Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Whence? Wherefore? Whither?

Somewhere in the last month we crossed the line from little babies to big babies, and now we have to be messing with all those pre-toddler difficulties of supervising, keeping things out of reach, preparing meals, changing nasty diapers, and setting boundaries. On Sunday DOB overheard a delighted cackle, followed by a thump and a howl as D4 propelled himself off the bed. He was uninjured and probably undeterred from a future hobby of bungee-jumping. (Not to be outdone, D3 got a case of nursemaid's elbow the following day, requiring an emergency trip to the chiropractor. She then put it back in place en route.)

The internet is a discouraging place for a dormant writer. Everybody wants to be a writer on the internet. (Unless they want to be a videographer.) Some of them may have something worthwhile to say, but it would take a cryptographer to deduce it from their convoluted writing. Others are technically proficient but when it comes right down to it, aren't saying much. (This would probably be me.) Most are competent enough and have useful information, but there's only so many useful things to be said.

Indeed, why bother? The trouble with writing is it never goes away. You're not just competing with your contemporaries, you're competing with every writer from all time. In a world where Shakespeare and Plato and Chesterton are available at the touch of a button, what's left to be said but blather? (Making an exception, of course, for useful, practical advice, but I am not a practical person and can offer very little.)

This is not an anti-internet, I'm-leaving-now post. I've got four small children alone with no car or tv for twelve-hour days and it's 15 degrees outside. I'm not cutting off my one contact to the outside world. But I am pondering what is worth doing and saying.

Then again, the main purpose for this blog has been to keep in touch with my scattered family and friends. So it's not so bad if it often degenerates into nothing but baby pictures and kid quotes. The world only has room for one Shakespeare, but there is room for an infinite number of letters to Grandma, profound or not.

Likewise there is only a need for so many recipes, but there is a need for dinner every night. There may be only so many stories worth being told, but they must be told over and over. Every child must be raised, every garden must be planted, every floor must be swept, by the person who is there. It cannot be turned over to someone else who might do it better just because they write about it better. The field of competition in my own back yard is very small.

And so, one cute picture to go on.

7 comments:

Kinsleys3 said...

Too cute. Makes me want to take a black marker to the back of their little bald heads & draw faces. ;-)

Wendy said...

Actually, I think this post was worth writing and worth reading. Particularly your point that every child, every floor, every garden need tending by the person who is there.

I don't know you (except by blog) but I enjoy "visiting" because you share your humor, your joy in your family, and your curiosity about the world.

And all your little ones are soooo cuuute!!!

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

You have a knack for putting on the screen what I often can't put into words.

Lately I've been reminding myself that blogging is not a contest.

Unfortunately, there are no prizes for sweeping my floor, either.

Alysa said...

Ah, there you go... inspirational mother philosophy! And, you're brilliant at it. :)

the Joneses said...

And your answer is: it doesn't matter what you write, because you've got friends who would suffer if you disappeared from the Net. So there.

-- SJ

Steve said...

"We must tend our garden."

Keep up the good work, in all areas. You, and your voice, are unique in the world, from creation until Christ's return.

Can't nobody be you better than you.

CappuccinoLife said...

What a sweet picture. Makes me want twins. :)
I hope you do find time to keep up your blog because I really enjoy it!