Relinquishing

The pile of books on my “not-read-yet” shelf keeps on growing:

I’m daunted and challenged and excited every time I look at it, depending on how gung-ho my mood is that day.  An author at a panel about the future of the novel talked about how a book remains in your life even after you stop reading it.  It lives in your room, a physical manifestation of thought and the mind.  Like framed pictures hung on a wall or set on a table, there are some objects people own that records and identifies.  A public and private shorthand of who you are or wish to be.

I was talking to a friend the other day about rituals – marriage, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, etc.  Why should we care?  In the past, I felt that these were just forms and traditions that were just re-confirmations of what people should already know – that you’re a year older yet no different, that you love someone and shouldn’t have to prove it through a marriage ceremony.  Yet there’s something about externalizing and publicizing that makes what was once private, secret, internal somehow eternal and permanent.  “Speaking things into existence.”

.I might be the last person in the world to finally start thinking about this deeply, but blogs tread the line between public and private.  I read about this woman today, who live-tweeted her abortion.

.I don’t know what to make of this.  Judging from her video, she seems to be genuinely motivated by the desire to help other women see abortion as she does – not a terrible thing.  I think she thinks of it as a public service announcement to other women trying to make the same difficult decision.

I’m trying to figure out what this blog is for.  I think for now, it’s a venue for sharing, in every sense of the word.  To share something private is to be generous and open, rather than closed and secretive, no?  To invite collaboration and at the very least, to not hold on with Gollum-arms to those not so precious thoughts.

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