Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Matter of My Blog

Millions of blogs exist that add nothing to the greater human conversation - no knowledge, nothing interesting, nothing helpful. Most often, one does not have to read very much of a post in order to know that the blogger is completely self-involved and self- indulgent - a "me" blogger.

Lately, I have been uninterested in blogging, yet getting to that bored stage of recovery - well enough to feel like doing things, but not quite well enough to do much about it. Blogging should be perfect for this stage; it keeps the mind busy but doesn't overtax the body.

The problem is self-involvement. At four weeks post-op, I am still quite self-involved - did I take the blood thinner? do I need ibuprofen? a nap? more fibre? more/less walking? Not what blog readers, no matter how loyal, want to hear much, if anything, about - and not what I want to record here.

Montaigne, however, could do it. He was a genius who wrote essays that were about himself, yet have attracted and delighted readers for more than 400 years.

Montaigne's essays discuss much about his life, told often as highly personal anecdotes - revealing and quite intimate. How does he manage to write about himself and his feelings, yet remain interesting and pertinent?

So many bloggers fail to take the step that Montaigne always takes. They fail to relate what they reveal about themselves to something meaningful to everyone else.

Montaigne's topics, no matter that he presented them from a highly personal perspective, deal with intellectual and philosophical issues that matter deeply to humanity. He did say, "I am myself the matter of my book," but that self is always a human being amongst and representative of all human beings.

Humanity is the matter of Montaigne's book. Too bad that can't be said for the millions of bloggers who use their blog as a mirror they can, like Narcissus, gaze at, endlessly longing for even more of themselves.


Ciss B said...

You are right, of course. But also there is so much anonymity in being totally out there too. Everyone sees you, but no one really knows you or cares. Some are willing to compromise their gift of stories to simply get noticed because no one seems to care. Those 15 minutes of fame as a blogger seems to be their only way sometimes to see if anyone really cares.

ChrisJ said...


It's true, but sad.

Judie said...

I think blogging is fun and interesting! I have really missed your posts since you have been recovering, and I am VERY glad to see that you are back at it.

If we didn't get something personal out of it, then we wouldn't be doing it, but it is a great way to connect with like-minded people you would like to live in the same town with so you could get together and solve the problems of the world, or just have a glass of wine!

I have missed your posts! I hope you are hopping around like nothing ever happened!!

ChrisJ said...


A glass of wine together sounds great!

I am walking with a cane already and should be hopping before very long. As for blogging, I am going to post as the mood strikes but not on any schedule.

P. M. Doolan said...

Montaigne is good for the soul. Blood thinners - yes. Ibprufen - yes. A nap -yes. Montaigne - definitely. Get well soon.

ChrisJ said...


Thanks. I am doing very well.

SALMA said...

Glad you're doing well.

About blogging. I wish to remain as anonymous as possible, so it's always difficult to truly reach out, tell your stories and yet hold back.
Hope to see you around more...

ChrisJ said...


Yes, it's hard to tell the complete story anonymously.

Pearl said...

Montaigne didn't arrive at that level overnight. If one is muzzled from expressing in earlier stages of craft, higher levels can't be reached.

As Buddhism and Hinduism have in their structure for compassion, there are many levels of life towards enlightenment and room for all. Even noodle blogs. It's just communication about what people care about. Some cares are product of feeling petty, some large as sky.

ChrisJ said...


It does sound as if I'm expecting everyone be at Montaigne's level from the start, and of course I'm not. I'm also not advocating preventing anyone from expressing whatever.

But you are much more magnanimous than I am. I don't want to read it!

Pearl said...

I didn't say I want to read the internet's slush pile or contribute to it but some seasons are slush.

ChrisJ said...


I know and agree, but can't help saying "it's slush, and it sucks," as opposed to just saying "it's slush."

Back to the zafu for me!

Jewel said...

Well said! I would also like to wish you a speedy recovery and hope you are feeling better than when you wrote this post.

ChrisJ said...


Thanks. I am feeling much better, just not so into blogging right now.

Anonymous said...

I think you may want to add a facebook button to your blog. Just marked down the blog, but I must make this by hand. Just my 2 cents.

Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont said...

It's a delight to find someone who shares my love of Montaigne. :-) anatheimp.blogspot.com/2010/01/loving-montaigne.html

ChrisJ said...


It's a pity more people don't know his work.