Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hear from Fabi: Why Blog?

A few posts ago, I asked a series of questions pertaining to blogging, its purpose and reason. The responses deserve to be out of the comments cell and into the front. Here is from Fabi.

Sudy, here is my pretty long winded answers to your questions. Many of us are grappling with those questions, and I’m glad that you are asking them!

I've heard comments such as those two men in the airport repeatedly from a couple of people in my life, the why bother with blogging, it’s a time sucker, most people we know don’t blog (folks in our community) and our work, etc.
I would try to defend it but often times I would feel ganged up – other people of color very engaged in social activism and their in my opinion, distaste for blogging then instead of understanding it fully I would internalize by feeling as the strange isolated nerd caught up in online writing/dialoguing. I think that not having folks you know in real life that blog -- contributes to the repeated questioning and isolation. Questioning is good too, though. To some extent, like you said yesterday blogging takes you away from the immediate community one’s in. There is the classic example of folks in a coffee shop not speaking to each other, typing away yet they are probably in vibrant online communities. Not underestimating at all what we have on-line with SPEAK, the invaluable support, growth, intellectual challenging discourses – and it IS moving beyond online. Folks are zining, joining forces in conferences, contributing in projects of all sorts, and more.

Keep coming back to this question of why blogging/why not blogging since the indefinite break back in November. For me, it became a pressure that didn’t fit into my reality. Also like feminism, I felt like I had to defend blogging in my real life communities from folks that were withdrawn and critical of blogging. While also eating better became priority, and getting healthy (mind/body/spirit) I couldn’t trade that considering my health, transition, and state. That and many other reasons made it easier to actively not blog.

It is cathartic to on occasion (more than not) tune out of blogging. But yet I have a pulse on it, through our SPEAK collective, the blogs you all actively carry. And if folks decide to stop, it’s not like we stop engaging with each other. We collaborate in zines, now make/shift, gchat, phone calls, e-mails and letters.

And if our blogs remain static – it’s not the end of our relationships. I think of Alexis who updates her blog when she has something to share. Yet, we can have a telephone conversation; contribute to an article, etc. I think of me, I don’t blog in fabulosamujer any more, yet here I am commenting.

Yesterday I engaged in a conversation about blogging with a colleague of mine and she said something that I agreed with completely; it’s okay if something isn’t forever. And also, like kameelah stated when we choose (or in some ways are imposed b/c of pressures of time/lack of support/energy/resources) to remain silent online, our bodies continue to speak, we move, we write, we dialogue, we engage, and if we choose to remain silent we are speaking with ourselves, replenishing, collecting ourselves, building up…it’s all process – to speak in a way that suits us.

I wouldn’t even bother with the two men. And also, I wouldn’t even try to convince anyone to actively read the feminist blogosphere. Then again it depends how I feel. Some blog entries are so great – I e-mail them to folks that I know hate blogging. They wont’ blog after that – but we’ll probably talk about the blog entry, they’ll like what the blog author had to say, and it becomes something else. With these folks I’ll probably see often, join a book club, invite over to cook something, or bike together. It coalesces somehow.

We come to blogging because of the rich thoughtful dialogues occurring, and to contribute to discourse, to share our experience. It’s one of the mediums where there is that freedom. Simultaneously in my opinion it isn’t easy to have immediate communities where we have folks like bfp, you, alexis, ba, nadia, noemi, and we flourish politically, and we write about our experiences. I cam to blogging b/c I was a young new mom of color, and I am a political woman of color, hungry for intellectual discourse, followed by action, and where the fact that I’m a young mami of color – I’m not part of something. That’s why I gravitated to the blog world. Here is where I met mamitamala, and bfp, and other zinesters mamas like Vikki Law, China Martens, and Noemi Martinez. That in many ways gave me a fierce confidence I have now. I guess I came to blogging because I was extremely isolated as a new young political mom of color and expressed out of necessity, and I took in others experiences. And now – we’re at a different phase.

I hope I am not sounded like I’m saying this is a better road – to stop blogging. Or that – everyone will eventually grow out of blogging, or if someone is actively blogging than that means they don’t’ have active loving vibrant intellectual engaging community with women of color and other allies in their real life. But I do think – to some degree not having these communities’ plays to the fact that there is over 18 million blogs online.

Balance is key, I feel more balanced because if I tune the blog world for a week or two – I don’t feel pressured. I can go on vacation and be on vacation. Before I had to stay plugged to everything that went on. And I do think that some of my relationships in real life paid for that. I don’t think that’s a good price to pay. Now, I do open my rss feeds and open them to right away close it. Just to clean it up. To start from zero. And I’ll do that repeatedly until I want to read again.

Oh and by vacation -- I mean peace of mind, enjoying my little one, being around blood and non-blood related family, reading a good book. Not actual get out of the country and even city vacation, I am a little broke (money wise) for that.

Vacation from constant getting info and putting out info.

Laughing with others vacation. I am reminded of my mother that died of cancer when I was 16, before she went into her 17 hour surgery, in her little county hospital bed, she had a smile. She touched us, and loved us. It was lovely, and it was hard for her and all of us knowing in our hearts that the odds were against her surviving that surgery, and we loved, shared funny stories, and cried and felt each other.

And the joke my dad made out of the $200,000 mistaken medical bill that arrived to our house, after she died...through our grieving. That's what people do, we make with our pain, while we try to work for something better, enduring it, we don't forget to give to each other, touch one another, laugh and eat together.

Speaking of not blogging, I'm commenting quite a bit. Is that a sign that I must blog again? ;-)

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