There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

-From “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T. S. Eliot, 1917

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t posted anything much here lately. Remember NaBloPoMo? A post EVERY DAY, for heaven’s sake.

There have been eminently practical, homely reasons: illness, work, lack of sleep. But I think the main reasons relate to blogging itself.

One factor in my lack of posts is all of your wonderful blogs. So much to read! So many thoughts arising, many of which must be shared in comments! Tangents to explore, links to follow. I’ve recently subscribed to a few new blogs, and so my reader is ever more full.

Also, through the magic of Google Alerts, I have discovered that this blog is on the blogrolls of several people whom I don’t recognize. (Lurkers: your time is up!) While of course it’s flattering to be blogrolled, and I don’t mind lurkers (though I prefer to read your thoughts in comments), it somehow feels a little odd. What about this blog attracted these people, some of whom seem to have little connection to the typical topics of this blog? Though I don’t often edit or choose topics simply based on what I think you all want to read, these discoveries have led to a few thoughts that have preempted any new posts: I have somehow become entangled in the online world of homeschoolers, even though I don’t homeschool — is this disingenuous of me? (The main commonality is interest in Waldorf methods, so I’m not a complete faker!) Would I be a better writer if I thought about my “audience” more? I guess I’ve come to believe that I have a stable set of readers —  my “15 loyal readers” as I like to say — and finding that there are other readers out there has forced me to remember that this isn’t a private little social world. It’s public in many respects.

Another reason for not posting is a recent increase in my time spent on Facebook. I discovered two things there pertinent to this train of thought:

  1. A bunch of high school and even grade school friends have Facebook accounts, which somehow I just discovered. So there was a flurry of friendings and notes sent and photos perused. And I realized that I must have spent most of high school in a daze of some sort, off in a mental and emotional fairyland, because I just don’t remember a lot of that time. Even my mom remembers things that I don’t! Makes it hard to reminisce with people, and even harder to determine whether to solicit their friendship again — Were we really friends back then? Was I just a peripheral part of this or that group? Did we ever see each other outside the classroom? Am I just not able to remember how good of friends we were? I’ve only kept in reasonably good contact with two old friends, and for the others recently rediscovered, I had a hard time picturing them as adults, no less parents and responsible wage earners! So this has all led to a lot of mulling and pondering, none of which felt suitable or formed enough to write about here.
  2. Facebook has a function, new to me though probably not new in truth, called Notes. I discovered that this, in addition to the one-liner status updates, function like microblogging. Which given my lack of energy, time, etc. lately has been much more my speed. It seems a bit like Twitter, but with an unlimited message length, and I don’t have to learn a new interface.

So . . . time to get back on the wagon. Time to saddle up those mental horses again.

Did I just put the cart before the horse?

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18 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Deep Thoughts, friends, life, Poetry

18 responses to “There will be time, there will be time

  1. OMG, I so get your high school thing! People have friended me on FB that I really can’t remember at all. And even those whose faces and names I recall, and seem really quite familiar, I don’t remember much of anything we/they did during high school. I figured it was just that my memory is fuzzy. But I think it’s also that I just wasn’t paying that much attention back then! Probably never do…

    I did spend a lot of high school time making out with my boyfriend, which I now consider a colossal, and I mean COLOSSAL, waste of time!

  2. This post hit home as my blog is also popular among waldorf homeschoolers. We had thought about homeschooling very seriously but with my writing business and home nursery school, I didnt feel like I would have the time necessary to homeschool effectively. Two of my little girls are in my home nursery program and the other two are in school. Like you, the common thread seems to be natural parenting and a nature/waldorf based approach to learning. The crafts and activities that we do in my program work well for childcare providers as well as homeschoolers – so I’m happy to have connected with many like-minded folks online.

  3. Mon

    The stange thing is, that I gain and lose readers (rss) for no apparent reason. Like one post they will come over in hoards, and another I lose them in similar numbers. But then another similar post will do the opposite. I decided a while back that I was writing for myself, with some posts written by request or interet of readers, but ultimately my inetrests anyway.
    I would hate to write for an audience, I think authenticity can quickly go out the window then.

    As for FB school friends, don’t start me off! I can’t remember half these people, and why would they want to Friend me when we barely knew each other at school?

  4. Facebook can be a funny thing. I’m often unsure when I get “friend” requests; sometimes it seems that people are just trying to collect as many “friends” as possible, even if they don’t really know me. But then, its interesting to see people I’ve lost touch with, although I often don’t even know what to say.
    I drive myself crazy when I start thinking about writing what people want on my blog, because I can’t figure it out. It seems like a lot of people have been quiet on their blogs lately. It would be nice to know who’s reading our blogs and why. I sometimes wish I could write more freely on my blog, but not knowing who’s reading makes me edit myself quite a bit.

  5. Federica

    I read your blog and your post today made me make my first comment.
    I’m Italian, live in Italy and have a daughter (almost 4 yeras old) who just started Waldorf Kindergarten.
    I spent some time reading american blogs. I found more blogs related to Waldorf education, more based on a connection to nature. Homeschooling is not a real matter here in Italy and it would be interesting to analize our different cultures to find the reasons (maybe in another post!).
    Italian momblogs are more concerning about working and being a mother, about organizing kid’s life while mom is working. I think we are still in the process of feminine emancipation, we reached it later and are still deep into it. But I made a different choice and as I wrote before at the moment I find more inspiration in America!

    I often think that time spent on the net, on blogs is not really “good time” and sometimes I feel like addicted but right now I don’t feel like stopping. While I’m resisting to FB because it seems to me social networks eliminate some mistery and “secrets”.

    I felt like presenting myself and explaining reasond for reading you.

    Warm regards
    Federica

  6. Tammy

    Your highschool thoughts had me laughing! I too feel the same way. Actually, I’ve been out of high school for 22 years now and have never attended even one reunion. I figure I keep in touch with those I had a good relationship with and that’s good enough for me. When I get Facebook invites, I often think, “Who IS that???” lol. Rarely can I even remember, and then I wonder why they would want me on their list when we never even had anything in common 22 years ago!

    I enjoyed your blog even before we met. I think your natural parenting and interest in Waldorf is what took me in originally. Your blog appeals to many people…

    I know I don’t write for an audience, and my stats show it. I get hoards of followers when I post on homeschooling or Waldorf topics, and they drop quickly when I write personal or memory posts, lol. Doesn’t matter to me, my blog is and always will be a hodge podge of stuff. lol!

  7. Alida

    I’m telling you, you should totally start a Waldorf consulting business for homeschoolers…I see so much potential there:)

    Funny, I’ve actually been thinking of getting off facebook. As much as I enjoy reading some comments and keeping in or getting in touch with some old friends…well then there are those I was glad to be rid of that seem to want to be-friend me again…sigh!

    As for writing, I love reading your posts and it doesn’t matter what they are about. If I may be so bold as to make a suggestion, I would love to know your thoughts about the book you are currently reading by Elizabeth Aston.

  8. I have a high school friend who is begging me to get on FB. It sounds like a huge time sink to me–I haven’t been in touch with ANY high school people (except her) in ….28 years so why now?

    I read your blog because you are one of the few “Waldorf” folks out there who actually talks about Anthroposophy!

  9. Lisa Z: Luckily I haven’t been approached by any “strangers” on Facebook. That would be weird. I bet all that making out helped your immune system…OK, now I’m really reaching! 🙂

    Eileen: True, I look at my link to homeschooling as the appreciation for Waldorf methods, and that when my kids are home with me, I’m homeschooling in a sense!

    Mon: I agree, thinking overly much about one’s audience would compromise quality and authenticity. I guess for me it’s more that I can’t just assume it’s only my loyal readers that are reading!

    Dawn: The other day I read an NY Times article about “unfriending” people on Facebook. It described people with hundreds of “friends” going through periodically and deleting the people they’d never met! That just ruins the whole point of social networking, in my opinion.

    Federica: Benvenuto! (I won’t burden you with any more poorly remembered college Italian, much as I loved it!) I would love to hear more about your experiences at an Italian Waldorf school, and your observations of the mother’s life in Italy. If you have a blog, I would love to read it (I still can read Italian fairly well) — please email me! I often feel a bit burdened by blogging and other online things, but then it is partly my “fun” time, and partly a true social experience that I feel is usually worth the effort.

    Tammy: The personal stuff is at the same time utterly fascinating and often too specific for general interest (and here I’m talking generally, not about your blog in particular), but I still read it all if only for a sense of personal connection with the writer. I tend to comment less often on very personal stuff (sometimes it just feels too repetitive to say “Cute craft!” or “Your kid did a great job!” again and again) but I do always read each post. That’s the trouble with blogging — one has the desire to document one’s personal life, and then one is sharing it publicly.

    Alida: I think I’ll leave that to Melisa (A Little Garden Flower)! I’m not enough of a people person 🙂

    Maybe I’ll write a very personal and indulgent post on my love of Regency fiction…but in short, Aston’s books are my favorite in that genre. They stand alone as well-written novels despite being loosely based on Pride and Prejudice. The writing is excellent, with clear yet complex characters and engaging plots.

    Sarah: I’m glad you appreciate that side of the blog! There are a lot of anthroposophical topics that I don’t go into, either from lack of confidence in my ability to discuss them, or their combustibility, so to speak! Some things seem just too esoteric for blogland 🙂

  10. Hi! I’m so with you on the Facebook thing…my recent status post (tongue somewhat in cheek) was that Facebook was interfering with my blogging. And they both might be using the creative energy that could be going into a half-finished book. Yes, the tangents, the awakenings. As a therapist of mine once said about drugs…”They can open you to new possibilities, but you also need to be able to integrate those things into your life for them to have deep value.” Hmmm…

    Anyway, hi, I’m Rachel. I also love to blog. I’m an acupuncturist who has always been interested in anthroposophy and I came across your blog through someone else’s link…sorry i can’t remember who. Come visit sometime!

  11. Rachel: Hi! Thanks for reading and commenting. Maybe it’s because it’s winter and so the main colors I see every day are gray and white, but I love the orange background of your blog.

    Oh yeah, there was that book I was going to publish…a year ago. Doh!

  12. Oh yes. I don’t have FB. I like being a member on things like path to freedom or whatever, and I do twitter, but if I liked people that much in the first place I never would have lost contact with them. 😉 He he.

    Blogging stats are intriguing, aren’t they? I see jumps of like a thousand more more people some days. And I wonder WHO ARE THEY? There are not really any more comments even when the views skyrocket. Whoooooo areeeee theyyyyy. Hee.

  13. Denise: I stopped looking at some of my blog stats at one point because it seemed that they didn’t reflect actual people — maybe some kind of aggregator? I just don’t think I really have any readers in Saudi Arabia or China!

  14. I think it’s possible that you did have a reader from Saudi Arabia (or somewhere in the Middle East). I know there was one Australian ex-pat Waldorf homeschooler blogging from over there. She commented a few times at my site.

  15. I’ve also wrestled with blogging recently – there’s the pull of other media (Flickr, Twitter…) but most of all, I feel I can’t post if I haven’t made an effort to read other people’s in some strange way.

  16. David

    Facebook … *shudder*

    I can’t imagine anything more horrifying than my past chasing me down and confronting me. Then again, maybe nobody would bother. Either way, I don’t want to find out!

  17. Hey, have you read Engleby by Sebastian Faulks? A minor character nicknames the main character Prufrock, and I didn’t really get the reference, even though I knew it was to a T. S. Eliot poem. The bit you quoted suddenly makes everything clear!

    I hope you’re all feeling better now. I’ve not been posting as much either, because my family’s here and because I’ve been preoccupied by writing… which I should be doing right now! Whoops!

  18. Eve

    I’m not a big fan of Facebook even though I’ve just gotten on it to facilitate communication between our exchange student’s mom and me. It is interesting following all my kids’ Facebook accounts, tho. And yes, they all have them.

    This isn’t a slam against using Facebook, but I find it shallow and rather dull, mere fluff and so I doubt I’ll be able to sustain much of a presence there, and only have two “friends” who aren’t in my actual family. And I don’t want more (although I have found most of my high school and some college friends).

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