How uncomfortable to be writing a blog about myself. Just typing in those very words makes my heart go pitter-patter in a nervous, sweaty, not-so-good way. “Pitter-Patter” implies a teenager, acne prone, squeaky voice, whiny, pre-adult love of self pretense that is, most assuredly, not intended. “Nervous, sweaty, not-so-good-way” words? … YES, absolutely intended, spot-on, and necessary for purposes of today.
It’s one of the most interesting whatits about writing a, sort-of, every day entry into the vast, heavily jammed space of the blog-o-sphere; My observations, narrowed into categories; Categories sifted through appropriateness; Suitability filtered across friendly imaginations; My dear readers’ eyes as I type and edit my observations in many, or few, words? … all of this comes together, somehow, in a few hours time and not always in the most logical, grammatical, rhythmical way. Imagination, however, in the most intimate of a reader’s sole light, shows the passage toward understanding.
If there exists a humility clasp, I would use it to close the loop today. Self-promotion is not an arrow I use frequently out of a quiver I do not carry, anyway – if at all – to use in the battle of life’s greatest choices. Given a choice, deference to others – sometimes at a cost to me – is a greater cause. I am confident, as I write, there are others holding my hand here … understanding the shadow in which I find myself at times. We can be in this together. It’s not a solemn place where we stand side by side. Quite honorable to be so with you, if I must say.
Parts and pieces make up who we are. We have biological, emotional, spiritual, and mental parts and pieces. Probably, by extension, familial and friendship ones as well. With those parts and pieces co-mingled with mine in the shadows of the bright light of others, may I have permission to explore, briefly, the steps of consideration outlined above? If so, I will inhale and begin … with the understanding I am using the picture above solely for demonstration purposes only. Should GQ, Men’s Vogue, or Esquire call for references, please be advised that my schedule is full at this time.
A writer has to be observant. Under that umbrella are all the senses, of course. I have a mosquito flying into, or out of, my right ear, for example. I did not know that when I took the selfie. Now, the mosquito, apparently, isn’t one of the smarter ones because of my not knowing he, or she, wasn’t there at all. In addition to the lack of hearing any insect-ual sounds so close to my aural cavity, there is no residual effect of a little bump causing incessant scratching by my right index finger since the incident happened. After investigating further, …oh,yeah, it’s the ceiling fan. Mosquitoes are still stupid. No apologies. Observation #1.
I am old. At what point did “crow’s feet” crop up on my face? I’m observing these expanding, “branching wrinkles” (credit to google for such a descriptor) as they are, but don’t need to say, “it is what it is”, eer….”they are what they are”. I see them as little crevasses which aid my “go screw yourself” tears as they avoid the inevitable direct path down over my cheeks. My only recourse is to lobby the powers of the universe to rename such as, “Oyster Shells”. Ah, the beauty. “What’s in a name?”, sayeth Shakespeare. Look at the shape – sideways on my face … just imagine! Draw, in your mind’s eye, a line around the edge. A perfect shell! Do you, my dear reader, want a black, dirty “crow’s feet” beast on your face … or, the holder of a fine, priceless pearl? I ask you…DO you? Observation #2.
Look into my eyes. Really look into my eyes. I can’t. Eyes are, supposedly (boy, I hate saying that word – could there be a more annoying word to say?..I still say a “b” instead of a “d”), the window to one’s soul. Really?. These eyes are half open, tired, worn, and reddened from a long couple of years. Years of “fake it until you make it”, “conceive, believe, achieve”, “powers of positive thinking”, “this is your new normal”, etc… Life is hard. What we see in anyone isn’t always – hardly ever – what’s really going on. Facebook, …Instagram,… Snap-chat,… pick a social media platform and all you’ll see is the 10% up-side of a 90% down-side. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but I would argue I’m not too far off. Observation #3
The unseen. Follow-up. This selfie is the last of five taken. It was a response to a series of texts between three good friends and I. The string was headed into silliness and needed to end, so I simply posted up that selfie with the caption, “…My holiday wish is that you, my good friends, all become as handsome as I…”. It worked! To understand the effectiveness of that, you need to understand my friends, my humility, and the backstories of all of us. With little time, and respect for privacy, this is not possible, of course. What’s possible, though, is sifting all the observations through categories and seeing what comes through the other side…
When in school, especially higher grades, I dreamed of loftier goals. Specifics unimportant. What is important, though, is the fact I wasn’t paying too much attention in class – especially English or Creative Writing. Equally irritating to my teachers? My dad was an English teacher in the very school I attended. It is with this in mind – and awareness in the accessibility and ease, once again, of google – I base the explanation of “categories”.
Apparently there are four ways (categories) to explain what I need to say: expository, persuasive, narrative, and descriptive. I did not know these previous. Simply stated, I can inform, persuade, narrate, or describe. I don’t need to explain myself, so option #1 is out. (laughing out loud here because I really should explain myself to many, many people),,, Should I try to influence you? …hmm. This option #2?.. Nah. Option #3 is telling a story, fact or fiction. Probably a no-go here. I think “a type of expository writing that uses the five senses to paint a picture for the reader…this writing incorporates imagery and specific details” is quite the perfect category. (credit to: freeology.com) Option #4 it is!
I fall best into this category of the five senses. I am sensitive. I have to observe and then write about sensitive things. Missing my mom, relationships, music, emotions, and the “whys” in life chief among them.
To explain myself fully in a blog, or debate to persuade you, means I am uncomfortable. Possible narrative is edgy, sweet, and blog worthy at times, but not steady-reliable.
This category #4 decision, in light of the above picture, was easy now knowing the “official” English class category as “descriptive”, I can say: spectacular specs, rosy-red cheeks, half-way hair-spray hair, inner-flannel flare fashion, and a sincere smile. All of which are so appropriate for a guy who still can’t believe he’s writing a blog about himself.
This is a weird post today. In thinking about the process, I’m going through the process, observing the process while writing about the process. There have been observations made about the picture above I found unsuitable for press, i.e. type. That is, had to make a decision about appropriateness before arriving at “appropriateness”. Huh? My horse was mounted before I wrote about mounting it, in other words.
We do that as amateur bloggers. Look, I’ve been at this such a short time…months – compared to some lifers in the ‘sphere. I can imagine the struggles and victories some must have gone through, year over year regarding what is good to go vs. what is “over the line”. The arrows in THEIR quivers, used over and over to get where they are today, are vastly superior to any I may ever use . I am aware of one writer, who just had a book published, with a local connection. The missed targets. The hits and misses. The interviews, blogs, articles, drafts, late nights, early flights …. what a reward for her to be there, finally, at a book signing. The “suitablility” of that moment to her dreams. Wow. Just. Wow.
Back to my, ahem, picture. So, what is appropriate about my picture? Well, for one … I have clothes on. THAT’S a huge plus. Dear reader, that’s a plus … TRUST me on this. I’m shoulders up, I get it. But, easy filter. I want to say, “showered and shaved” .. and I can. Give me a little side-ways edge on the shaving thing because I rarely shave. A trim-up now and then. The “showered thing”?. You’ll just need to trust me on that. No way to prove it on a two-dimensional picture without a scratch and sniff option – so there! For a fiftyish older guy, I also have, by my estimate, fiftyish % of my scalp covered in hair. It’s that odd time in life when that happens mathematically. If I’m fortunate enough to reach age 90, the math ain’t gonna be so kind. The kindness, however, isn’t in the aging process of the body iself, but in the mind – where the real magic of imagination resides.
As I observe, I see and imagine. Categories and appropriateness automatically fall into place as I’m confident they do for most. My challenge is sarcasm and humor. Herein is my Maginot Line. It can be my false sense of security breached when a thought in my head appears on the screen in type and is immediately assaulted by the forces of common sense. Sometimes.
Other times I am absolutely amazed. Currently, I have drafts in my phone – and in my head – of seemingly unimaginable depth. For example, I haven’t eaten yet today, save a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich three hours ago. THAT amazes me. Oh, and a small box of raisins. An occasional text here and there and an eBay snafu on shipping have been my only distractions. Well, except for the two-thousand-three-hundred-forty-nine times I’ve needed to scroll up to look at my picture in the heading block. Not for reference … just to see my handsome mug (yeah, right)… talk about a wild imagination…
TYING UP THE WHATITS
I does really end up in the arena of imagination, if a blog writer has that in mind for his or her readers at the start. I’ve experienced blogs of an educational nature, debate format, and narrative form. All of them are well written – just not my style. Can’t see a cold, but not bitter, December afternoon hosting a man .. slapping up a humble picture of himself, while skipping necessary caloric intake, for the benefit of his readers without enjoying it fully – which he has. Also, after reading that last sentence, which makes no apparent sense, it is evident the lack of calories is taking its toll on his mind.
With that I will, humbly, close the loop on today’s entry into the log with this:
Imagine, if you will, a life of YOUR imaginings. Take a selfie. Look it over. Carefully. See you as you. Pull the imaginary mosquitoes out of your ears and cherish the oyster shells beside your eyes. They are yours and yours alone. You are in a category all by yourself and suitable to be loved by everyone. Including me. I am so proud to be the writer of your readership in some very small way.
Be humble, my friends.