September 12, 2002

exercise in blogging

Why do I always decide to get a powdered-sugar-covered doughnut when I'm wearing
dark colors?

I'm wearing dark colors because I had felt like wearing
a black outift yesterday, and didn't for fear it might look like mourning clothes.
Wearing mourning somehow seems presumptuous, since no one I know died in the
attacks (as far as I know).

Though it was shocking, during the
reading of the names from the ATC, to hear a few names of people I knew. None of
the names I recognized were terribly uncommon in areas with large Jewish
communities, like the one I grew up in. And like New York. Still, it's possible.
Northeast Philadelphia to New York City is not such a big step.

Someone at work commented that I wasn't wearing red white and blue.
No way in hell. I believe in patriotism, as I've said several times, but in
patriotism of the reasoned sort. Jingoism scares me. Also, I believe it's as
important to remember all those from other countries who died in the WTC (that
"World" in "World Trade Center" is not just window dressing, y'know) as it is to
remember all of those who weren't Jews but who died in the Holocaust. And for much
the same reason.

This is beginning to remind me of last year, when
for weeks all topics led back to the attacks on the WTC and the

Enough of that.

I realized this morning that
if I add together my rowing and erg distances, after tomorrow's planned workout
(which only includes about 2500m) I will have rowed roughly 35K this week. The
national team probably does that in a day, but I don't care. It still sounds like
a distance to be proud of for me. Besides, the National Team members don't work
for a living while they're doing their two workouts a day (though they have a hell
of a time getting funding and sponsorships and I don't want to make light of
that), whereas I am not only an Athlete in Training but also a Rising Young
Professional with a Responsible Job. (A description of my life worthy of a
professional spin doctor -- but it sounds good, doesn't it?)

been thinking of starting a weblog, because all kinds of things like the above
keep coming to mind. I always mean to put them in the day's journal entry, but
forget by the time I'm writing it. Occasionally I'll make notes, if I have a geat
idea for an essay, but all the little fluttery train-of-though bits get lost.

On the other hand, not keeping a blog may be a valuable
writing exercise. The problem with writing down everything I think is that it begs
the question of whether everything I think is worth writing down. No, on further
thought the answer to that is obvious, so rephrase the problem. It begs the
question of whether everything I originally think is worth writing down really is.
I'm fairly sure it isn't, which would mean that there's little point to having a
record of everything I thought on a given day. I honestly believe that if Internet
archives survive that long, online journals and blogs will someday be an
invaluable resource to historians hoping to study how ordinary people lived and
thought, but journals are already informal enough for that, and there comes a
point when more information is not useful but just superflous, not to mention
boring. (If I've already passed that point, I hope no one will tell me.) So no
blog, though I may try to be better about jotting thoughts down so I can judge
whether to expand on them or toss them away.

Come to think of it,
these are useful for more than just historians. There's the soap-opera
entertainment aspect of course, and the somewhat more worthy aspects of making and
keeping up with friends, and of the feedback from guestbooks and comments but
there's also a tremendous reassurance from peeking into other people's lives: Yes,
there are others who feel the way I do. Yes, there are people who have faced the
same dilemmas, and yes they survived, and here are how their choices worked out.
Yes, everyone else sometimes feels unworthy too. Reading journals may also provide
the occasional healthy smackdown: no, you don't feel things more intensely than
everyone else. No, you're not the only one who likes to use irony and can spot
hypocrisy. Yes, you're made of good stuff and you have potential; no, you're not
superior to everyone else. Yes, you deserve to be taken seriously; no, you
shouldn't take yourself too seriously. Or as Aunt Eller says in Oklahoma,
"I don't say I'm no better than anybody else, but I'll be damned if I ain't jist
as good!" What else does anyone need to hear, in the lifelong process of building

There I go, trying to be all profound again. So much for
not taking yourself too seriously!!

Posted by dichroic at September 12, 2002 09:50 AM
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