Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Blog Not. Therefore...

I am not.  Not really.  But it feels like it sometimes.

Following are excuses I give for my absence in the blogoverse:  I'm busy.  I have nothing to say.  I have lots to say but none of it worthy for public consumption.

Therefore, I blog not.  Which does not mean I write not.  Only that I write things kept hidden away in a file called “best not published” and that I tap away quietly in the small sliver of space that exists in the dark when the children are sleeping and the dogs are snoring and Sig Other is breathing rhythmically beside me, oblivious to my restlessness.  But if I’m writing in the dark, if my writing is a tree falling in an abandoned forest, then why bother?  What is the point of setting out to be brave if I stay hidden behind “being too busy” or “having nothing to say?”

The rabbi talked tonite about modalities of prayer.  She talked about keva and kavenah.  Practice and intention.  She talked about how sometimes you show up to pray and nothing happens.  Sometimes you show up and you go through the shema and the amidah and the choreography of the ritual and you don’t just show up once, you show up three times a day.  And three times a day you say a version of the same thing over and over and you may say it three times a day for weeks on end or even years and feel nothing.  Or one day you show up and you do the same exact thing you’ve done for days or years before and something is different – you may get stuck on a word or an idea or a piece of the prayer and you are struck by how moved you are. 

I think a lot about just showing up – for friends, for family, for colleagues.  And I think a lot about whether it matters how I FEEL about showing up.  Whether I go to a funeral or a birthday party or a sickbed or a premiere with good intention or ill turns out to not really matter at all.  And it turns out that in Judaism, just showing up is half the battle.  Whether you’re there for the right reason, whether you feel what you’re supposed to feel when you’re supposed to feel it – all that is really secondary to the doing of the thing.  It doesn’t matter how you feel about showing up.  It matters that you do it.   

Writing, blogging even, may be the same.  It may be that the greatest thing I can do when I don’t feel like writing – the greatest gift I can give myself when I feel that I have nothing to say at all – is to sit down and write.  Because the practice of it – showing up at my computer – showing up on the page – may be more important than whether or not I feel inspired in the moment to write something beautiful or something profound or something funny.   So here I am.  And I’m making a pledge to show up more often.

1 comment:

CampusLady said...

Glad you show up and will keep doing so. You touch people even when you feel you have nothing to say - we appreciate your sharing what are universal truths, mirroring what we all feel, but sometimes don't have the courage to say. Showing up and sharing, that is what is important!