I made it through. The intent?--do a blog for an entire semester, probably the only way you will be able to stay at writing. I did it--almost. This morning, the last day of class, I'm on empty.
It's not that there is no stories, but both of them--the ones yearning to escape the confines of my soul--are just a little too big for the confessional character of a blog.
I'm still not sure what this is, whose ears are attuned, what stories I might venture, how much honesty is allowed. The whole blog idea remains something of a mystery.
This morning I got a paper from a student who apologized because the meditation he wrote--the assignment was to write a meditation--was simply something he'd taken from his blog, an Easter meditation he wrote last spring. He had good reason to ask, of course, because the work wasn't new, wasn't written just now, as if it were the result of a formal assignment.
And that he's written it for his blog--isn't that in itself immensely commendable? That he--and others--are writing frequently, publishing on the web, isn't that what writing teachers like me should see as wonderufl. Isn't getting students to write really the mission of all English teachers? Maybe we should be teaching "the blog" as an exercise, like some of the other assignments I give in Advanced Comp--the portrait, the interview, the family essay, the op-ed--and now, the blog. Maybe someone already has introduced it into writing curriculums. Maybe I can find a book somewhere that lists "seven rules for bloggers." I'd love to know what they are. After 130 posts, I still don't have a clue. I don't think there are rules. I don't think the medium allows for rules.
It's an amazing thing, this web, this internet. Just amazing. It bestows power to the people, makes the French Revolution look like a mud fight. I'm a writer; I have a blog. I'm a writer; I have a book I self-published. I'm a musician; download my work. I'm an artist; check out this url where you can buy my photographs. The net allows us to be what we always wanted to be in this world, and that, of course, is immensely fascinating as it is potentially liberating, and as promising as it is scary.
I don't know that we can begin to calculate the change. I don't think anyone knows--or if they do, my guess is they aren't talking.
I'm not Chicken Little, and the sky is not falling. But everything is going to look different in the future, in the virtual world. Anyone on the web can be almost what we ever wanted to be--that's the blessing and curse of our new technologies.
It creates new communities out of the dust of the communities it destroys. In other words, it births as it slays. And we're on it, and nobody knows where it's going to lead. Me either.
What doesn't change is human nature, for better and for worse.
Lord, have mercy.