Sort of like (not) going to the gym, I have been feeling like so much time has passed since my last post here that I’m frozen and need something of Great Moment to report. The gym parallel to this, to expand- it’s been a while, and I feel I need a plan or resolution, or a Fresh New Start, when really what I need to do is take my ass over there and just put it on the treadmill, even once. One time would be a great start. Does this happen to anyone else, the feeling that you need to have some commitment, some great commitment, to start or re-start something, that if you can’t do X [some amount currently impossible] then why even start… Voltaire said, The perfect is the enemy of the good. I’m not sure what he was referring to, specifically, when that was written/uttered (confession: never read a word of Voltaire. Well, except for that quote), but I have to agree, at least in my personal experience.
I have in more than one situation spent so much time building up what I should do that in the end, I did nothing, because I knew that – at that moment – I couldn’t reach the lofty, forbidding height of my imagination. That can’t be the right thing. Marathoners don’t go from zero to 26 miles in a day – somewhere, sometime, they had to start with a mile. Now, most of the marathoners I know left their single mile days in the distant, dusty past… but still. The principle remains.
Blogging, at least for me, is not a ivory tower of the soul to summit; I’d like to be effortlessly pithy, or frankly, to even be pithy with some effort on this channel, but right now my effort is mostly reserved for other intellectual tasks, like my job, and my degree, and my in-person encounters. In lieu of pith, I’d settle for witty. Witty and pithy – that, my friend, is my holy grail of the brain. In my most flattering daydreams, I am witty, pithy, have a great singing voice, and am impossibly fresh-looking.
But, asides aside, I guess it’s been sort of a busy month. School, work, etc … a week’s blessed escape to the Dominican Republic (maybe I’ll post on that eventually)… and a crap load of snow, for Chicago anyway. I read that as of last week we are 171% over our usual snowfall for the year, at something near 40 inches. Poor Madison Wisconsin is well over 200% up from last year, at a staggering 70-some-odd inches. I’m tired of shoveling; I think accumulation on that scale would merit a snow blower for sure.
Today I went out to Geneva, to the DuPage Library System, and did a workshop. Google Maps says it’s just on 45 miles each way; we’ve had lots of “weather” predicted, so I took the train, and I’m glad I did. The train was late, both ways, but still better than sitting on a highway somewhere. The only downside to walking to work is that it really cuts in on your reading time – when I get home I usually feel like there is something else that I ought to be doing.
Finally saw Juno on Sunday – sadly, I think it’s another victim of the over-hype for me. I’m not saying I didn’t like it (I did), or find it funny (it was), but I did feel just a bit let down. Had the same reaction to Sideways (only more-so; I liked Juno better than that) — that, ‘Really? This is it?’ feeling.
Oh, and if you were wondering about the title, this is my 99th post.
February 13, 2008 at 9:08 am
I have the same issue with blogging. Granted, I’m only obligated to post once a month, but it is a big stage, and I certainly feel performance anxiety driving me toward perfection that instead leads me into inactivity.I started reading “How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read” by Pierre Bayard at the desk last night, and was struck by his assertion (based on the work of Paul Valery) that actually reading a work is not necessary to critiquing or talking about it. I’m only three chapters in, but it’s good so far (meta-question: should i even be talking about it if i plan to read it in full?)So often I find myself unable to blog because I feel either everything’s been said about a hot library topic, or I don’t know enough about it to merit public comment. I’m now thinking I need to be more like Voltaire (in a number of ways) and Valery and just throw out my opinions.Also, I can vouch for your singing but not for your freshness. And we got 50” of the white stuff in December alone. Makes for great snowshoeing.