Saturday, October 1, 2011

Shame and Regret, Satisfaction and Relief

The post is about blogging. The title doesn't really have to make sense.

These are simply two phrases which popped into my mind simultaneously last week. They are nice word pairings, and somehow, by the end of this post, they will have something to do with the topic. I'll figure it out. You go ahead and read.

"Satisfaction and relief" comes from a scene in Pride and Prejudice when Elizabeth Bennett is chatting with her then-boyfriend, Mr. Wickham, and explaining that Mr. Collins is now going to marry Charlotte Lucas. Wickham says he thought that Collins' affections were inclined elsewhere (i.e. toward Lizzy herself). She tells him that "they took a turn, to everyone's satisfaction." ... "And relief" he adds with a fair amount of self-awareness. Trigger momentary stomach flips; the other suitor is seeking romance elsewhere. Woo hoo! . . .  The "shame/regret" pair comes from a similar stomach-flips moment. In Spooks our resident almost-couple Harry and Ruth have a lovely moment on a bus. Harry has been (temporarily, it turns out) removed from his job as head of the spies. Ruth is riding home from work. He sits down and she wonders how he knew she'd be there. He explains that one night while being driven home he passed her waiting for the bus in the rain. He says that "to his shame. . . and now regret . . . he drove past." Its a sexy moment. His eyes are opening to Ruth and he can imagine that night ending much differently. . .

Meanwhile back at the blog, last week I hit a milestone I'm excited about: 2000 pageviews. And since I don't track my own activity and I don't have a grandma in Iowa happily clicking away, I know that's a fairly real stat that feels great. In fact I had a great month in many bloggy ways -- a lot more consistently good traffic with fair numbers of people finding me by searching on topics I write about. Which means I have already realized the main goal I set for myself when I began writing this a couple of months ago: to be searchable enough that interested readers might conceivably find me.

Yes its a modest goal, and I'm aware that there's probably a much greater likelihood that a person seeking a discussion of "He Knew He Was Right" won't come across my post than that they will. But they might. And that's cool. I guess thats the satisfaction part of this post. And maybe the relief too. Like Wickham, its nice to know that this little experiment hasn't been a waste of time.

Yes it feels odd to put thoughts out there and ask people to read them, which they obligingly have :) and simultaneously wondering "what is my job here?" Harry, adrift on a bus. What do I have to add to the world's knowledge that makes me arrogant enough to blab about it?

I've been thinking about that question a lot, given that others have far more in-depth and intricate knowledge, and it makes me feel weak and ineffective chatting about my TV preferences when I'm a self-described dilettante with no particular knowledge of directors, behind the scenes, locations, or the recent gossip, or any other thing that can electrify my topics with heretofore untold meaning. I think this is the shame part of the post.

I realize my strength though, is in finding relationships, connections and viewpoints -- sometimes out of nothing, like I'm doing with this post here (lol). Connecting life to TV, thoughts to one another, finding shows that are similar or performances that are not -- is something I can do and add to the blogosphere. And, along these lines, can conclude that while blogging has brought satisfaction, relief and shame, I have no place for regret either in this post or in life. As long as I can live each day in an exploration of ideas that are stimulating and in pursuing actions I am proud to own, then there is no place for that.

Sorry Harry you're on your own there. (If I had been in the driver's seat that rainy night you would have definitely stopped for the girl, and probably gotten invited in for a nightcap.)

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