Tuesday, August 3, 2010
An Accidental Defense of Blogging by Dave Eggers
So I finally muscled through this hefty tome of injustice and loss, What is the What by Dave Eggers. And you know something? The "what" is revealed on the very last page, the very last paragraph, and it is quite possibly (and accidentally) the most exquisite explanation of the blogging phenomenon I can imagine:
"Whatever I do...I will tell these stories. I have spoken to every person I have encountered these last difficult days...because to do anything else would be something less than human. I speak to these people, and I speak to you because I cannot help it. It gives me strength, almost unbelievable strength, to know that you are there. I covet your eyes, your ears, the collapsible space between us. How blessed are we to have each other? I am alive and you are alive so we must fill the air with our words. I will fill today, tomorrow, every day until I am taken back to God. I will tell stories to people who will listen and to people who don't want to listen, to people who seek me out and to those who run. All the while I will know that you are there. How can I pretend that you do not exist? It would be almost as impossible as you pretending that I do not exist."
Sometimes blogging feels like speaking your words to the wind-they may get caught in a tree and flutter there unnoticed, high above the heads of passersby, or get swept into the void and disappear.
No matter. When we write (or photograph or design) we confirm our own existence, and yours too. It is an acknowledgement of sorts.
Sending a message presumes a receiver...willing or not, one reader or a million. And to see so many people finding so many ways to acknowledge and connect with each other...it's the most human thing, and the most hopeful thing, I can imagine.
photo via Real Simple