Today I had a comment to my post called ‘Very Strange,’ where I’d been puzzling about the reason there’d been 110 viewings of a post that didn’t seem very different from any of the others, but the number of views suddenly took off like a home-made rocket and then.. zip. Nothing. Nix. While replying to the comment, I thought about how this tiny incident has echoes in life as the micro often talks about the macro. Life almost never reacts the way you’d expect. And that is what makes it so utterly absorbing and mysterious.
Perhaps that’s why people love stories so much. ‘And then what happened?’ is the perennial question. We love stories (usually, if we’re not feeling too strong, movies from America appeal more than, say, those by Michael Haneke) because there is a sequence and an outcome. In life, we don’t have that certainty very often, if ever.
Back to my ruminations about the sudden success of ‘Put your best face forward. Or else’. After I commented in ‘Very Strange’ on the sudden spurt of new readers, suddenly there was complete silence and nobody read anything for two days. Except today two people read ‘Very strange’, ironically.
And that’s all anyone read. Hey at least someone read something. Hey, even better, someone said something! After the two days’ silence I was beginning to think.. ‘I shouldna said nuthin’, I shoulda just enjoyed it.’ (And yes, I do have a life, really I do.)
But no, I had to poke a stick at this puzzle, fetch the tender exotic plant of my new popularity out, look at its roots, shake it… and then it died stone dead. Yes it’s uncool ruminating and obsessing about my stats but I’m allowed to because I’m still new at this, okay.
It’s like someone who’s >koff< known to have skills elsewhere than in the kitchen, biting the bullet and inviting people she loves for a meal, (yes she, it’s never a he) and producing something incredibly edible. Over dinner it is quite acceptable for such a one to say ‘Damn, this is great isn’t it??’ Because the wonder and amazement is genuine. It’s terribly uncool, yes, but understandable. So I ask you to indulge me. My feathers are still little sticks and a minor success is wonderful beyond imagining.
I bring further excuses for my lack of coolth – I believe after 300 posts you’re a blogger. By then you’re an old hand, you’ve been Freshly Pressed at least twice, and your readers number in the thousands. Then you’re Big. I plead smallness in this area.
There are precedents in my life. When I was five and had just started school, I was playing hide-and-seek with the other little kids while all our parents were visiting the owner of the garden. Around we ran in the dusk, shrieking with excitement when we were found… until I was the one who was found first and had to be ‘on’. ‘But I can’t count yet!!!’ I wailed. ‘Oh.’ came the voices from the circle around me. There was a small discussion and I was let off; I could happily be one of the hiders for the rest of the evening and I had a great time.
Except that I could in fact count; I just didn’t want to be ‘on’… so, recalling that, I will put aside playing ‘small’. However, a blasé attitude is not acquired in a packet; it is cultivated over many years of good experiences and tiny triumphs, all mounting up into Solid Experience. (to be read with a deep voice and much gravitas.)
To someone who’s at that stage, a sudden acknowledgement is the cherry on the top, they cope with it – it’s nice but it doesn’t fling them at the walls with great force. I can’t pretend to be blasé or a naïve child, so I’ll just carry on with this most interesting journey and admire the flowers, while stepping over the s..ilences that will inevitably occur, when my words seem to fall into the void.
As one little tree-house somewhere once had on its wall – ‘Nobuddy akt big. Nobuddy ackt smal. Everyboddy act medium.’