A Shadow Blocks My Sun.

pre eclipse Nov 15Since last writing I’ve spent quite some time in deep reflection about continuing to post. My motivation had always been to reach out and connect with others who may share my enthusiasms already or to inspire those who are newly interested. As blogging was new to me it’s been a learning experience; just dealing with the intricacies of setting up my page was challenging enough. Once I’d entered that world I found it was awash with blogs on every subject imaginable. This made me pause and consider why my offerings would even have any impact. I considered that I was possibly just adding to the already enormous amount of ‘word pollution’ already out there. Friends dismissed that idea and told me to go ahead, I had something to offer. So I did and when I received a response I was shocked and pleasantly uplifted. I carried on and emails would appear in my inbox telling me so and so had ‘liked’ or was following my blog. There was an erratic nature to this and although flattering didn’t really give me the sense of connection I really sought. I feel I may be a failure in this respect; no amount of virtual contact, least of all the appearance of a gravatar image in the ‘like’ section is really going to supply the nourishment I seek. Some may say that I’m being unrealistic and that I should be grateful people take the time to read & ‘like’ my posts. I am grateful and  I do reciprocate. There have been some wonderful and uplifting stories to which I have responded with deep respect. Sometimes, however I’m left feeling that there is a manipulative aspect to blogging – you read mine and I’ll read yours… My inner cynic clearly feels provoked! Having spent time in reflection I am writing this as a means to clarify my thoughts and to potentially learn from others how they deal with their experiences in blog world. I realise my writing may not be the best but people I respect say it is good. If I don’t receive regular feedback, how can I really know? Perhaps I’m just screaming into the void? Perhaps my skills need growing? Or there is a perspective or two I have completely overlooked. I’ve experienced some challenge lately that has been painful and I’m feeling the lack of encouragement. These are all  very human experiences and I share them in an effort to be transparent. Challenge is always with us and I know from experience that there can be wonderful rewards attached to facing our challenges and yet right now some dark shadow material is stealing my clarity. I can only pray that all will become clear in due course.The one thing I do know is that my garden never ceases to provide both joy and solace. The beauty, the creativity and the natural order culminating in death has taught me many wise and valuable lessons. If , as it seems, I am not able to share my experiences in a way that is useful, perhaps it’s time to follow the garden’s example and let the natural order begin the process of decay.

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6 thoughts on “A Shadow Blocks My Sun.

  1. Hello Arohanui,
    I’ve just read the above piece, and have had similar thoughts about how blogging can sometimes seem – I worked out fairly late on that people were ‘liking’ my long posts within seconds of posting them, so there was no chance for them to have actually read any of what I’d slaved at to create.
    But I’ve persevered, and largely ignored how many followers I’ve picked up along the way …it’s always the comment that indicates someone has read what you’ve written which is most appreciated. And I do reckon that the whole process of producing an occasional thoughtful piece can be really personally rewarding, and who knows, down the road, a pointer and cross reference both to a garden’s progress, as well of that of its minder. This seems to me entirely different to the fleeting epherema of much ‘social media’.
    I read yesterday that in the UK one of the leading BIG 4 firms of accountants reckons that more thought should be given to the value of people’s digital records when it comes to will writing… and secondly regarding the value of a long term look at a simple thing, have you come across the work of ‘AHAE -Through My Window’? …. http://ahae.com/
    We saw an exhibition in Paris one year, which was hugely influential in persuading me that over time, a snapshot of a particular, even restricted garden or landscape can build into something much more than a simple few words or images,
    Best wishes for a very Happy and Peaceful New Year,
    Julian

    • Thanks for commenting Julian, I really appreciate your thoughts. Yes, I think I have to honour the process and not give too much energy to the superficiality. I did hope to get some on going conversations started and am ever optimistic! Other reasons for writing are to as you say having a long term perspective to look back upon and to practise my writing. I hope with time to become more ‘fluent’ at expressing what is in my heart. A visual record of the garden evolving will also be interesting to look back on. I will check out that site you mentioned, thanks for that. I hope you have happy and peaceful New Year too, arohanui (a blessing which means big/great/much love in Maori) and now my real name, Imago. (All these names, can’t tell the real ones from the made up ones sometimes!)

  2. Blogging can be very draining; compared to tactile Nature. I have often wished the internet had not been invented. People spent more time with each other and outside. Also, internet relationships have their limits; one can only know someone so much without hearing their voice and seeing them. Body language and voice inflection say millions of times more than any internet relationship can say.

    It is nice to get to know people around the world who have similar interests and share those interests, so in that way, the internet is terrific because in our personal lives, many of the folks we know don’t share our interests.

    • I so resonate with what you’re saying! Connecting on a deep level is what nurtures me best and at the same time it seems important to reach out and share with others, however superficial that sometimes feels. It certainly is a spiritual practise to face the frustrations and the disconnection – knowing full well that God resides there too. Having this small conversation is a reward for constancy, especially with a like minded soul. Its great to be on the path with you, sister. Blessings to you.

  3. What I would like is to be The Blogger, with a devoted crowd of followers who comment on my every post. I don’t stand out among the millions of other bloggers for that. Yes there is something manipulative about likes and follows, which don’t always mean anything.

    I came here because of your reply to my comment on another blog, interested to see what you have to say. So I thought I would say “Hello” even though I am no gardener. The brief contact pleases me.

    With some bloggers I have had reciprocal commenting on each others’ blogs, which can be rewarding. And even the crass “Come see my blog” like, which means nothing, can lead me to something which is interesting for a moment.

    • Hi Clare, thanks for the comment and I had a laugh too. I think its actually about the contact – however brief and that pleases me too! See, we have something in common.. It is true that I’m a gardener and that is the focus of my blog, but actually the really big thing is how I experience spirit through the medium of my garden. That was probably why I was reading that blog- spirit – and ultimately is the reason connection matters to me – real authentic connection, not that superficial stuff. So, thank you so much for writing and I will continue to comment in the hopes of some reciprocity. I’ll check out your blog too – maybe one day you’ll be The Blogger and I’ll be part of helping you get there… Blessings, Imago

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