.
I had my first hotdog love affair during my college days in New York, from the sidewalk vendors. Always enveloped in a fresh bun, covered in squishy sauerkraut (sometimes I’d have them add that red onion mush — the onions weren’t red, the mush was; have no idea why now that I think about it) with yellow mustard atop, I’d order an orange soda on the side, and pay the man his 60 cents. Yes; this was a while ago. And I NEVER had orange soda otherwise.
But that was then and I have changed. Grown. Matured. These days, if I eat hotdogs at all, they will be finger foods at a barbecue and they’ll be cooked just like the photo. There, ‘nough said on hot dogs. Not a full blog post.
I could write about the sign I saw recently on my town green.
Sun Feb 16
This would be a more serious post (more serious than hot dogs) about how people react differently and (in my head) it would morph into a post about the appeal of scapegoating.
In the moments after I first saw this sign, I imagined that rabbit hunters seeing the sign would simply put the date in their calendars and be on their way. But my mind dwelled on the others, the many that would feel distress (for the rabbits). How angry they would get, I saw in my mind.
I had to get a picture of that sign and write about it. I wanted to see where this topic would take me. Would I talk about the difficulty in deer population thinning when I lived in the suburbs?
Let me quickly state that I can’t imagine myself actually shooting a rabbit (or a deer) ever, AND, given the propensity of rabbits to reproduce, I’m pleased there are those who do. But I can shoot a photo.
I got my shot of the sign and as I walked back to my car my thinking drifted to the quickness with which we jump to focusing on someone else (when we feel distress) and expecting our distress to end if only THEY would change. It’s called scapegoating and it’s terribly common. It’s a variation on the old “You make me feel so . . . ” Never helpful.
If only the hunters stopped hunting, I imagined them dreaming.
The sociologist in me recognized how easily we humans slip into blame, into pointing the finger, into finding a scapegoat to focus on, saving us from feeling any sense of responsibility for the distress we felt.
The therapist in me knew how hard it is to actually feel those difficult feelings; how quickly we slip into defensive blame. My inner therapist wanted to help them sit with their distress, feel it, own it. It wouldn’t save the rabbits, but (if experience serves) it would help them enormously to feel better about the world they inhabited.
From there I jumped to the more general political activism of today and the distress so many feel over the way our government is behaving, how our focus is on THEIR BEHAVIOR, over which we actually have no control; how our distress continues, unabated. And how we must sit with it, feel it, own it if we want it to fade.
Nope, the topic is just not coming together. I covered this enough I think in Coping with Weltschmerz (which I can now spell without looking it up). The more I write now about these ideas, the less they seem to fit together. It is a colorful photo though, isn’t it?
How about you? What does blogging (mine or your own) do for you?
[box] LEAPFROG, my tiny handbook for handling those tricky conversations we all face, is now available in digital and paperback format.
I’m participating in Amazon Affiliates, so your purchase through my website will enable me to make a wee bit more and not increase your cost at all. The above link takes you to the LEAPFROG page on my website (not yet accessible directly) where you can learn more about the book. To skip that page and go directly to the book’s page on Amazon, click here. Thank you.[/box]