The Watermark of the Incident
I wrote a post on BlogHer about how Mark Twain’s autobiography is being released 100 years after his death by his request and how this relates to the boundaries we set for ourselves in blogging (please join the conversation over there about how you set your boundaries).
As much as we tell on our blogs, the flipside is the stuff we don’t admit. The all-consuming thoughts we leave out, the major moments we never talk about, the health crises or fights or embarrassing moments, not to mention the stuff we want to blog about, need to blog about, but don’t blog about because it’s not our story to tell. Because it crosses a line, it opens a door.
I think what goes unsaid often leaves something akin to a watermark on the blog. The unspoken stories come out between the lines if you look closely enough. Suddenly a blogger stops writing for a few days and then resumes without mentioning the absence. Or the tone doesn’t match the subject matter. There are times that I’m reading a blog and I’m wondering more what is happening off the screen than what is being recounted on the screen.
Every blog post is only a tiny sliver of a life–by necessity, we must leave things out. But are there also watermarks inadvertently left behind with what we wish we could write about but choose not to say? Not the things we leave out simply due to space, but the moments and thoughts we leave out consciously. Purposefully. Because they open a door that we either don’t want to open or isn’t our door to turn the knob?
There was a time when I posted the cheeriest, happiest post as life was falling apart behind the scenes. There have been times that I’ve scheduled a post to run because I haven’t been in town, but reading my blog, one would assume that I’m just lounging around the area. And then there are the times when I am angry beyond belief, but I can’t write about it lest the person find my blog. Or I am gutted for a friend and it’s all I’m thinking about, but I can’t talk about it because it’s not my story to tell. I am incredibly circumspect about what I stories I tell that belong to the twins, but the twins are a clear focus of my day-to-day world. So much gets left unsaid, but is it still somewhere tucked into this blog regardless? In the unused white spaces; between the existing letters?
Do you stop blogging when you can’t tell a story (because it’s not something you’re willing to reveal on your blog or it’s not your story to tell) or do you blog about something else?