The Muse

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Reach for the Thought That Feels Better

Well, I feel better just looking at this picture. How about you?

How many years have I been blogging? A pile. For the last week or so, though, I have been in a stall. You know one of those “What’s the use of it?” stalls. Not that I don’t appreciate all you guys who click in, I just wonder if I have anything of use to offer.

Seth Godin says this about blogging

 "No one clicked on it, no one liked it..."

These two ideas are often uttered in the same sentence, but they're actually not related.
People don't click on things because they like them, or because they resonate with them, or because they change them.
They click on things because they think it will look good to their friends if they share them.
Or they click on things because it feels safe.
Or because they're bored.
Or mystified.
Or because other people are telling them to.
Think about the things you chat about over the water cooler. It might be last night's inane TV show, or last weekend's forgettable sporting event. But the things that really matter to you, resonate with you, touch you deeply--often those things are far too precious and real to be turned into an easy share or like or click.
Yes, you can architect content and sites and commerce to get a click. But you might also choose to merely make a difference.

Most of us want to make a difference, yet I wonder, am I?

I wonder why I read blogs.

Sometimes it’s about content. I want to know how to do something, and thank heavens the internet can tell me how to work some of these high-tech devices, or the not so high tech, like how to fix the washing machine. That’s something we didn’t have years ago.

Something I read a blog because it appeals to me.

Sometimes I check out a blog because I believe it will help me, as Lisa Steele did on #Fresh Eggs Daily, when my two chickens died on the same day. She was so sympathetic. (Not my present chickens, they are doing fine.)

Sometimes we read because we’re curious as I have become interested in the life of Shreve in her blog #The Daily Coyote.

Sometimes we read for entertainment.

That makes me think of a morning three days ago when I had sushi for breakfast.

Well it was 11 am, almost lunch time and daughter wanted sushi, and sitting there I tried to think back to when American’s found that raw fish dipped in soy sauce and Wasabi horse radish tasted good. I remember the movie Lifeboat in which one of the fellows offered the Tallulah Bankhead’s character a tiny filet of fish, and disgusted, she threw it overboard. (Darn, no soy or Wasabi.)

My mind went off on a tangent, thinking about when we were kids and stood in the back of a pickup truck while it was barreling down the road at 50 miles an hour. Nope, I wouldn’t let my kids do that. But we did, and didn’t think anything about it.

And I thought about how the playground had no rubber padding, and the slide was so hot we scorched our bare legs on the way down. We drank a Coke once in a while, as a treat, not as a daily occurrence, and we didn’t have cup holders on baby seats, car seats, electric wheel barrows or lawn mowers. How did we ever stay hydrated? And what about those party lines where the phone was attached to the wall? Horrors.

I’m not saying those were the good old days, just remembering. A friend of mine who died this year said she wanted to stay around jut to see what would happen next.

So, what is going to happen next?

Who can predict? Right now I’m thinking that we can watch horror movies, (Why?) or violent ones, and listen to the naysayers, and let the media scare the pants off us. Oh dear, the election coverage is already blatant a year before the event will happen. Or, we can do as Abraham says, “Reach for the thought that feels better.”

We can notice that we breathed the night through without thinking about it. We can be grateful the engineers have given us highways in which we can travel in comfort to just about any place on the continent. (No covered wagons.)

And we have airplanes that will take us off the continent and bring us back.  We can be grateful that this thin layer of atmosphere--so thin that Mt Everest sticks up above it--sustains us. That we are lucky to live on this emerald blue and green planet that has such wonders it could or should put us into a constant state of awe.

Autumn: Outside my window, one branch on an otherwise green tree is red. And in October flowers are still blooming, and last night I heard a frog choking…

“Hack, gak, awk- the sound of a frog choking. Of course I meant to say, “croaking,” but instead said “choking.” What the heck, it’s funnier. 

ONE YEAR ON THE ISLAND, chapter One, two , three and four available on