Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A blogger's uncertainty principle

A blog is not a journal..not in the private sense, anyway. I can't go writing down my deepest secrets and desires, and I can't always express everything that's in my head. People are reading along, maybe lots of people from all over my world...both virtual and physical. As long as I am sharing only positive things about other people, I'm okay, but venture into publically wrestling with relationships and watch out!

So what does one do if writing is how you process information? I suggest a private journal in a Word file, or good ole pencil and paper. Not satisfactory? You say you want to share what you've learned and perhaps enlighten others? Then brace yourself for it. Don't do it with a faint heart. You may be justified in laying bare your own soul, but others who might feel exposed by that action aren't going to thank you for it.

People don't want to be object lessons, they don't want to pointed to as the ones who are "left behind" after you've made a great discovery in your own life, and they especially don't want to have been the catalyse for that change if it ends up reflecting poorly on them.

I guess the real problem is that our journeys in life aren't private. Our inward journey might be a private one, but it is worked on by so many outside forces that even there we aren't safe in assuming that sharing our journey won't negatively impact someone else. In science there is a principle called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. In quantum physics it means that the more precisely you know an object's position, the less percisely you know an object's momentum (and vice versa). The very act of observing the object causes the object to change, making your data obsolete even as it is collected. As we observe other people, how they effect us and how we grow, we also cause ourselves and others to change...our data on ourselves and on those around us is always old data, always obsolete, always in the past. We can only see how we were and predict where we might be going, but rarely can we fix where we are right now.

The people who interacted in my life are changing, too. Maybe not the same way I am, but they don't want to be pigeonholed into the past either. For example, I could share about a friend who emotionally abandoned me...someone I was very close to. (Edited to add: This doesn't address the pain I caused her.. I'm not laying blame here. My actions percipitated the emotional withdrawal on her part.) It was an immensely painful point in my life and the repercussions have caused much growth and change in me. But the person who hurt me back then is still back there in time. The person she is today is different. I've let her be different, and without reference to the past, we've grown close again. She was changed by the experience, I was changed by the experience. It wasn't pleasant but maybe in some way it was necessary for both of us.

Perhaps that why blogging hasn't appealed to me (besides my lousy typing and spelling skills). I know what I write may be obsolete the moment it is written. I'm not good at extolling the beauty of the sunset or discussing the finer points of art or literature. And while I can wax eloquent on my family or even my pets, small talk in print isn't my strong suit. I want to verbalize what inside at the moment, and that can be dangerous and even hurtful to others as my thoughts of the moment lay there in cyberspace forever, perhaps caging those people in and not allowing them to change or grow.

Blogging for me is a tricky business. Perhaps I should just get that digital camera and photoblog; leaving words to the experts.



paula365 said...

Carrie, if what you have written is NOT waxing eloquent, then I'm not sure what is. This was insightful and articulate. When we journal about the impact of others in our lives, we make them one-dimensional, while we explore the nuances of our lives. So without meaning to, we diminish them. I had never thought about that before. Thank you.

SusansPlace said...

Carrie, you absolutely do have a way with words! I am going to be thinking about that scientific principal today. I see it at work in my life.

Thank you for such profound insight!


MistyK said...

Wow, Carrie! The only thing I think you'd better quit doing here is claiming *not* to be a good writer. Great stuff . . .I really enjoyed and agreed with what you shared. Thanks!

carrie said...

You guys are too kind! Thank you all so much for the encouragement.

carrie said...

When we journal about the impact of others in our lives, we make them one-dimensional, while we explore the nuances of our lives. So without meaning to, we diminish them. I had never thought about that before.

What I'm thinking right now is that it doesn't mean we have to stop expressing ourselves or sharing our story, but that we need to do it with a more accurate view of what the impact on others might be. perhaps it can serve to help us anticipate and re-wrd, or perhaps it can only help us not be blindsided by another's reaction. I don't know.

I do know I'm still here and I'm still writing, so I guess I still think there must be a way to do it. What do you think?


Dancingirl365 said...

Carrie - I just found out you have a blog!! You've put into words my own reluctance to blog. But I still want to. It's hard,huh? I'd like to explore some of what you say here more, but will wait til I get home.
I am enjoying all these posts! You are such an honest writer.

julieunplugged said...

Here's what I loved about this post - the way we tend to stop the journey for someone when we pinpoint where they are now too narrowly. I loved the use of scientific analogy to get at these ideas because it is so new to me, it startles me into insight. You are awesome.

carrie said...

Julie wrote:
the way we tend to stop the journey for someone when we pinpoint where they are now too narrowly.

I like the way you put this. It also ties into something on your blog...or your UPI column, I guess. This is what I was trying tos ay about the spoken word as well. Sometimes the things we say when we try to explain ourselves, or justify ourselves, cage us in as well as the other person. Our frustration or anger or pain at the process can spill over and we feel the need to defend or deny, or at least explain. But I've found that sometimes just keeping ot hte journey forward means that farhter down the road the words become unnecessary anyway.

I know I'm still not explaining it well. By focusing on one point (or even a series of points) in time and making an "issue" out of it, we can keep that as the focus on ourselves forever. Other people don't get past our self-characterization (by what we've said about how we feel) from then on. We've defined our "position" in the relationship and so lose the momentum in the eyes of others.

I maybe don't even understand what I'm saying. Right now it is just a feeling. ;-)