Monday, January 16, 2006

Blogging is good for the soul…

Or can be anyway.

I write, mostly because it helps me slow my mind down, organize my thoughts and settle the internal debates I’m having at the time.

The last few posts I’ve made, I actually almost didn’t post. They felt very personal, exposed some of my (in my mind) shortcomings, and painted a somewhat less than ‘perfect’ picture of me, or so I thought initially.

Over the past few days, the thoughts, comments and emails I’ve received let me know that I’ve touched a chord with more than a few of you.

That one fact alone, made posting them worth it to me. First, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in these kinds of thoughts, anxieties and decisions. Maybe more importantly though, I’ve found that not only are a number of you wrestling with many of the same issues, you’re reaching similar conclusions!

Outside of this cyber-place, I rarely have the opportunity to discuss these kinds of things, except with my wife. They’re certainly not the kind of discussions you normally have over a couple of beers while watching a game. Also, the folks I used to be able to have these kinds of discussions with, are either too far away, or have passed away. As I’ve mentioned here before, I often didn’t know how unique a particular friendship was, until it was no longer available to me.

So this place, you folks, have become like a sort of cyber-coffeehouse… We each get our chance to speak our minds, and then the others chime in with their thoughts, feelings and experiences on the topic. Once again this place turns out to be quite different than I’d originally anticipated.

I find myself wishing we could all get together on a regular basis and have these sorts of conversations in real time, face to face, in three dimensions. I know if I’m ever traveling and it will bring me close to where you live, I’ll be letting you know on the off chance you’d take me up on ‘coffee and conversation’.

I’ve been amazed this weekend in particular that several of us have been reflecting along very similar lines. Separated by 1,000’s of miles, having never actually met in person and without this media would know nothing of one another, yet, here we are, posting on very similar topics and interacting with one another. Judging by the comments, we’ve all touched on some very common points.

Even 10, 5 or maybe even 2 years ago, it’s doubtful we’d have ever known what the other was thinking, let alone that there were many, many others thinking virtually identically. It’s actually amazing to me that we’ve all discovered one another.

One of my fairly regular ‘blog activities’ is to click the next button several times to see what kinds of blogs I’ll stumble on, another is to go to places like “weblogs” and check out recently updated blogs… for every 1,000 or so I visit, maybe, just maybe one or two will catch my interest… knowing that, the fact that we’ve all stumbled upon one another, remains one of the internet’s sweet mysteries to me!

So while I’ve been thanked from time to time for providing ‘soul food’ or thought provoking posts, the most important thing to me is that what I write connects with you from time to time. So, from that standpoint alone, this, was a very good weekend and I thank you all!!!

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Firehawk said...


Man, the world's moving far too fast for me. I feel like there's some sort of time dialation going on, because it seems like I can never keep up with anything lately. I've wanted to comment on all your posts, but I sometimes have to just stay away from the computer for a few days. Otherwise--madness, right?

I think you're right about that odd ability of cyberspace to make us feel like we can talk about serious things we may never tackle in daily life. I'm sure the head-shrinkers would have something to say about it. The illusion of distance, the ease of unburdening one's self to people not in a position to judge, etc, but it still is something that takes you by surprise.

I'm glad we have "this place" (wherever we exist on a server somewhere). I know, for me, it's been quite an experience to share with others, and to gain from their wisdom.

Bill said...

Firehawk - I hear ya bro... it happens to me from time to time as well. Lately, I can do my 8-10 hours for the job, but I have little left for 'surfing'... I want/need something unrelated.

One of these days I'm going to start a series of posts about this 'connection' phenomenon... it has it good, and bad, components.

It's been quite the experience for me to, one that from time to time, does in fact overwhelm and surprise me, in the best possible ways!!

Nic said...

BLogging is cathartic and theraputic, my friend, it's also very, very personal for most people b/c it allows complete strangers a greater insight into our lives. I'm glad that you're able to open yourself up like that and allow us to get to know you better!

BTW, I have an Ask Nic post today so if you have a question for me or about me that you want to know, stop by and post it in the comments section.

Bill said...

Nic - I've got to agree with you on that! It's definitely theraputic for me.

I wonder sometimes at the wisdom of letting others see 'so much' of us out here, but then I continually see that the pros far outweigh the cons... for me anyway.

I'll drop on by your place once I get 'off the clock' tonight.

Flash said...

Before the blogging took over, my thinking and writing abilities were basically formed into screenplay format. Unless I was writing a script, I couldn't get my ideas out in a understandable manner to save my life.

And I find it great, that people take time out of their day to read our writings, but most importantly, reply to them. That means that our ideas are in fact thought forming and not a mess of jumbled words spewed forth from our skulls.

Your thoughts have made me think many times, and I appriciate that. It's nice to get together, even in cyber space and share a thought. Keeps a lot of us sane.

Thanks for the words.

Spirit Of Owl said...

I've certainly connected ever since I first read your blog. I don't really think of it as "reading your blog" any more. It's hard to describe, but I think more along the lines, "I'll call round at Bill's place and see how he's doing." It's not exactly that, but kinda close.

Thanks for all the soul food Bill. Actually, that's why I come round your place - for the chicken soup. :)

Bill said...

Flash - Thanks man... I think you're "just exactly right" as they around here. One of the most gratifying aspects of all of this is the comments. They do let me know I’ve caused folks to stop and think, if even for just a moment.

It definitely helps to keep me sane (or close to it anyway)!!

Spirit - I know exactly what you mean. Our paths not only crossed, but they seemed to get intertwined in a way I’d never expected. I continue to be amazed, and pleased by that fact alone!

You’re pretty close I think, in your analogy. I visit your place, and most of the blogs I visit for that matter, to see what the ‘owner’ is up to. Sort of like giving a friend a call to just say “What’s going on?”

* Code Warning!!
I've got a piece about 'automating the web' using, of course, Visual FoxPro almost finished...

It should be posted here tonight or tomorrow!!

Spirit Of Owl said...

I'll look out for it! :)

Nina said...

Blogging is good for the soul . . . We are all human, and it is good to know.
I have seen more in the last year of goodness in people on these blogs. It is nice . .. keep writing Bill, you do it well.

Greg said...

Well this spiritual stuff...
I always suspected you were gonna get into the Soul-man suit :-)
'course it is the "community" of it all...shared religious experience?
oh well...I best stop thinkin and plan a road trip...

Bill said...

Spirit - I intended to post it last night... But, I've misplaced my example code!! Hopefully I can find it tonight.

Nina - Thanks... I don't know if I could ever stop writing, and you're very right, it is somehow satisfying to know we're all just human under it all!!

Greg - Hey bro... "Soul-man suit" huh? I don't know about that... I just write what I'm thinkin about... lately I've just been pondering life, death and the part in the middle called 'livin'... Hope all is well up there.

Lorna said...

As one of my heroes, Ellen Degeneres, says: Right back at you.

Brother John said...

Hi there, Bill. This just to let you know I popped in and took a look. Check your email for details!!

Comfort Addict said...


Once again, I think that we have a lot of the same feelings. Writing slows me down, too. It also helps me bring coherence to my thoughts.

I also marvel at and appreciate all of the kindred spirits I have met since I started blogging. I don't live in the most enlightened place. I'm often afraid to tell people how I really feel for fear of reprisal. I'm so thankful that the Internet and the idea of the blog have not only increased the pool of people with whom I may commune but shown me that there are people out there like me or, at least, willing to listen to me.

Bill said...

Lorna - Thanks!

Brother John - Glad you could stop in!! Hopefully we'll see you here again from time to time! Thanks for the email... and the song!

CA - I know exactly how you feel there... There are a lot of things I write, that I just don't have folks around to talk with about... out here, somehow, we seem to find folks!!

I think, for us all, life is a struggle at times... it's getting through those struggles that eventually serves to define us!

Ilene said...

Wow - Made me think. Before I realized that I could really write, I wouldn't even write a letter unless my mood was just right because I might expose myself. Now I find myself writing in order to expose myself. Anyway, I am glad to know you through your blogging exposure and be sure to drop in for coffee if you ever venture over to Wilson!

Chloe said...

Next time you're in Chicago, Bill, I'd love to take you up on that coffee and conversation offer. Your blog is one of my favorites and although I'm not always the best about keeping up with the posts and comments, I just wanted to say thanks!

Bill said...

Ilene - Thanks, and, I'll definitely give you a heads up if we're planning on being over near you!

Chloe - Thanks for the kind words!! I'll definitely let you know if travels bring me close to you!