Morning walk 5th November
There’s something of reflection
In writing a blog
A vain mirrored
In the fog
“…you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it’s done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”
Thinking about digi writing month, while I walked through the damp woods this morning, I wondered about the absence of audience (though its a community project). I thought of how one researcher (was it danah boyd?) reporting on students’ feedback on blogs says that “comments are like oxygen” and how we apparently write blogs with audience in mind. I don’t really think of it as that. I think of it as penetrating the silence that surrounds me, as I live here in the wilds.
I like the snapshots of other places I get from blogs: being transported briefly to other studios, offices, workshops and realities. Whenever I read a blog I get a sense of another context. Online reading is travel, horizon-scanning; online writing is horizon-scanning, imprinting on space. Leaving trace. How about this from Semetsky:
“Nomads must continuously readapt themselves to the open-ended world in which even the line of horizon may be affected by the changing conditions of wind, shifting sands or storms so that no single rule of knowing that [learning about] would ever assist nomads in their navigations, perhaps only knowing how [learning to be, or learning as becoming] would.”
Semetsky quotes Casey:
“What social software can do is to help us re-situate learning in an open-ended social context, providing opportunities for moving beyond the mere accessing of content (learning about) to the social application of knowledge in a constant process of re-orientation (learning as becoming).”
Even if words are sometimes crude vehicles of thought, they can be deft when serialised with images, biographies and – sometimes – comments, so that shoots grow from a seed and words become less owned and personal, and blogs become less like an island and more like a continent of hubs. Is the blog the internet, or is the blog this specific url?
Back to my morning, carousing in the mist.
Let’s suppose that in some parallel, there is another #digiwrimo blogger equally dazed by dawn, walking on the other side of the valley. Equally somnambulist in reverie.
What are the odds that they too think of blogging as creative catharsis and personal archaeology, before settling into academic writing for the day?
Here I came to thinking about comments. Back in the pre-internet 1990s, I recorded prolifically notes, memos, quotes, scraps of stories, observations, anything that caught my mind… in notebook after notebook and country after country. “Mobile learning” pre-mobile. Very personal, very abstracted and nomadic. How would it have been to find a comment written in one, then? What a premise for a story!
So many words I’ve scored, so many words yet to find me…like Beckett is saying, you have no choice. You just keep digging through more and more in every shape and form.
Cut me some slack.
It’s a straight
To my 1980s
When Mrs Wooley
Would hit me with flack.
A view of the machine in this morning’s mist.
And as I write, I pause to watch the roofer over the road stop in his work, stop to watch some disturbed animal on the river. He’s delicately poised on the edge of a roof, fag in mouth, frowning, slate tiles under his arm. He’s frozen in study, I’m arrested by him…is he going to fall?
Suddenly he looks over, directly at me, sitting in my study, eye-to-eye across the street…
And it unnerves me.