What lies behind blogjam

Having signed on to this writing-out-loud thing just prior to the blogging bubble bursting, I'm still relatively new to its attendant ups and downs (and techie widgety time sinkholes), but I've already experienced that thing known as blogging burnout, several times, to my great chagrin.

As any blogger knows, on occasion offline life intervenes, making blogging difficult. Sometimes the magnitude of a very blogworthy event is stultifying. Sometimes, well, sometimes it seems like there's just nothing going on.

Seems like.

Writer/actor/producer Shane Nickerson has an excellent and brave post up at Nickerblog about Blogjam, those times when yeah, there's something going on and yeah, if you did even a little poking around the thing that was going on (and the 47 things behind it) would bubble right up to the surface but nah, there's no way you're gonna tell anyone, much less everyone, what it is. In it, he ascribes his recent struggle with Blogjam to his current albeit quietly raging conflict with desire vs. reality. As in, I have the desire to be/do/have x and that's not really what's happening, at least, not in the way I'd like it to.

He wrote about acting, which is something I can and probably should address in a blog post at some point, but with such specificity that, of course, it manifested as something universal. Who among us doesn't have a deep, deep (and sometimes dark) secret we carry around, whose weight and density become ever greater and more burdensome even as our ability to access it grows weaker and weaker? Who wouldn't rather let life intervene in a million daily ways, rather than undergo the painful excavation of this truth, not to mention the irksome reality of it sitting around our mental living rooms, tatty and dirt-covered, reminding us of our shame?

Okay, maybe that's a little overwrought. What do you expect? After all, part of my secret dream is to be an actor, okay, a much-beloved oracle-pundit. The desire to yak the truth out loud in front of people (and to be much-beloved for it) cuts across a few job descriptions.

And yes, it's a wee bit frivolous (not to mention guilt-inducing) to ponder on such things when there is so much very big, very real, very horrible news all around us about people and things that need our immediate, physical attention.

But Shane's post, and, hopefully, this one, is a good reminder not to let too much time roll by. Yes, try to maintain a sense of proportion, but also please tend to yourself. Put on your oxygen mask, or make sure its readily accessible, before you attempt to assist the passenger in the seat next to you.

Because you either deal with the truth or it will come back somehow, someway. Either you will wind up in the hospital, 20 lbs underweight with blood pouring out of your intestines or you'll get the c-a-n-c-e-r or you'll you'll find yourself, at 88 years old, sitting at your kitchen table with your grandchild, tears pouring down your face as you finally acknowledge, out loud, that if you had it to do all over, Colleen, you would have done it all differently.

I have seen too many loved ones die with their truths unrecognized. Note that I'm not saying their dreams unrealized: who knows if Gramps could have directed pictures or Mom could have been a movie star or if Dad could have been a singing cowboy? There wasn't much call for singing cowboys after 1938. Actually, there wasn't much call for singing cowboys ever, but I'd guarantee you dollars-to-donuts that Dad would have died, and probably lived, a much happier man if he'd gotten down with that truth.

So by all means, let's keep sending checks to rebuild and fighting for democracy and reducing/reusing/recycling. But let's also stay in touch with what that kid from New Hampshire in all of us came out to Los Angeles to do, or what he really wants to do now. Because not acknowledging what's really going on in ourselves, whatever fear or desire or strange bugaboo haunts us, is the first step on the road to isolation from everyone and everything around us.

It's not easy. Sometimes, it's not even simple. Often, it might even feel frivolous. But it is so, so necessary if we're going to make this any kind of a world to hand over to the next shift.