One Dimension Shy
March 18, 2013 § 18 Comments
Last night at my folks house for dinner, there was a discussion about this blog. Of course, my parents love it, if only because it cracks open the window into our lives a little further. Like most parents, they want to know more about their children than their children are sometimes inclined to share, so any extra scraps are consumed with glee.
Penny, it should be said, is less enthusiastic. This is in part because she’s inherently a private person, but also because she’s not a fan of the medium in general. It feels to her like an artifice of true connectivity, and she also dislikes what she perceives as the self-aggrandizing and voyeuristic nature of most blogs. Penny is one of the most grounded and secure people I’ve ever met, and to her, blogging feels like the antithesis of these qualities. In short, if you are truly happy with and immersed in your life, why would you feel the need to broadcast it to others?
Furthermore, you have to understand that Penny dislikes computers, and simply cannot fathom why anyone would spend a half-second more in front of one than absolutely necessary. It’s not that she doesn’t like to read (she reads voraciously), or finds everything that is available via the Internets distasteful; it’s simple that she abhors staring into a screen. Fair enough, I’d say, because despite however curmudgeonly a brush it might paint me with, I think there is something inherently different between reading a book and reading pixels.
It’s also important to understand that Penny is not a dreamer, but a doer. Once she decides on a course of action, she commits herself to it until completion. She is not afraid of reevaluating and possibly shifting gears; it’s just that she has little-to-no patience for dithering. To her, there is something in the nature of the blog that is noncommittal, that suggests a passing relationship based on something less than full engagement.
If there’s an irony in any of this, I suppose it’s that Penny is the source point for many of the ideas and themes I write about. More so than myself, she is the one responsible for ensuring that our lives have been only minimally hijacked by 21st-century expectations. She has no desire for money or stuff beyond the absolute minimum necessary to support our little hill farm enterprise, and she feels enormously connected to the natural world and the rhythms of our small lives. In this regard, I find her inspiring.
Penny has made her peace with this site. I don’t agree with all of her views regarding the medium, but I value her perspective tremendously. If nothing else, it reminds me that no matter how honest and sincere I try to be in this space, it is in a sense not real. It is only a two-dimensional version and a fractional vision of a world that is decidedly three dimensional, whole, and imperfect.