I'd prepared a whole post on all the things I've just finished, and there's been a bit this week since the gastro moved on to other greener gills. But I always feel a bit wrong about those ooh looky here at what I've done posts. Especially when there's really quite a bit to look at.
Whenever I do one I tend to get comments like, where do I find the time, aren't I amazing, look at all the stuff. It's a bit like I'm saying aren't I clever? Go on, tell me how clever you think I am. Like the stuff is what I actually care about.
And you know, that really isn't what I like about blogging. I mean, sure I like compliments. I actually really get a kick if I make something that anyone loves as much as me, but that should just be a little garnish on the side, not the main course.
The whole point really needs more substance than that. Those posts where you stumble on something if not profound, then at least an interesting observation about the lives we share, the basis on which we connect. The nature of creativity, the human condition, the complex meaning of blogging, the challenge of parenthood...the list is so long it seems astonishing I don't have more to say on a regular basis.
But the truth is I often stumble off to blog land for some respite from all that. Sometimes I don't even read the words (shame sooz, shame!) and just look at the pictures of other people's work. Sometimes I do it for the inspiration, for ideas and impetus to try something new, to learn new techniques, to contemplate new crafts. To marvel at the quilts, the softies, the knitting, the collage...
And sometimes I do it for the mesmerising, soothing alpha rays of random craft, to lose myself in the colours and forms of other people's creativity. Like going to the gallery, sometimes the most profound lessons of art are the things that occur to you later, when you are thinking through what you've seen, putting the pieces of culture together that make a connection to your own life. Make meaning.
Other times I like nothing more than reading a story, an analysis, an angsty exploration of the insolvable riddles that confront us day after day. I vicariously celebrate the victories, empathise with the sadnesses, ponder the dilemmas. Sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh out loud, often I tell David about something I read.
So perhaps my flip flop on posts reflect my ambivalence about whether blogging is showing you the stuff, a few more images in your internal slide show, or whether I'm here to tell you what I think about the stuff that's out there. Either way it's a statement about where I am on any given day. Pushing myself up the staircase and looking for support, encouragement, acknowledgement that others share the journey. Other times I'm on top of the world and all I want to do is show you the view.