Oh dear. Oh dearie dearie me. Lawks, even.
I am back in my seven-year old body, all skinny angles and rabbit teeth, watching the big girls rush past in the playground, and thinking I can never be, will never be, even the tiniest bit as COOL as Penelope is. Yes, she was actually called Penelope. Life had dished the sparkles out at birth, when the good fairy had given her an exotic name and the blond mane to go with it. A purple Raleigh bike with a basket on the front. A mum that let her wear WHITE socks, not itchy grey ones that bagged at the ankles, and bought her Quavers. A secret Rule Book that made her the ultimate authority on Hopscotch, French skipping and IT. A radiant personality. I wasn’t quite sure what that was back then, to be honest, but I was pretty sure that hiding in a doorway wasn’t necessary if you had one.
This blogging lark is that playground, on a massive scale. Since deciding to start a blog was a spur of the moment thing, I thought I should pay some proper attention to those who have been blogging for a while. Try and read the rulebook over their shoulder. Off for a spin and see what the traffic is like out there.
Millions. Millions and millions of bloggers. Right now, right here, their daily moments rushing past me in an unstoppable tide. Conservatively, 145 million blogs are careering around the blogosphere this very second, their creators sobbing, arguing, complaining, creating, dreaming, reporting, commentating, interpreting life in millions of different ways.
Small. Insignificant. Unimportant. Alone. Back to the doorway.
Back to what it really means to be blood, flesh and bone on this planet. Back to such a dark place that the imagination can’t stay there for long and sets off again, hurtling through the neural overload to make contact. New York, Paris, China, Scotland. Private griefs placed in public view. Public figures and personal analysis. Humour, boredom, materialism, socialism. Literature, Art, Science, politics: the debate of the day reduced to the issue of the moment. Clever conversations, acid wit, informed analysis: everywhere I stop I find another view to admire.
What can I say? What should I think? Do I think at all? Perhaps I only think I think? Does it matter to anyone whether I think or not? So much is out there that I am only sure of original thought while it is still in my skull. Even then, am I sure that I am original ?
Such a seething tide of individual self-expression has a counter-intuitive effect: it removes the boundaries of distance, culture, belonging, and absorbs each tiny piece of humanity into a giant whirlpool of perpetual commentary. Into a huge playground of shouting, moving figures all with voices to raise and complicated games to play.
As I said, dearie me, girl. What’s the matter?
To be unique. To stand outside. To matter. To survive. To be me.
Back to the doorway. I’m not hiding, Miss, I’m thinking.