Sunday, November 26, 2006

One more schmo with a blog.

Recently I explained to a friend why it would be a very bad idea for me to have my own blog. For starters, the world is glutted with wiseguys like me seeking their 15 minutes o' fabulosity on the Internet. I told her (with some pride) that I was determined to set myself apart from the rest of the herd by being the only person on earth to resist the urge to broadcast my every hiccup into the void. For me, a blog would be just another time waster, I said to her earnestly. Just another ego trip, careening toward the oblivion called Nobody Cares About The Funny Thing Your Cat Did Last Night, So Go Do Something With Your Life Already, Spinster Girl.

So why am I here? Good question. For starters, I need an outlet, and writing is my outlet of choice. Why not a journal, then? A deep, dark Dear Diary in a padlocked box under my bed? Because I like attention. And I'm of a confessional nature. And I like to be told I'm funny/intelligent/insightful. Of course, there aren't enough readers left in the world to fuel one more vanity blog. I don't pretend that I'll get noticed or that I particularly deserve to. But I like the idea that I can attach my anguish/boredom/puzzlement to a cyber balloon and send it off. Maybe it will pop and fall into the ocean unread. Maybe it will get caught in a tree and birds will make a nest out of it. Or maybe it will fall on the head of an innocent pedestrian who just for a moment will become my captive audience. It is that last possibility that has brought me to this otherwise pointless blog.

In keeping with this realistic view of my newborn blog, I have named it "A-sitting on a gate," from the White Knight's poem in Alice Through the Looking Glass, one of my favorite books. The Knight tells of how he pretended to be interested in an old man he met, who was sitting on a gate. Over and over he asked the old man about himself and then proceeded to daydream about his own plans and ignore everything the old man said. It is the perfect poem to describe most blogs I've seen, and certainly my own. See what you (You?? who are You?? do You even exist??) think:

I'll tell thee everything I can;
There's little to relate.
I saw an aged aged man,
A-sitting on a gate.
"Who are you, aged man?" I said,
"And how is it you live?"
And his answer trickled through my head
Like water through a sieve.

He said, "I look for butterflies
That sleep among the wheat:
I make them into mutton-pies,
And sell them in the street.
I sell them unto men," he said,
"Who sail on stormy seas;
And that's the way I get my bread -
A trifle; if you please."

But I was thinking of a plan
To dye one's whiskers green,
And always use so large a fan
That they could not be seen.
So, having no reply to give
To what the old man said,
I cried, "Come, tell me how you live!"
And thumped him on the head.

His accents mild took up the tale:
He said, "I go my ways,
And when I find a mountain-rill,
I set it in a blaze;
And thence they make a stuff they call
Rowland's Macassar-Oil -
Yet twopence-halfpenny is all
They give me for my toil."

But I was thinking of a way
To feed oneself on batter,
And so go on from day to day
Getting a little fatter.
I shook him well from side to side,
Until his face was blue:
"Come, tell me how you live," I cried,
"And what it is you do!"

He said, "I hunt for haddocks' eyes
Among the heather bright,
And work them into waistcoat buttons
In the silent night.
And these I do not sell for gold
Or coin of silvery shine,
But for a copper halfpenny,
And that will purchase nine.

"I sometimes dig for buttered rolls,
Or set limed twigs for crabs;
I sometimes search the grassy knolls
For wheels of hansom-cabs.
And that's the way" (he gave a wink)
"By which I get my wealth -
And very gladly will I drink
Your Honour's noble health."

I heard him then, for I had just
Completed my design
To keep the Menai bridge from rust
By boiling it in wine.
I thanked him much for telling me
The way he got his wealth,
But chiefly for his wish that he
Might drink my noble health.

And now, if e'er by chance I put
My fingers into glue,
Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot
Into a left-hand shoe,
Or if I drop upon my toe
A very heavy weight,
I weep, for it reminds me so
Of that old man I used to know -
Whose look was mild, whose speech was slow,
Whose hair was whiter than the snow,
Whose face was very like a crow,
With eyes, like cinders, all aglow,
Who seemed distracted with his woe,
Who rocked his body to and fro,
And muttered mumblingly and low,
As if his mouth were full of dough,
Who snorted like a buffalo -
That summer evening long ago
A-sitting on a gate.


sophie said...

What a lovely picture of the White Knight, dear! Every girl's dream. And a good listener . . . .

I am making cookies and sending them to you, via Sharon. Do not let her eat them all.

I should mention that I do care about the funny thing your cat did last night (possibly because then I get to burble about the funny thing MY cat did last night, making me very like the White Knight, except for the mustachios.) So please do share.

Ninny Beth said...

Welcome welcome my marie friend! As for your tag line, I believe I must take umbrage with it. The world can ALWAYS use more blogs. Really. I am not being facetious. Think about it this way...we spit energy into the universe and it responds. If we are angry we can let it go...poof into the universe to be swallowed up...if we are excited we can share it...poof into the universe where it is absorbed and redistributed. A blog is the perfect place to get it out of us and if there are more blogs, then more people are getting it out of them and the world will be a healthier place. Don't you see?????Blogging makes the world better! I think blogs would only be vanity if they didn't have comment sections and if it is vanity, then so is combing my hair everyday and putting on clothes that aren't made of sackcloth. Anyway, I'm glad your out there writing. We need you to fill up our lunch hour! Write on.

Ninny Beth said...

I used the wrong "your" thus negating the entire legitimacy my comment. please to replace the preceeding "your" with "you're". thank you.

Sharon said...

What is this about cookies via Sharon? Is that Suzanne, disguised as sophie?
I agree with ninny beth in spite of wrong "your". :) And I love the verse. Write on is right.

Marie said...

Mmmm...cookies with Sharon cooties. My favorite!

Thank you all for giving me a thumbs up on the blog. It warms my heart, just as I'm sure all my hot air will warm the universe.

Now to think of something more to say....oh dear. This blogging is harder than it looks.

Carvel said...

I don't recall reading that poem. I suppose I need to read the book again.

I was/am highly amused & entertained by your writing. It's great to learn things which don't come up on the phone or when you're here, like the de-naming of your cat. I don't recall that you corrected me when I called her Sophie recently.

I like how you, like me, use slashes in your writing. I use them to avoid the nuisance & delay caused if one stops writing to select the best word.