Friday, March 18, 2011

Embarrassment

This is not a new thought, but it's one I probably haven't shared, at least not here and not in quite this way.

I wonder if my professed desire to record my thoughts and ideas and concerns here on Blogspot is less a desire for privately recording my thoughts than publicly seeking connections. The same questions arise over my use of Facebook and my less frequent use of Twitter.

Am I doing this for myself, as I think (or say) I am, or am I writing here and there in the hope I will make a significant connection without someone who will become an intimate friend? (No, not intimate in that way.)

It is embarrassing even to ask these questions of myself in private, much less in a public (though not very) forum like this. (I don't get much traffic.) But, at least for now, I'm of the opinion that, embarrassment aside, I need to know the answers more than I need to know my privacy is my own.

Am I a disconnected guy who's looking for some kind of connection with someone else, someone with whom I can share my thoughts and feelings and beliefs and from whom I can expect honesty but not in a brutal way? Or am I just stumbling about, looking for a one-off communication with someone I can call a "friend," if only for awhile and only through a lens of impersonality?

And why the hell does an old guy nearing 60 have such questions? Weren't they supposed to be resolved during my teenage years? Have I reached adulthood temporally only, leaving emotional maturity to come (or not) much later?

Here's a poem by James Kavanaugh, who died in 2009, that I find exceptionally compelling and powerful. Are we all looking for friends?

Will you be my friend?
There are so many reasons why you never should:
I’m sometimes sullen, often shy, acutely sensitive,
My fear erupts as anger, I find it hard to give,
I talk about myself when I’m afraid
And often spend a day without anything to say.
But I will make you laugh
And love you quite a bit
And hold you when you’re sad.
I cry a little almost every day
Because I’m more caring than the strangers ever know,
And, if at times, I show my tender side
(The soft and warmer part I hide)
I wonder, will you be my friend?

A friend who far beyond the feebleness of any vow or tie
Will touch the secret place where I am really I,
To know the pain of lips that plead and eyes that weep,
Who will not run away when you find me in the street
Alone and lying mangled by my quota of defeats
But will stop and stay-to tell me of another day
When I was beautiful.
Will you be my friend?

There are so many reasons why you never should:
Often I’m too serious, seldom predictably the same,
Sometimes cold and distant, probably I’ll always change.
I bluster and brag, seek attention like a child,
I brood and pout, my anger can be wild,
But I will make you laugh and love you quite a bit
And be near you when you’re afraid.

I shake a little almost every day
Because I’m more frightened than the strangers ever know
And if at times I show my trembling side
(The anxious, fearful part I hide)
I wonder, will you be my friend?

A friend who, when I feel your closeness, feels me push away
And stubbornly will stay to share what’s left on such a day,
Who, when no one knows my name or calls me on the phone,
When there’s no concern for me – what I have or haven’t done-
And those I’ve helped and counted on have oh, so deftly, run,
Who, when there’s nothing left but me, stripped of charm and
Subtlety, will nonetheless remain.

Will you be my friend?
For no reason that I know, Except I want you so.

3 comments:

TaraDharma said...

my friend, I say, "Don't over-think it." We are social animals, we crave connection (the healthy ones anyway). You may blog for yourself, you may blog for connection to others. It's probably both. I blog for that connection, the exchange of ideas, the sharing of one's life. It's grand. I imagine myself a columnist sometimes, and I write what I know, as they always tell you to do in creative writing class. If people relate, wonderful. If they do not, it's a great way to chronicle my existence.

xxooo

Springer Kneeblood said...

Thanks, Tara...good advice, "don't over-think it."

Kathy Rogers said...

These are good questions, probably at the root of why I start and stop with the blogging. I very much tend toward the leave-me-alone, so these virtual connections are good for me. I can turn them off and on pretty much at will.

But Tara's right, too. Sometimes it is better to just roll with it.