Monday, August 30, 2010

The view from here and now

I realized something this morning as I lay in bed unable to get back to sleep.

My internettery is all about contact and community, about not feeling alone and lonely. I started blogging out of curiosity, but kept on because of the community of readers and commenters that developed. As I became ever more deeply immersed in SL, the "hotter" and more immediate community feeling there took up more and more of my time and attention. It also shifted my "day" later into the evening and night. I used to be a very early riser a few years ago, but I couldn't tell you when I last saw the sun rise, unless you count the time I played Dragon Age: Origins until after 5am. The reason I stopped blogging regularly is indeed, as somebody once asked in a comment, that I am spending in Second Life the time that was previously my blogging hour.

The reason I stopped reading blogs is different: as fear and unhappiness took the upper hand in my life, nearly two years ago now, the pressure that I felt to read — and to comment insightfully and with compassion and warmth — came to be too much for me emotionally. I simply didn't have enough emotional resources to spread around, or so it felt. And for what it's worth, I was retreating in SL at that time too: there were evenings when I'd just log in and literally stand around alone in a park, unable to gather the strength to find and talk to anyone.

My absence from your blogs is not a sign of disinterest, dear friends. On the contrary, it is in a perverse way the proof that they and you were valuable to me, because I did continue to read sites that I didn't give a damn about. That was OK because there was no emotional load in them. (That is also why I was able to follow you by reading your RSS feeds: there was no personal involvement in that, no pressure to reply.)

Most lately, of course, much of my compositional energy has gone into Twitter, the internet-literary equivalent of eating peanut M&M's while a fine meal lies on the table before you: superficially appealing but essentially worthless. And most lately, I've been writing about my "coming of age" in SL and the meditation group. I might be posting those here, but not for a while and certainly not in their current form; if anyone is interested to read them drop me an e-mail at the address in the left sidebar.

It's been a long dry season, my dears, but there are signs of change. Thank you all so much for bearing with me, for enduring my silence and neglect with such patience and forebearance. "I have been faithful to thee, Cynara, in my fashion."

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Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Does this mean a slowing in your second life?

August 30, 2010 at 6:18:00 p.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Dale said...

I hear you. I've done some of the same, lately. But take your time & do what makes sense. We'll be around :-)

August 31, 2010 at 1:04:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Zhoen said...

A common withdrawal, but not a healthy one. Compassion does not empty with use, it is is lack of caring that burns us out. Long breaks leave us stiff and sore, and isolated.

Just as we have to floss more when our gums bleed, not avoid doing it.

August 31, 2010 at 2:03:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Savtadotty said...

Udge, Sometimes when first life just sucks it helps to talk to a real person. The Internet doesn't cut that mustard. Hugs from Savta.

August 31, 2010 at 7:29:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Udge said...

Joe: to some extent, yes; but it's mostly temporary due to connectivity problems at home. The "signs of change" were more about rejoining RL society in various ways, including the retreat that I still haven't talked about.

Dale: thank you.

Zhoen: true, and true; but that old saw about swamps and alligators applies. Objectively, and from experience, I know that reaching out to make contact will improve my state of mind, but once in that state of mind there is a tremendous pressure of feeling "not good enough" weighing against us (me).

Savtadotty: that is what's changing. I am re-entering RL in small and surprising ways, and changing some things that I've thought (or rather ways that I've inherited and continued in without ever really thinking about).

And FWIW the Communicatrix is on a roll. Her latest post on workaholism and the links in that post are today's recommended reading.

August 31, 2010 at 9:52:00 a.m. GMT+2  
Blogger Ibrahimblogs said...

I could feel every word of this post of yours. I have gone through each of these phases myself.
Take your time.

This is Ibrahim from Israeli Uncensored News

September 24, 2010 at 10:00:00 a.m. GMT+2  

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