Monday, May 11, 2009

Find Me, Friend Me, Follow Me, Connect

It's overly easy these days to lead a more public life than most of us ever dreamed we could, or would, or could or would want to.

Long ago, I copied a saying from Markings, by Dag Hammarskjöld, to the effect that one should live every day so as never to be embarrassed if what you do is published in the newspaper. (If I had the book to hand, I'd quote it, but alas, most all my books are, once again, in boxes.) [Update: if I'd had the book to hand, I'd have realized the quote I was thinking of was from Illusions, by Richard Bach. I knew it was one of the two. Guessed wrong.] Today, much of what we do each minute is published on the internet. Today, we publish it ourselves, through MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, and so on. And what some people tell of their own lives, and proudly, our parents would have blushed to whisper. We can, if we choose, broadcast our location through GPS-enabled phones, for a few close friends to follow, or for all the world. Don't look for me to do that any time soon.

There's nothing in my life so scandalous or interesting that I would be embarrassed to have it published. (I've tried, for most of my life--not always successfully, I'll admit--to live by Hammarskjöld's advice, and more of it than the snippet above.) But I believe there are occasionally blurred, but mostly distinct lines between the things that would interest the readers of this blog and most of my "Friends" on, say, FaceBook. (Yes. I have a FaceBook account. I have daughters in high school and college. I was the Deputy Inspector General at a four-year college. But, if you're a long-time reader, you know all this.) For my friends and family, it may be enough simply to know that I saw Star Trek last weekend. For many readers of this blog, that event only has significance if I have something to say about the experience. (I will. Be patient.)

My life feeds this blog. Whatever contemplations you find here, whatever insights to human nature, whatever advice on relationships, whatever reviews of food, entertainment, or consumer goods--all those thoughts have their genesis in my life. Yet, my life per se, is not what this blog is about. This blog is about Life in more general terms--Life with a capital L.

All of this, really, is in response to readers whose curiosity was piqued by recent comments about my current travels or upcoming relocation. While this blog is not exactly anonymous--most of its readers know the author in some form, or at least feel that they know enough about the author to properly weigh his words--it has a thin facade of anonymity, or of pseudonymity, that has not fully exhausted its value. If only for myself, I'd like to preserve the illusion that the things I say here, at least sometimes, have a weight of their own, independent of any of the people the author is.

The "Doc" who authors TheyRodeOn, the "Doc" who will not let you escape his reach in freefall, the "Doctor" who lectures from podium and windowsill and makes sleep-deprived cadets stand in their chairs for nodding off in his literature or composition classes, and the friend, father, and brother whose blog some don't know exists are all one and the same and yet not. So, if you want to know what's going on with any one of me, you'll need to pick a level to drill down to, a window to peek in through. The deepest insights will always be here, and sometimes, the root causes as well. The mundane is out there to be had, just not here. Find me, friend me, follow me, connect. The view changes depending on which window you choose. The same heart drives them all.