Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Archive for June 8th, 2008

Why I blog 27

Posted on June 08, 2008 by jimparedes

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I  have kept an  active blog for some years now. You can find it at http://jimparedes.com. I would like to share with you an e-mail I received from a reader. “Anonymous” wrote:

“Jim, just wondering why you (and your children) open yourselves up to the public this way. You are so open to the public that they feel they have earned the right to make comments on your characters and your lives. Just wondering, that’s all.”

That’s a valid question.

When I was younger (sometime in the late ‘80s), my generation went wild over CB radios. I had one in the car. My friends even had base stations where they played traffic controller for all CBers in the area. My radio in the car was on all the time. In fact, I wanted to drive just so I could CB. One could “enter” a conversation with anyone by saying, “Break… Break.” The mantra of that time was “10-4, good buddy!”

It was great fun because you could reach out to people and you didn’t even have to know them to talk to them. We even had aliases and it made everything all the more mysterious and thrilling. One could be anonymous and that was part of the thrill. All one could grasp of the other in terms of an identity was a voice and an alias, and one’s imagination took over to fill in the rest. One could be a nerd or some Plain Jane but, through a unique voice and a made-up handle, one could project him/herself to the world as exotic, wild or sexy. And sure enough, one would get noticed!

In the age of the Internet, the excitement antes up even higher. There is a dynamic working here that makes blogging a real blast!

One gets the chance to dialogue not with one or two people at any given time but with the whole world — that is, if you can get everyone to visit your blog site. With the relatively heavy traffic I generate, I get a kick knowing that a certain number of people from different continents read my thoughts and resonate with them. I get a thrill knowing that when I express what I think is a unique experience, I get a response from somewhere affirming the universality of what I thought was particular to me alone.

“Of course! Why not?” I almost have to say this out loud as I realize that my feelings of loneliness, happiness, doubt, joy, wonder, bias, fear, humor, irritation and my hopes and dreams are shared by so many other people everywhere. There is an affirmation felt on both ends. It’s like I look up and smile for a satellite camera and the whole sky beams back my image.

But why expose myself to comment, some of which can be downright negative and nasty, as my anonymous reader asks? It is because, deep down, we all need to connect to others. We are alive when we are connected. My own yearning to connect is heightened and colored by my artistic bent. I am an artist. Artists must create, and must release their creations to the world in more ways and with more urgency than non-artists do. It is in my nature to communicate. It is therapeutic for me.

A writer writes with the hope that the world will read what he writes. I make songs so that people will sing them. The very nature of creativity is to take wings and fly, catch someone’s imagination or land somewhere where it can embed itself in someone’s life and thus make its mark on the world.

In the Christian tradition, we are told that God made the world in His own image and likeness. A book, a song, an architectural design, a poem, a painting or any other work of creation is a creator’s way of trying to be God-like. How? By making his/her own imprint on the world. In my case, writing/blogging is just one way of making my mark by conversing and sharing my thoughts with inhabitants of this place called cyberspace. I write and leave behind my own image and likeness. There is a layman’s theological explanation to this: Just as it is God’s nature to be everywhere, it is within us as heirs to divinity to attempt to do likewise!

If I had been an American Indian two centuries ago, I would have been adept at smoke signals in my need to communicate with people in the distance. If I had been a caveman, I would have carved drawings in my cave. Expression and creativity are natural impulses.

Just as our cells multiply, I wish to multiply my presence in the world. In sexual terms, gustong magpalahi. Do you ever wonder why a man releases six million sperm cells when only one is needed to create life? My theory is because life likes to express its own abundant self.

The risk, of course, is that one can get criticized, condemned, laughed at, just as one can receive praise and adulation. That’s okay. It comes with the territory. The very act of being alive is to accept the risk of being exposed to the ups and downs, the ying and yang of living. Where there is light, there must be shadow. Opposites exist to validate each other.

In the cyber age, I dare say, it is better to blog, even if I get criticized, than not to blog at all!

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