Do I dare disturb the universe?

Why am I blogging? Isn’t  it  a) self-indulgent and b) a waste of time? Yes, I have also asked myself whether my life and thoughts are worth recording. I remain divided on the issue. For now.

Blog = web log. A diary. Except that it’s online and therefore not private. Not that diaries were always private. Famous writers had personal diaries that became public, telling us things we probably didn’t want to know about them: Leo Tolstoy, Emerson, Thoreau, Andre Gide, Scott Fitzgerald, Mary Shelley, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Anais Nin . . .

Diarists were not all clandestine recorders of stuff-that-wouldn’t-be-published-but-had-to-be-written.  There was Samuel Pepys, the Shakespeare of diarists. (His diary is here.)  And then Anne Frank for whom the diary was sheer survival.

A diary can be your psychotherapist.  When you feel homicidal, just write about it in your diary. And you will be cured.  Ventilation.

Here’s a nice piece on the diarist’s art.

I feel T Rex-ish in the blogging world. But hey, I know about diarying. I was a diarist in school; kept a record of my crushes on teachers, classmates, and writers. Very profound insights on all of them. So this blogging avatar is regressive;  a childhood fixation! 

What triggered the urge?   No, I’m not a famous writer surreptitiously maintaining a diary for people to ‘discover’ later and make me more famous. And no, I don’t want to tell the world that I’ve been there,  done that. (Does it really give anyone any insight into there and that?)

My top only two reasons: 

# 2 Finding my voice and thoughts. Both of which are very easily (and often willingly) lost in the jungle of academia. Also, you don’t really know something unless you write about it. There is so much to say. And so little time to say it in. As the Chinese say, “It’s later than you think.”

# 1 Finding space. Physical space is at such a premium today. (Yes, I’m preoccupied with trying to buy a decent flat. And for the middle-class in the city I live in, that is a harrowing experience.) Hence the attraction for a space that’s within finger-reach.   A space that’s at once private and public. Which I can occupy without having to prove my credentials. Or dislocate anyone else. 

And so I disturb the universe, flitting between my real-world space and this one,   interrupting and completing both. And, hopefully,  me too in the process. Moving in order to keep things whole, as Mark Strand says in this poem:

Keeping Things Whole 

In a field
I am the absence
of field.
This is
always the case.

Wherever I am
I am what is missing.

When I walk
I part the air
and always
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been.

We all have reasons
for moving.
I move
to keep things whole.


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