Monday, March 01, 2010

Get ready

For boring posts, I'm going to steal my brother's pictures.

“There are two ways of writing novels. One is mine, making a sort of musical comedy without music and ignoring real life altogether; the other is going right deep down into life and not caring a damn.” --PG Wodehouse

Or to echo my quote from last week: I want to know if I’m worth your time. I’ve had a very bad cold the last couple of days, which is just a bad excuse for not writing, but it is one of those times where you just want to curl up in bed and have someone bring you chicken soup on a tray. I’m having a hard time convincing myself that my life is interesting enough to write about every day. It certainly doesn’t seem interesting enough to me.

Blogging is an odd thing to do for Lent. The whole idea is to make me think about my faith every day, but I end up thinking, instead, about how much I’m boring the whole world at large. I had an easy time writing about my life every day when I was living on the boat, or hiking, or traveling--doing something interesting with my life. I know there are plenty of people with ordinary-life sites, many of which I read voraciously, but my life itself just feels so mind-numbing.

The problem with writing about it every day is that it makes me want to take off to parts unknown. An Afghanistan blog--that’d be worth reading, wouldn’t it? A girl building a house with her own hands--you’d want to read that, right? Someone who decided to pick cotton with her teeth for an entire year, while weaving her own clothes from flowers? Wouldn’t that be the best blog ever??

No. It makes me feel bored with my life, which doesn’t make me all that happy. I guess everyone feels bored with their lives sometimes. Maybe I’ll finish with a quote, too. When in doubt, use other people’s wordds to make myself seem more interesting. This guy was the first person to walk solo to the South Pole. Now, there’s something worth writing about.

“Inspiration comes from doing the work, not as a catalyst to do the work.”
--Todd Carmichael


Anonymous said...

I hope you're joking about taking off to parts unknown just for the sake of having more interesting material to blog about! "Ordinary-life sites" often have just as much insight to offer, depending on the perspective of the writer.

And anyway - no matter what you're writing about, Melissa, it's never boring. I look forward to reading about whatever adventures await you.

Rodger said...

When I got back from our life on the boat I was bored silly with living a comfortable life where everything came so easy, but of course I'm very fortunate to have it that way. We should be able to find joy and adventure in our own front yards, right? So far, I think you're doing that, so keep the faith!

Melissa said...

Thanks, guys. Glad I'm not boring you to tears. Just give me time!! Just joking.

It is really harder for me, though. I know that I should be able to find adventure and joy in my own ordinary life. Blogging every day is just making me realize that maybe I'm not doing such a good job with that.

Anonymous said...

It sounds so cliche, but my life has been one adventure after another now that I have a kid. Leaving Chicago for 15 acres in Saxapahaw NC doesn't hold a candle to trying to toilet train a toddler. As soon as we get her passport I hope to get some traveling adventures under our belts!

Oh, and I've been meaning to tell you that I've enjoyed your posts about yoga.

wfrenn said...

I have followed your blog for two years now and, whatever else you are, you never bore folks. For every reader who comments, there must be scores that remain silent. I like to think that they are mute because they are awed. You could write volumes in a prison cell, as Gramsci in his Prison Notebooks, because you bring to the page your own wealth of reading, thought, experience, and imagination. You are bright enough not to be vapid or windy, and though you frustrate sometimes with your hyper self-criticism, self-doubt, terror, ambiguity, bouts with futility, perfectionism and second-guessing yourself, you more than make up for it with a genuine interest in art, ability to write, sense of adventure, curiosity about society, religious insight, cultural sensitivity and aesthetic awareness. Not bad for thirty-one.
I worried for a while that you would disappear after you closed the chapter on ocean adventuring on Secret (where I picked up with you) and had a brief online emotional meltdown, but you have came back strong, and a year later, you write with greater emotional maturity and intellectual depth, and it becomes clear that your writing is the expression of a creative mind that writes for the same reason that Stefan Zweig (The World of Yesterday) wrote, namely the real inner need to express yourself in writing and to be heard by the wider world.
I think I speak for many when I urge you: Never give up! We read you, wonder where you will go next, and root for you.


Melissa said...

I do believe that all life contains its own adventure. That being said, I am a traveler at heart, and I know I'll have future wanderings. That's part of my plan with the Alabama land, to have a home base I can return to. A stable point for my compass to rest.

Thanks to you, Walter, especially. Now that I'm not sailing, I have a harder time justifying my online musings, and I have a hard time answering that question: why do I post my thoughts, occasionally intimate, in such a public forum? I don't know if I could answer that.

Keats said he would write his poems every night even if they were burned every morning. I'm not sure I'm quite there, but I think I would read my little essays on art and culture and life even if there wasn't such a thing as the internet to publish them on. So maybe in the 1800s I would have been a pamphleteer. In the 80s, I would have written a zine. And today, I'm lucky enough to live in the age of the web.