Saturday, December 19, 2009

think small

It struck me that when you write a blog about the everyday, you are (or at least I am) constantly assessing your day from how another might look at it. You create a social moment by selecting something from that day for others to see or read about.

It is not remarkable, therefore, that when I travel, I share more of the minutia. Not only do I think they're inherently more interesting to present, but I feel myself to be far away and I like the feeling of creating more social moments.

So, what if you want no social moments at all? What if you feel yourself to be wanting a pajama day, where you never leave the protective bubble of your own self?

That has never happened to me. The closest I came was back in June of 2005, when my now ex and I concluded that divorce was inevitable. For a week or so, I wrote here in a fake voice of another. It was me, but it was me pretending to be someone else. I know. Weird. It was a confusing period in my life.

But it is also true that there are days that are more “socially quiet” only because they consist largely of people and places that are outside the scope of Ocean. For instance, of my work associates – both at the law school and at the shop. And of course, days that spin around my immediate family. Oh, the stories I could tell about my daughters' attempted travels from D.C. (the place of the snowstorm of historic proportions) to the Midwest today! But it’s not my story, it’s theirs.

And so, at times like this, I reach for the small things to write about – a photo, a thought, a recollection. A dish prepared, a walk taken. Even if it is taken (as it was today) to the mall down the hill. (I know, how quickly we reclaim the customs of our homeland upon returning from abroad!) In normal times that warrants no mention, but on this pre-holiday weekend, it was made colorful and fun by the seasonal bursts of loveliness: a vendor describing his fruitcakes to a customer, two boys choosing their favorite gingerbread house, a mom helping her girl decorate a cookie, two parents using their cell phone cameras to capture the moment.





I’m entering a spell of just those kinds of stories and photos. Ocean readers who like the shorter posts and the daintiness of small thoughts will like Ocean now. Others? Well, life’s a balance. Ocean can’t be any more than what I can call forth as ripe for inclusion here. So, sit back and relax. It’ll be a gentle ride for a while. And that is, I think, a good thing.