Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Rest In Uncertainty

OK, I think I'm better now. In retrospect I probably wasn't that sick, but as with most illnesses the first thing to go is motivation. And since I was on spring break it was hard to justify the little time I did feel well sitting at the computer, especially since spring has finally sprung in good ol' MN. So rather than address you folks I chose to sit huddled on a park bench with my hooded sweatshirt pulled tight around my ears watching the kids attack the local playground with renewed vigor.

It was actually quite nice. I do appreciate the well wishes however, thank you for your concern.

I also managed to finish a really good book, The Tenth Man, by Graham Greene. To be honest, one of the reasons I was able to finish it was because it was a reasonable length, but more about that later (in the literary world they call that foreshadowing). I firmly believe that you can tell the quality of a book by the opening paragraph and this one was a doozy;
"Most of them told the time very roughly by their meals, which were unpunctual and irregular: they amused themselves with the most childish games all through the day, and when it was dark they fell asleep by tacit consent-not waiting for a particular hour of darkness for they had no means of telling the time exactly: in fact there were as many times as there were prisoners."

Or, in the words of Dorothy Boyd, "You had me at hello." My favorite opening paragraph however, comes from A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole,

"A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps full of uncut hair and fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two different directions at once. Full pursed lips protruded beneath the bushy black moustache and, at their corners, sank into little folds filled with disapproval and potato chip crumbs. In the shadow under the green visor of the cap Ignatius J. Reilly's supercilious blue and yellow eyes looked down upon the other people waiting under the clock at the D. H. Holmes department store, studying the crowd for signs of bad taste in dress. Several of the outfits, Ignatius noticed, were new enough and expensive enough to be properly considered offenses against taste and decency. Possessing of anything new or expensive only reflected a person's lack of theology and geometry; it could even cast doubts upon one's soul."

But I didn't come here today to critique books, I'll save that for Sunday. Rather, I'd like to address something that occurred to me during my absence. You see, I've only been doing this blog thing for a few months and aside from Sophia and Gitsul I don't really know any of you personally. And yet I feel a sense of kinship that goes beyond the mostly anonymous identities we have created for ourselves. In fact one of you even sent a nice note via E-mail, which I assume was out of kindness and concern for my unannounced disappearance (that was nice too, thanks). I actually felt a sense of neglect for not being around lately and not contributing to the conversation. In some ways I see you folks as friends. I enjoy your company and look forward to reading your thoughts, both on your blogs and mine.

This weekend was also the 6th anniversary of the death of my niece and I also found out that my friend's grandfather recently died. I felt pretty bad about that because I have a weird fascination with the obits but for some reason I missed his.

With all of those things I started wondering over the weekend, what if something happened to one of us? It's bound to happen eventually but how would we know? I'm sure there are lot of people who simply decide to stop blogging without any notice but how are we to tell those form the ones who are forced to quit do to illness or demise? As I said I don't know any of you personally and yet I think I'd be really sad if I found out one of you had died. But again, how would I know? If it were me, I doubt anyone other than Gitsul would hear about it. And yet he didn't know about FrankenKristin's brain surgery until months afterward so you can see how I've neglected even that relationship.

I understand that all of you would eventually move on without me, perhaps rather quickly, and yet I truly believe that even in this short time, each one of you has touched my life and I would want you to know someday I shed my mortal container.

Or maybe I'm still a little loopy from the medication.


OneEar said...

Hope to see you on the other side.

The Poodle's Friend said...

I've thought about that too but then I thought I was being morbid so I stopped. Maybe it's better not to think about it?

I'm glad you're back.

frankengirl said...

"As I said I don't know any of you personally and yet I think I'd be really sad if I found out one of you had died. But again, how would I know?"

I'll be sure to send my cyber-ghost to haunt your blog - :P

Lovely post, Sven. I, too, feel a strange kinship to the cyber-personalities who have shared glimpses into their lives and minds with me.

Sophia said...

Sven, I had intended to send you an e-Kleenex earlier. Hope this is better late than never.

I have wondered that too...but I agree with FrankenGirl - we would probably haunt each other in the form of some eerie, inexplicable inspiration.

Nice post.

The Boy said...

"Sven": Your essay is the perfect example of why we become so close so fast to other bloggers: we "communicate" rather than "talk". We take off some of our masks and let others see parts of us—the humanness, warmness, the kindness, our fears and our hurts. To leave in any form or manner takes a part away from those left behind.

And don't start with the "Left Behind" schtick.

Glad you're back. I missed you.

Nikki said...

Wow Sven,
I was thinking of this very thing the other day. I really enjoy the "conversation" I get from blogging. New worlds open. We can only cross our fingers that we'll all be around for years to come to aggrevate, stimulate the minds of, and get a laugh from, those around us. Glad you're all better.

St Jude said...

I miss my new found 'friends' when one of them is away. You are right, in such a short space of time it is hard to understand how we can become so 'attached' to one another.

As you will no doubt have noticed, much of my blog is light hearted and some may say superficial, however there is actually a great deal of me there. Just hidden, needs must and all of that.

But how strange it seems that we are in the whole not able to show our true likeness, for me the closest I have got is a picture of me as a child. (The Captain recognised it immediately, and I hadn't even told him I was blogging.) I have toyed with the idea of an up to date photo, but perhaps in the future.

Are saints allowed to haunt?

gitsul said...

Sounds like you were using the best medicine available, watching your kids have fun.

But bewarned, just like any drug you need to increase your intake to maintain the effectiveness. You may need to increase your tolerance level for this drug, Sven.

Sven said...

So I guess I'm not the only one who has wondered about this. It is interesting that the nature of this type of community allows us to reveal our inner selves and yet many of have kept our outward selves (as St. Jude points out) much more closely guarded. For me that's what makes the relationships we have developed so unusual. The Admiral and others have written about this as well wondering how it is that such a disparate groups of folks, with what would seem to be very little in common in the "real world", could create such a closely knit group. Maybe I should stop thinking so hard ands just be grateful.

BTW, feel free to haunt all you want but I still expect you to comment.

Attila The Mom said...

What a great post!

I agree with you. I do feel connected through this communication. When someone hasn't posted for awhile I get a bit anxious.

I'm so glad you're feeling better!