Anyone on my Blogroll is there initially because they commented on my Blog over a number of weeks. When I first started Blogging I gained great encouragement from it. That is the strange thing about the Blogroll. Over time it becomes almost a memorial to commentators past, rather than a list of current posters.
We all are moved by what is permanent and profound in our lives, or what we wish to be so. That is echoed in the Blogoshere all the time, but the irony of the Blogroll, if it is not constantly updated, is it can become a testimony to the ephemeral nature of Blogging. Almost all the people on my Blogroll no longer comment on my Blog, and I have no idea if many of them even visit. Being slightly pedestrian in my habits, I do a tour of my favourites at least on a weekly basis, and normally comment. The rest is silence. Why this is, I have no idea or no concrete ones at least.
I am reminded of that famous line “Only connect” from E.M. Forster’s novel, ” Howard’s Way”, which among other things deals with the degree to which the desire to connect is genuine or a case of social whimsy. Often mistaking the one for the other has been the cause for significant emotional hardship. Racing off to another writer of some distinction, W. Shakespeare, we are reminded that “All’s the world’s a stage, and the men and women merely players.”
It is a strange characteristic of the internet that it is occupied to a significant degree by people of sincere motive, with a story to tell, and often the passion to tell it arrestingly. Again and again I am moved by the sheer power of the prose I come across in Blogland,when people write about their personal experiences or subjects which consume them, and I am always driven to comment. The sincerity of the output is genuine and so are the responses.
At its heart the Blogoshere is beguiling, entertaining, moving and disturbing, but in large measure it will not fill our plates with food. It can reach into our souls but it cannot do the laundry. It is as intimate and revealing a melting pot of words as you could hope to find, and yet as impersonal as the television programme flickering in the corner of your room. It is the home of intimacies which provides a sense of bloodless companionship on levels not available in our daily lives.. And yet it is more than that.
It is a primal collective cry. An echoing note spreading out over the ether like the sound of a whale. The the voice of a faceless brotherhood seeking connection, recognition and hope. It is the belief that someone understands. It is a choir of a million voices pouring out the fears and dreams of a shifting population. It offers moments of fragmentary understanding and expressions of vulnerability. It is us.