Blogging as Metaphor

Having just yesterday (7 May) stumbled across Jodi Dean’s blog i cite and her post Cruel Indifference, I dropped her feed into Bloglines to see if she was someone I might want to continue reading.  Last night I poked around a little and read her post Why Kim Blogs.  Today I read the source post at Bad Subjects.  Highly recommended.

…my blog is a project, and I am very conscious of how I use it, the
stories I choose to tell, the voice I choose to use, the performance I am giving in this public arena. Through my blog, my art, my history, and my writing are no longer compartmentalized. I have been able to create a new self-portrait, one of my whole self, not fractured crippled bits. I mix stories of my past with pictures of my present, poetry and politics, humor and sadness, film and fashion. All of me with no shame, no censorship. And I build a rhythm into it, moving back and forth through form and sound and image. It’s a big collage of the me I have been assembling all these years. And it is a me who I like.

I highly recommend reading the rest of Kim’s post The Real Me.  I have a feeling I will be spending some time looking through her archives.

My current purpose  in citing Kim (and Jodi, who BTW I am glad used the piece she did because there are other pieces she could have cited that may not have resonated with me) though is that it triggered a metaphor in my mind about Kim’s and my use of blogging. 

I think my blog has become a sort of sewing kit for my life and my narrative.  I am literally stitching the fragmented and compartmentalized pieces of my life back together.  Some stitches are tight, some are loose, some may again ravel, and some may or may not get restitched.

I have had a few conversations lately that involved others talking about the fragmentation and compartmentalization of their lives.  I have written and talked about it in many places, and particularly in grad Sociology seminars with Dr. Richard Stivers, some of which I have posted here and here

Fragmentation and compartmentalization are rampant in our society.  The situation may even be worse in the highly artifical environment of graduate school.  We are all so busy that there is simply no time for each other, much less for integrating the various and sundry aspects of our lives.  There may be a very small amount of overlap among friends and activities, but more than likely there is none.

I have many wonderful friends in my life.  And in case I haven’t said it lately, I dearly love you all and am thankful that you are in my life.  Now, there are a few friends that I might not want to meet each other because I am fairly sure that they are just too different to get along well.  But I would love for most of my friends to be able to meet and to actually get to know each other because I have no doubt that they would get along, and would in fact grow as a human being, just as I have from knowing each of them.

Now I know that this doesn’t necessarily happen outside of the grad school environment, but it at least seemed a little easier.  Maybe I am fooling myself, or maybe I am misrepresenting the also highly artificial environment of my earlier military life to myself. 

Besides being a sad state of affairs, this fragmentation and compartmentalization of our lives is dangerous and unhealthy for us as individuals, our society, and the world as a whole.  For further info see my posts linked above, or better still, read Todorov, Baumgartner, Stivers, and others.

While it may not have been my explicit intention when I started this blog back in January, it is now one of my primary intentions, which I am now stating publicly, to use this blog as a means to stitch my life together into a coherent whole—past, present, future, academic interests, hobbies, family, friends, enemies, loves, hates, desires, fears, hopes, thoughts, wishes.

Thanks to Jodi and Kim for the metaphor.  And to all of my past, present, and future friends, and family, I thank you with my entire heart for being the stitching of my life.

2 thoughts on “Blogging as Metaphor

  1. I’m grateful for this post, and especially for the link to Kim’s post. Some of what you both write resonates with my experience, particularly of academia, where I’ve spent most of my adult life, though always as an outsider–grad student, adjunct instructor, assistant editor, never in one of the “power” positions among academics. Graduate education itself so often serves to fragment; that very notion of “specialization” narrows the focus (to whatever extent it increases the depth of view) and often divides the self, and closes us to the opportunities within ourselves and others. Cheers to both of you for your willingness to fight this fragmentation in an open forum, where those of us with less courage can witness and find inspiration in your efforts.

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