Expressing LIfe Vs. Living It

By , March 30, 2011

The daily ritual of laying out tasks in my Franklin Planner includes reading the daily quote provided. Recently, a quote from the French philosopher, Gaston Bachelard, hit rather close to home.

It said: “To live life well is to express life poorly; if one expresses life too well, one is living it no longer.”

Now, I’m not exactly sure what Monsieur Bachelard had in mind when he said this, but it took me aback. It seemed as if he might be referring to blogging!

Maintaining a blog, especially as close to daily as possible, can be somewhat of a drag at times. I seem to go through periods where I can’t wait to write down my thoughts on recent events here, and other days where I can’t begin to describe what’s going on, and find that I don’t really want to. I seem to be in the latter phase at the moment. I’m too caught up in living the life, and don’t feel inclined to describe it to anyone.

The feeling has no doubt been strengthened by the recent softening of the weather. Suddenly, it’s much more exciting to be outside and active, even if—or perhaps especially if—that activity includes hard physical work. As I get out and doing, I’m becoming very annoyed by the narrative voice yammering away in my head. It’s composing blog posts, inevitably becoming a running commentary on whatever I’m doing. I wish I could just shut it up.

Playing music helps somewhat, but I’m reluctant to stick a pair of earbuds in, as that would drown out the world around me. All of a sudden, after a long, silent winter, the forest and waters around us are coming alive—the last thing I want to do is miss out on that!

“. . . if one expresses life too well, one is living it no longer.” This reminds me of my reasons for not taking as many photos as I might. I’m eager to capture significant moments of my life, but not at the risk of seeing them for the first time, clearly, after the fact, having missed the event as it happened, because I focused on getting a good shot of it.

The blog isn’t quite like that, but some days it comes dangerously close. If I’m not careful, I begin to view my life through the potential reader’s point of view. That removes me from the reality of what’s going on here, separating me from the life I’m trying to live. I fall into living my own life in abstract rather than reality.

I’m not exactly sure what to do about it. I’m tempted to take a break, but I’ve worked hard to build an audience, based on consistent, frequent posting. I don’t want to fall off too much, or readers will forget to come back.

I’d bet if Gaston Bachelard were alive, he’d advise me to worry less about expressing my life well, and concentrate on living it.

So, if you begin to see gaps in the blog, come back later in the day, or the next day. I’ll most likely be here. If not, I’ll be back very shortly!

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