Thursday, September 29, 2005

Blogging For Letters

I used to write a lot of letters, the on-paper kind that got mailed and arrived in envelopes days later. I was the guy looking soulful in the back of the coffee shop in the late '90s who looked like he was journaling, except I was actually writing epistles, so it was okay, I was cool and not a dork. No, really. I don't do it much anymore, the reasons for which are many and varied, but that's not really the point of this entry. Well, maybe it sort of is.

L. and I sometimes still write each other letters, though we have lived in the same space for years. Mine are usually writ when I am on a plane trip somewhere, she sometimes just writes whilst I assume she is doing prep work for school. It's an ongoing narrative--when we were dating but living on opposite sides of the coast the narrative was about dual meanings of writing each other--both the act of sending letters and the act of creating the other person out of words, a liter(al/ary) conjuring act (God, that was soooo post-modern I can hardly stand it). The other person isn't there, so you write them. The other returns the favor by writing you.

L. wrote me a letter a few weeks back positing that this is exactly what I am doing when blogging, is writing letters. Sam and Rebecca have pretty much the same dialog going that L. and I do, only it is posted for all to see, the acknowledgement that they are writing each other only tacit. I haven't written either of them an actual physical letter in years, but we've been trading acknowledgements back and forth for a month or two now, never directly acknowledging that this is what we're doing, but a dialog goes on nonetheless. It's like having a conversation with someone at the next table in a restaurant by overhearing the conversation they're having, and then responding by having a conversation with the person with whom you're actually sitting.

Did I have a point here? Did I even have a thesis that wasn't borrowed from my wife? Em...no. Apparently not.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Yes. Yes, indeed. The restaurant conversation is the perfect analogy for this, and it explains something for me that had been nagging at the back of my mind. It explains why I almost never comment here. I have to read the posts, think about them, and then, inevitably, my own blog posts are just responses (even if, often, they are utterly indirect).

I guess that's part of the blogging phenomenon, though, as most 'big' bloggers are always working with, through, against what other blogger say.

But I have to say: I had no idea getting into this that it would have the sort of 'intimacy' (don't have a better name for it) that it sometimes does.

And I'm not kidding: GO SEE SERENITY NOW!!!