Now we are getting into areas I have yet to explore with this blog. Today’s Blogging101 assignment is for us to respond to a blogging prompt. I was unaware that WordPress posts daily prompts. Evidently prompts are a type of jump starter for bloggers suffering from a bit of bloggers block, or perhaps they are simply an information nugget to chew on over a busy day’s stuff.
I like the idea of responding to a prompt, and understand why WordPress provides this type of service for would be Pulitzer winners to prime the pump. What is mystifying to this semi-luddite is the concept of a “ping back”. Evidently a ping back is a kind of feedback loop where you like somebody’s post so much that you write a post that links to that post, which word then gets back to the originator of the post that you liked their post so much that you wrote a post that links to their post. Ostensibly this is done to get them to like one of your posts and write a post linking to your post, which word then gets back to you that somebody liked your post so much that they wrote a post that linked to your post.
At least I think so.
I understand the whole networking, blogging community, promotional aspect of blogging, yet this is where I falter as a blogger. I shouldn’t admit this but I could care less about anyone else’s blog. This does not come from a place of ego (yes it does) or lack of empathy (this part is true). It comes from the place of I barely have time to brush my teeth daily, given all the busy work I have given myself to do each day. I tend to load myself up just to prevent me from acting out. Frankly it’s dangerous for me to have idle time on my hands, which having the time to blog sort of implies.
Aye, there’s the rub.
So as is often the case, the value of taking this course is turning out to be that, by participating, I am answering my own questions. My primary question entering this exercise was why can’t I publish posts with more regularity. Now I know why. If I have enough time to write a blog post I have enough time to get myself into trouble. Ergo, if I don’t write in my blog I am using my time judiciously. However, if I do, I am inviting danger.
Oh, BTW, here is the link I am supposed to include in my post to do a ping back to the original prompt of the day, which of course has nothing to do with what I am writing about. Or does it?
What is my reason to believe? I don’t have a reason to believe. I don’t need one and neither do you. Belief in something, God, the constitution, yourself, whatever, is a cornerstone of existence and TBH if you need a reason to believe in something then perhaps you think you need to believe in it rather than know you need to. You’ll know when you need to believe in something. and it will just happen smoothly in the course of you being you. Thinking you need a reason to believe in something seems to me to be a function of someone telling you you should believe in that something. Then you need a reason to believe, because the believing is not natural to you. You need to be convinced.
Mind you this is Will talking and not anyone in authority. It’s just me trying to do the assignment. I don’t need a reason to do the assignment either. I just want to.
Frankly, Springsteen’s lyric is like so many other song lyrics, something that sounds like it means something important, but when you take a closer look at it isn’t nearly as profound as it might seem.
Obviously, when you come home from a hard day’s work you need a reason to believe, a reason to keep going day to day, perhaps in joy perhaps in drudgery. But that reason need not and should not be conscious. It should be clear and apparent, so apparent that it is not subject to conscious thought. If “The Boss” hadn’t made you aware of that need for a reason through his song, you’d probably never think of it by yourself, unless you were a philosopher, which few of us are. But, in the knowing, it certainly is meaningful to us, and that’s the beauty of artistry.
One of the great skills of writers is that they are able to bring to the surface realities that lie in our subconscious, just underneath the surface of consciousness. They seem so familiar. They endear us to the artist because “it’s like she knows what I am thinking”, “she understands me”. That is because they connect us with feelings we truly have but aren’t consciously aware of. So naturally they seem familiar and they seem to originate there, in the artists words. But they do not. They originate in you, in your feelings, in your heart, mind, and soul. You just don’t associate them with yourself.
Pretty good trick eh? Actually, when an artist surrenders to truth telling, and stirs up those thoughts and feelings of beauty lying just underneath the surface of our consciousness, it is a good thing, a very good thing. It awakens us to a reality we live with every day but think we have never met. This is the value of artistry to society. It helps us to see inside ourselves to find truths about ourselves and life, and love, and the world around us, which we have always known, but have misplaced or forgotten.
So when we say that this song or that painting or this magazine article caused us to look at this or that thing in a new way, what we are really saying is that they reminded us of something we had forgotten, something deep inside that reminds us of our unique and powerful humanity.
Artists reconnect us with ourselves. That is why it is so satisfying when we find one we connect with, one that speaks to us. It’s just one way the universe deceives us into thinking that fulfillment lives outside of us. It doesn’t. Fulfillment always comes from within. Sometimes, though, it’s best if we maintain the illusion. Being responsible for our own joy can be too much for some of us to deal with.
Next time you find an artist who speaks to you, look for how you are really speaking to yourself. What you find may “ping back” to your own happiness.