Sunday, August 07, 2005

Dear Ocean readers,

Mr. B and I went for a spin today. More – I rode with him very very far, because when I want to make decisions, I cannot do it sitting still.

I am stepping back from what it is that I do here, on Ocean. Time to think more, write less.

Why? Because it has become apparent that you can take the water out of a real ocean sooner than I can take the emotion out of this Ocean. Even though this blog says really very little about the events and people that fill my days with boundless excitement and sometimes exasperation, it does reveal my moods. If I am not chipper, Ocean gets that sour taste to it, so that inevitably I get emails from people who wonder if I perhaps have come to need something stronger than martinis to pull me through the hour. (Someone did ask me that in an email – if there was perhaps a drink more potent and still legal that I could concoct for myself on a regular basis.)

I pick episodes, at times almost randomly, at times very deliberately and I write about them. They are from my day, and I spin them in the way that feels right. But now, I am afraid that I have become too wedded to being so true to a mood that Ocean has become too …well, honest and personal. (But not journalistic! Ever! There is a difference!) I hear the words articulated by someone just a few days back: "you write such a personal blog!" Do I? That would seem somehow wrong.

There are the other things, too: I have never been comfortable with the one-sidedness of the conversation. It gives me too much freedom to say things without worrying about reactions. And it gives you too many opportunities to lean on the blog to keep abreast of my life. I do not like that.

So here are my initial decisions:

First of all, I am immediately enabling the Comments function. The one-sidedness has got to stop. And, I will limit somewhat my writing for the rest of this month. I will resume regular blogging if I feel the problems identified by me can be addressed. I welcome your input here. You know what my limited talents are and what I can and cannot do. I don’t want to try to please everyone, I’m just looking for ideas and evaluating what has and what hasn’t worked before.

Feel free to write in and let me know what you think is worth keeping, if anything. Oh, and also feel free to react to the comments of others, but do not feel pressured to do so. It really is okay if I receive no comments and readers move on to other blogs. I can always go write a book or something.

One more thing: I will permit Anonymous comments only because it is hard to otherwise post comments if you are not a blogger. But I will basically not pay attention to anything written by someone who doesn’t at least sign with her or his first name (or initials) so that I know who you are.

And I will be ruthless in banishing comments that are in any way hurtful or mocking of others (or of me!) – even if only intended as a joke. If the last thing I do on this blog is give my support to highetened standards of blog discourse, I will be satisfied.

I’ll start with my own comment about Ocean: I think Ocean works best when it takes a trivial, very very trivial episode and makes a story out of it, no? So, your turn. Click on "comments" and let me know what you're into here in the murky waters of Ocean. Comments follow the photo of the turtle whom I came across during my bike ride. Note the readiness to jump (slowly) into the pond's own murky waters. I am aiming to emulate her (his?) pace in life.

Madison Aug 05 123