Friday, June 01, 2007

Why I Blog

Twice in the past couple of weeks, and several times over the life of this blog, folks have left comments wondering about my claim to want to be invisible, yet having this blog out there, and putting personal things on it.

Over time, I've pretty much bared my soul on this blog. I've talked about the dichotomy of wanting to be an invisible wall flower, yet putting some very personal things on a blog for all the world to see. But like I said recently, I think that even the most introverted poeple in the world, at some level, want to have something out there that says, "I lived!" or "I was here, and my name ain't Killroy!"

But most of the time, I just want to put down some stories of my life. When the family is all together and say, watching TV, that's not the time to relate to them a story from my past. The right time for certain stories never seems to come around, yet the original reason for this blog, for me, was to put some things down in writing so that if I got hit by a bus or something, at least some of my thoughts and some of the things I have experienced in my life would be there for my family to read.

I'm shy about opening up, even to, and sometimes especially to, the ones I love the most.

A moment may appear, a metaphorical parting of the clouds, and instead of taking advantage, I keep my trap shut, and the moment passes. I've missed my opportunity to share something of my life. That not only hurts me, but it leaves my family with less of me than they could have.

If I could state one and only one reason for having this blog, I'd say it was because of something Don C. (my father) once said to me.

See, he was a quiet man too. And he died in October of 1994.

Many, many times over the years since his death, I've not only had lots of things I wish I could tell him; a joke, something one of the girls did, etc., but I also have had so many questions come up that I'd like to ask him about his life.

Once, years ago, this would have been in the early 1990s when the Summer Olympics were held in Barcelona, Spain, Lovely Wife, Numbers One and Two Daughters and I had come to Louisiana from Georgia to visit with both of our families.

When we were at my parents house, I was telling Don C. about some of the funny things that a room full of men at work yells at the TV during the Olympics. It was like being around teenage boys again, everyone feeding of each other, trying to "out funny" each other.

For example, one guy turned the air in the break room blue with his cussing when he was told that the man on TV right now was the King of Spain. He didn't believe it. "Where's his ^*&%^*$&&^ crown?! I want to see his %^##(_)*) crown!"

Anyway, so Don C. and I were talking about the Olympics, and they were showing various parts of the city of Barcelona on TV.

That sparked something in Don C. and he started talking about Barcelona. Turns out that when he was in the US Navy in the mid 1950s, the destroyer that he was on was one of the first US ships allowed into a Spanish port in X number of years.

He began to talk about what it was like for a country boy from Louisiana to be in the Mediterranean and what Barcelona was like from his point of view.

There was a story that he used to tell us from time to time about something funny that happened between he and some ship mates and some British seamen aboard an adjacently moored ship.

Turns out that story happened in port in Barcelona.

Anyway, I don't remember a whole lot of detail about what he said about his experiences in Barcelona, I was just revelling in the fact that Don C. had opened up and talked to me about some things in his past. A rare occurrence, believe me.

I know that I don't open up and unload all of my memories on my family, the time is rarely right, but by putting myself and my stories out here on this blog, which I eventually told my family about having started, they can come here and read what I've said about things that are important, funny, sad, and personal to me.

Yeah, it's 180 degrees out of phase with my desire to be anonymous, but I don't want my wife and daughters to not have many of my childhood memories and thoughts on important subjects just because I couldn't open up to them.

And that, my friends, is why I do this.

It ain't easy. And I don't care if my spelling is perfect, or if I want to use no-no words like ain't or to spell something phonetically instead of correctly. In the end, grammar and spelling matter so little when compared to truly important things in life, that it's hard for me to believe anyone cares about them. At least where blogging is concerned; it's easy to miss a mistake with things like affect vs effect and things like that, so I just do my best, and don't worry about the mistakes I miss.

I'm hoping that, one day when I'm gone, that my family will appreciate the fact that I just wrote this stuff out at all, and will forgive me the occasional misspelled word or grammar mistake. Heck, language changes all the time anyway, so why get riled up about something with so little meaning?

Plus, what one person in this world doesn't have things going on within them that are at odds with one another?

The answer is, there isn't a person like that.



uberstrickenfrau said...

I have been trying to wrap my brain around why I blog too, 'cuz it is kinda self indulgent but I sooo love connecting with people all over . I like the looking under the rocks to see whats going on behind the scenes. I read alot of different blogs ,and I keep coming to the conclusion how very much alike everyone is, the 'one blood' we are created from. And that summer olympics in Barcelona, in opening ceremonies, do you remember how they lit the torch by shooting an arrow up towards it? WOW. I dunno why but that was so awesome to me.

isabella said...

Your post hit home for me, too...My dad passed when I was a teenager and I never forgave myself for not listening to his "war stories". I wish he kept a blog...but those were pre Internet days ;-)

Jenny McB said...

I was going to comment in your TT13, but this post made me think.

Does your family read your blog? Do you print out the posts? Not to be morbid, but what if you were gone tomorrow, would they know where to go to read your life?

Your Dad had many experiences being in the service, my dad was in the army for a year, but got to see more of the world in that short time then in his entire life. But yet we live with these guys and never realize that they had lives before we were born and they were actually pretty interesting.

Good post!

Mert said...

Wonderful post. I was just writing about how we bloggers are able to open up to strangers more than we can our loved ones a few days ago.

I think it's great that you know your limitations, but you ARE doing something about it... you're sharing with your family just the same. It may not be now exactly, but you are.

Now make sure you write down your blog url where they can find it! ;)

Sharon Lynne said...

That's a good reason to blog.

I try to "blog" into a word file first...then copy it over to the blog, in the event the blogging software ceases to exist or something like that.

However, sometimes I type straight into the blog because for some reason, I lose my passion when I type into a word file.

Emily said...

This reminds me of my Grandpa, who just recently passed away in November. Now that he's gone, I really wish I talked to him more, he probably had a lot to share. I would have asked him about what it was like serving in World War 2 overseas.

I think it's important to listen to other people's stories and experiences, because they might teach you some things you never would have known otherwise.