Tracy Lee Karner
The Way I Was

Thank you to my friends who express themselves

Tracy Lee Karner
“Solitude” photograph by Lorena Heacock Heintz

Reading “The Art of Travel” by Alain de Botton has re-introduced me to the thought-provoking and  inspiring writings of John Ruskin (1819-1900). He has got me thinking again about something I can never seem to explain-why I blog and post; and why I read your blog or your posts (you whose blog and/or facebook posts I read, and/or whose art or photography I admire, you know I mean YOU).

Seeing through another person’s eyes makes us more compassionate people. But I can only see through other peoples’ eyes, if they notice, and then attempt to describe, what they’ve seen or experienced

Peeling an orange and biting into a segment of it. Drinking a glass of wine or seeing Victoria Falls for the first time. Dealing with birth and love and falling out of love and death. Watching the sun shine through the trees while a flag waves in the wind. Deciding to move from despair to joy. Choosing to will ourselves out of bitterness into forgiveness. Opening the attic window that has long been nailed shut.

I want, I’ve always wanted experience life, to see, to live and to think vividly enough that I notice what’s happening.

Whether I’m walking on grass or asphalt or gravel, I want to feel my shoes against my heels and hear whether there is momentary cessation of traffic. I want to notice the nit-witty bird singing into the void as if he could fill the silence. I want to see the green beetle creeping on the purple blossom and when I’ve come home, I want to have more to remember than that I went for a walk and it was nice.

I value that you make the effort to express yourself. Really, it matters to me, because you’re the only one who thinks and sees exactly like you.

Ruskin says that through the careful articulation and sympathetic exchange of words and images, we develop a more conscious understanding of what we have loved.

Thank you for your gumption and your point of view (really, I’m talking to YOU). Whether you make me laugh or cringe or shake my head or sigh, you enrich my life.

Perhaps you’ve noticed, I’ve been too busy reading your blog and facebook posts to care very much about writing my blog. Also, I have other writing projects demanding much time, and so I’ve decided I’m going to try to blog on a once a month (perhaps twice a month) basis.

Those-who-know-about-such-things say my decision  is a mistake  They say I’m supposed to blog thrice-weekly or more. But here’s what I’m wondering, and maybe you can answer this for me…

Who are THEY, exactly? I mean everybody says, “everybody says so,” but who is this everybody? And why would following everybody’s advice be a good idea? I mean, really, you don’t mind if I blog less often, do you?

And believe me, I’m much more interested in what YOU have to say than in what THEY say… 

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8 thoughts on “Thank you to my friends who express themselves”

  1. Very beautifully written post. You have such a wonderful way with words – truly a gift. To answer your question…I don’t know who “they” are but “they” sure do dictate alot of things!

    1. Thank you, Stephanie–I’m not sure where it came from. I just started writing to a photograph a friend took, thinking about how nice it would have been to be on the walk with her, and the words rolled out.

  2. Your way with words, Tracy, equals your way of interacting with people. Your words are engaging and comforting, and caring and funny. You have found such a good way to incorporate your personality into words. I really admire that…

    Whatever “they” say, do as you please. This is your blog, so I will follow according to your rules…

    1. Oliver, the older I get, the more I care about interacting with the actual people I know and like, and the less I believe that what “they” think, matters. Although it wasn’t easy getting to the point of not letting “them” influence my decisions. Like Stephanie says, “They” sure do a lot of dictating…

  3. Anytime we hear “they say…” we should question that! I have seen the advice you reference from people familiar with book marketing. If it’s a person’s goal to really get out there, create a following and build a platform in hopes of someday having a book deal, then one probably should be an active blogger. But if that’s not the priority at the moment, then a blog should be whatever you want it to be!

    This is a lovely post. Too often we don’t take the time to see things from our perspective or the perspective of others because we’re too busy rushing to and fro. Sad.

    1. But it’s so difficult not to get caught up in “rushing” when we live in a culture that puts such high value on “efficiency.” I now, however, doubt there is much sense in “saving time.” (The only thing it does save, is production cost when labor/output is viewed as a commodity, which is only one way, and perhaps not the most reasonable way, of viewing it).

      There isn’t actually a bank account of “time” where you can deposit it so you can draw on at a future date because you didn’t spend it now. Our minutes our doled out one-at-a-time, and we never can stockpile any to use later.

  4. Good for you, Tracy, and I think you should definitely listen to your heart, not “them.” Your heart-felt posts are worth the wait!

    Though I have begun to question this business of updating often. At this point, when it seems everyone is blogging, when do we find time to read all these blogs, on top of writing our own, and working on other projects…?? Help!! I’m starting to appreciate people who blog less rather than more. That’s where the ‘subscribe’ function is so helpful. We can get the notification and not worry about having to check back all the time.

    1. Nicely said, Violet. I think the thought–that since I appreciate less rather than more, I might not be the only one–was hanging out, unarticulated in the back of my mind when I made this decision. Sort of a golden rule of blogging. “Blog unto others as you would be blogged unto.” Because I like reading blogs but not ALL the time, I figured my readers would be just as happy if I blogged less frequently.

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