Reading “The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton has re-introduced me to the thought-provoking and inspiring writings of John Ruskin (1819-1900). He has got me thinking again about something I can never seem to explain-why I blog and post; and why I read your blog or your posts (you whose blog and/or facebook posts I read, and/or whose art or photography I admire, you know I mean YOU).
Seeing through another person’s eyes makes us more compassionate people. But I can only see through other peoples’ eyes, if they notice, and then attempt to describe, what they’ve seen or experienced
Peeling an orange and biting into a segment of it. Drinking a glass of wine or seeing Victoria Falls for the first time. Dealing with birth and love and falling out of love and death. Watching the sun shine through the trees while a flag waves in the wind. Deciding to move from despair to joy. Choosing to will ourselves out of bitterness into forgiveness. Opening the attic window that has long been nailed shut.
I want, I’ve always wanted experience life, to see, to live and to think vividly enough that I notice what’s happening.
Whether I’m walking on grass or asphalt or gravel, I want to feel my shoes against my heels and hear whether there is momentary cessation of traffic. I want to notice the nit-witty bird singing into the void as if he could fill the silence. I want to see the green beetle creeping on the purple blossom and when I’ve come home, I want to have more to remember than that I went for a walk and it was nice.
I value that you make the effort to express yourself. Really, it matters to me, because you’re the only one who thinks and sees exactly like you.
Ruskin says that through the careful articulation and sympathetic exchange of words and images, we develop a more conscious understanding of what we have loved.
Thank you for your gumption and your point of view (really, I’m talking to YOU). Whether you make me laugh or cringe or shake my head or sigh, you enrich my life.
Perhaps you’ve noticed, I’ve been too busy reading your blog and facebook posts to care very much about writing my blog. Also, I have other writing projects demanding much time, and so I’ve decided I’m going to try to blog on a once a month (perhaps twice a month) basis.
Those-who-know-about-such-things say my decision is a mistake They say I’m supposed to blog thrice-weekly or more. But here’s what I’m wondering, and maybe you can answer this for me…
Who are THEY, exactly? I mean everybody says, “everybody says so,” but who is this everybody? And why would following everybody’s advice be a good idea? I mean, really, you don’t mind if I blog less often, do you?
And believe me, I’m much more interested in what YOU have to say than in what THEY say…