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Monday, November 29, 2010

M.P. = M.E.

I owe so much to Middle Passages. This thought surfaced on a Sunday morning, when I hadn’t posted in several days, during a month that has found me struggling to ensure something new shows up here three days a week.

Most times, this blog lurks at the edge of my consciousness, usually with anticipation. As a rule, I’m excited to create a new post. Sometimes though, when life is at its busiest, there’s an “Oh gosh it’s time to do my homework feeling” that surfaces, coupled with a hard to shake, slightly irrational idea that I have to keep writing here. Like knocking on wood three times or making sure not to step on a crack, crafting these online pieces has become some kind of talisman. It was the thing that first held me up when life dealt an unexpected blow—and it has carried me through many months since. Could I plummet to the core of the earth if Middle Passages wasn’t around to stop me? Would I keep writing without it?

The thought reminds me of Nomar Garciaparra, a powerhouse hitter and shortstop for the Boston Red Sox for ten years. Baseball is full of players with quirks. “Nomie’s” however, were a bit extreme. Each time he was up to bat, he performed an intricate ritual of pats and tugs to his gloves, lasting for perhaps a half a minute before he stepped into the batter’s box—always the same gestures in the same order. He simply could not swing without his little ceremony. Has Middle Passages become my compulsive good luck custom?

Every so often, when the responsibility of posting in this blog pulls me from other things—writing I should focus on and chase to its ultimate conclusion, the idea of letting Middle Passages go flits through like a butterfly circling a fading summer garden, but I shrug it away—not only fearful, but sad. The thing of it is that Middle Passages is not just a safety net; it has also become my friend.

This blog, as well as its readers, listens to me, regardless of how much I babble, offering handholding and support. As a result, I’ve stepped out, tested and challenge myself, and now, am stronger and more confident. At its most fundamental level, Middle Passages has forced me to demonstrate that I can write; that I’m not a “one shot wonder." I have the commitment and resourcefulness to create entertaining posts, and to stick to a regular writing schedule for long periods of time. I’m doing things that before starting this blog, I would have never thought possible. 

Back then, I sighed and drummed my fingers as I slipped across the surface of life. Then, circumstances dictated that one day I click “Create a Blog,” fashion a post and push "Publish." The rest, as they say, is history. Holding myself accountable to post, listening to the comments of my readers, reading so many of you who have taught me so much--all this has produced a direct kind of “living in the minute” lifestyle that I’m not sure I would have accomplished without the prodding of Middle Passages—which come to think of it, is a funny thing to write.

Just as I wrote that sentence, I realized this. No matter how addicted he was to his rituals, in the end, when he stepped up to the plate, Nomar Garciaparra was the one who hit the ball.

Perhaps it’s time to recognize that no matter how much gratitude I feel toward Middle Passages, it is not a separate entity.  Those fingers tapping my shoulder reminding me to get writing? Well, the arm that they are attached to, happens to belong to me.

What about you.  How do you feel about your blog?  Do you assign it any rituals or quirks?


Sharon said...

Wonderful and thought provoking post, LIza. You made me think about this. Here's my take:
Sometimes my blog feels like a judgmental teacher standing over me, foot tapping, arms folded, waiting impatiently for the expected assignment. And, I just want to run away.
Other times it is my best friend listening supportively to my inner thoughts, no matter how convoluted. I feel comforted and encouraged.
Almost always it is a special connection with kindred spirits. No matter how much time passes, I am drawn back to leave on more post.
You know I love your writing and always look forward to reading your blog. This one was a great exercise in personal perspective for me. Thank you.

Anne Gallagher said...

Nomar! O.M.G. Remember that! He used to drive me CRAZY!

I love my blog. I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't have it. Of course there are some days I hate it and couldn't care less if I ever saw it again but most days I love it.

I've found a better working relationship with myself. I'm finding I'm keeping myself engaged, as it were, in the book/writing/publishing industry. I feel like I belong and am not such an outsider anymore. I know stuff now, whereas I didn't before. And it's enlightening.

I also have found many incredible friendships through this blog thing so that's also a boon to me.

Simon C. Larter said...

Well, since I blog so irregularly now, I can't claim the blog keeps me on track. But I'm still writing, for sure. I get squirrely when I don't write for a few days on end. Like this past weekend, when I took a 3 day break, then found it quite hard to get back into the flow on Saturday night.

Ah, well. To each their own method.

And I'm quite glad you've kept on keeping on with M.P., good lady. I comment rarely, nowadays, but I still read. (You make me hungry with your cheese shop posts, btw.)

Happy beginning of the holiday season, Liza!

Robyn Campbell said...

Very nice post. It reminded me of me. I too have felt pulled away from my writing to post on my blog. But when I'm over at my blog, there really isn't any place I'd rather be. :)

I do read MP even if I get lazy on the commenting side. There is so much going on right now. UGH *hugs*

Thanks for reminding me of my love for my blog, Liza.

glnroz said...

you know what I think?? I think, you know what I think..but I will say what I think; I don't use sugar or creme in my coffee in the morning. I use MP. If I drink coffee without MP, I just wait paitiently until I can.

glnroz said...

you know what I think?? I think, you know what I think..but I will say what I think; I don't use sugar or creme in my coffee in the morning. I use MP. If I drink coffee without MP, I just wait paitiently until I can.
As far as my blog, I urge to do better..

Colette said...

Liza, I tend to write when the spirit moves me, and like you, sometimes feel like writing blog posts is homework. So I try to write them ahead of time -- and schedule them. That way if something comes up I'm covered.

Jan Morrison said...

I'm pretty haphazard with my blog - except perhaps my Friday Challenges - those I'm fairly steady with. I hope and fear that my blog keeps me honest - if I tell a bunch of friends that I've never met that I will do something - well I usually do it or at least tell them why I'm not! My blog is like a kindly bossy friend - she is comfortable but not toooooo comfortable and she will tell me when I'm letting myself down. For yes, like you, I know in the end it is me.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I didn't realize how much I would enjoy it until I began over a year ago. Now, it's one of my biggest creative outlets. And I get to rant about movies, music, and geek stuff. What guy doesn't dig that?

Lydia Kang said...

Great post! I love blogging and find it very fulfilling. I didn't know I would enjoy it so much, or that I'd ever find anyone who'd actually want to read it!

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Blogging is still fairly new for me. I treat it completely differently from most things in my life. I am so reliable with so much that blogging is where I allow myself to sort of drift in & out and just see where it takes me. It's sort of like why I started blogging at all- I loved reading others stuff. Then a major life change was on the way and I wanted to record the process for myself and share it with others. I haven't had much control over how that has gone so far and I don't try to control what I put out on my blog. I just allow it to happen- something I want to integrate more into my life overall.

KarenG said...

I love my blog too. Well, I love both of them. Sometimes I just click on and look at them, and reread all the comments, gaze lovingly at my followers, and then move on. I know just how you feel :)

Robin said...

I feel so much better when I blog daily. Right now, I am not. The migraines are shaking every good thought right out of my head. So, I feel on very shaky ground indeed.

Tabitha Bird said...

I love your blog too :)

And like my blog because it gives me a way to reach others and let others reach into me. I would bot be without it.