Who likes to get all personal-personal?
Sometimes we really like what we like. And yeah, it may just be something personal. It means whatever it means to us. Whether we blog about it or not.
lifethroughapinhole liked my Tony Judt post. Thank you, lifethroughapinhole, for letting me know. I checked out her (his?) blog. Today she has reblogged a piece by defyingcreon (July 6) about ALS and Lou Gehrig. I’ve reblogged that, too.
defyingcreon writes: “So, I don’t like to get all personal-personal. That’s not usually what I’m here for. But every once in a while, I gotta.” Then she (he?) pays tribute to Lou Gehrig and her father, who has Lou Gehrig’s disease (or ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the same illness that Tony Judt had). I’m not sure “tribute” is the word. This blogger’s intentions, I think, are humbler, simpler, resonating with the clarity and depth of her words.
I clicked the heart icon at the upper righthand corner of the Tumblr page. I genuinely liked what I’m “liking.” I was grateful for this technology that instantly let me let people know that something they said or did made sense to me. That’s not how I always feel about this “liking” thing. Never been a huge fan of popularity contests. But on this Saturday morning I felt good liking defyingcreon’s post and lifethroughapinhole’s reblogging of it.
Later I have to go out to buy some medicine. Then I’ll seriously consider making an appointment with my sister’s trusted doctor. Then I’ll Google other options, alternatives, so-called second opinions. Then get back to work, “real work,” or maybe something else. All that and more—to consider or reconsider—amid the passing of days, the failing of body parts and best intentions, the liking and unliking of this and that.
I don’t have ALS. Lots of other people don’t have it, either. But we all have something else to “consider or reconsider” sooner or later. Meanwhile, here’s a chance to connect with those who may be going through something like what we have to live with or suffer through. It’s not much. It won’t cure anyone’s disease. It won’t stop the pain or sadness or rage. It won’t make headlines, like the Higgs boson or TomKat divorce. But it’s there—the chance to let someone know that we are reading, that we care enough to read and say what we like. Reading, caring, saying in the limited but liberating ways that social networking can offer.
defyingcreon wrote: “Let someone know what an impact they’ve had in your life….” May sound mushy to some. Who likes to “get all personal-personal”? Perhaps not even me, especially not on the Internet. But as a semi-cynical, self-doubting tyro on Tumblr, I’ve been reconsidering my suspicions and hang-ups. I had feared I’d just clog up the blogosphere with more noise and clutter (mine, of course, would be sappier, crappier). I had wondered how one could go beyond the self-promoting, navel-gazing blog or shout-out or tweet. So thanks to all the bloggers on Tumblr (and elsewhere) showing me how. In many ways, we’re all in the same boat, the same cyberspace, often looking at life—living it—through our own pinholes. So yeah, let there be some space for empathy. Let’s blog and reblog all the empathy we can get and give.