I just read through all my old posts, and I feel sort of overwhelmed. Almost like I couldn't put that much effort into anything I'd write now. I miss the old days when I used to express myself to a mostly anonymous crowd (we "bloggers" were in the great minority then), and only a few of my closest friends got to read my *real* thoughts.... the little interpersonal observations that only they had any context from which to derive meaning anyway. And so we went on living by the light of day, but in the privacy of our back hallways or makeshift computer rooms or bedrooms (I was never so lucky), we took off our masks to bask in the glow of our flickering tube monitors, we bared our souls to LiveJournal (or DeadJournal or Blurty or Xanga...), and we felt suddenly legitimized, seeing these deep introspections in published print. We typed in 80-width text fields what we couldn't (or wouldn't?) say out loud, and when we really wanted our friends to step into our minds, we posted "friends only" those most personal of our soulful exposés. We trusted that our truest friends would read them, and know, and understand. Hell, many times the people that ventured the furthest into our blogs became our truest friends. And we read, and we knew, and we understood. We created an entirely new mode of communication with those blogs.... a new outlet, a new therapy. And we were better friends to each other, because we suddenly realized that we were all very much alive together. Mine wasn't the only life that had a full-bodied narration echoing through my mind at all times, inaudible to the world around me and often making me feel insane. We all have those quiet thoughts, analyses, interpretations, concerns, fears, compassions, passions, questions, answers.... many of these we hid deep within our hearts. We finally just found a place where we felt safe enough to share them. And it was good.
And I felt so much more alive.
This blog is impersonal and even, at times, dispassionate. Did I get too old to think my quiet voices mattered? Did I decide that I was content to wholly internalize that never-ending conversation? That I didn't need friends of the emotional sort? It's certainly possible that I didn't want any for a while. I probably didn't want people I cared about to hear what my voices had to say. But, by protecting my friends from the evils in my mind, I also was protecting the evils in my mind from my friends, giving them a safe, warm place to grow and prosper. Maybe I'm too ashamed to re-open those overgrown gates. Maybe the wrought-iron hinges are too rusty to budge. Maybe I'm afraid of what ghastly sights the light of a new day will reveal. But I do know this: I'm so, so, soooo ready to feel alive again. I AM a human being, complete with a heart and a brain and a soul. Cynicism and isolation are for the birds. I'm kicking open my secret garden. Do you want to come in?
"United with his fellow-men by the strongest of all ties, the tie of a common doom, the free man finds that a new vision is with him always, shedding over every daily task the light of love. The life of Man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long. One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm of sympathy, to give them the pure joy of a never-tiring affection, to strengthen failing courage, to instil faith in hours of despair." - Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic