Friday, 19 October 2012

The smile is wide

Yesterday morning, my bouncy and efficient postman asked me why I wasn't smiling "so big" as usual, as he handed me not one but two letters from the bank, as the rain battered my porch. In fact, it probably hurt somewhat to smile due to my suddenly broken molar: not yet registered with a dentist here, the search for someone to sort me an emergency filing on the NHS is not proving fruitful, Later yesterday, my friend Lin told me that the wee blog had reached 12,000 page views and I smiled so wide that it felt like my jaw had dislocated. 12,000 page visits may not seem like much in the scheme of blogs, but I didn't really know that anyone other than a couple of friends might ever read this; some of my friends have found the blog "too Catholic" or even "too personal", which has made me bristle that this is my blog after all.
An anonymous social commentator said blogging is the unedited version of oneself; and I'm frequently told by some who care about me that I'm often too open and too "unedited".  I always counter that it seems important to me that folk are presented with the real deal, warts (and molars) and all, without any pretence: where some might see obligatory boundaries, I see unnecessary barriers. I've always had a big mouth and often feel I have to "say something" in situations where it would be more comfortable for me and everyone else if I kept quiet; my Mum and Dad both suffered from an excess of opinion and a banging sense of injustice. But blogs frequently and naturally become a catalogue of the minutiae of the blogger's life, and I know this has happened with "The Water is Wide".  
I admit that having to re-invent myself professionally and redefine myself personally after the loss of people, places and familiar things inspired me to witter and write this blog; I also found I had an exhausting amount of time on my hands, on my own in a new home. A few months on, I have far less downtime, but I feel I may still carry on with the wee blog. Maybe blogging is yet another form of vanity; and I can't deny that I've found a great deal of support in recapturing lost opportunities to show how much I appreciate my parents and things dear to me. Much as I'm aware that some people may find that mawkish, particularly some who've stumbled here looking for Brighton tea-shops or folk music discographies, I hope that someone somewhere will take a look at this blog and rekindle or re-cherish their own memories and stories. All we can ever truly be are our own stories, continually updated and re-worked. This blog is my story: I would encourage anyone to tell theirs.
There are many lovely versions of the folk song that lends it's name to this blog and I want to share as many as possible of them. Included here is a rousing version by long-standing Celtic folk and rock band Runrig. Also included is one of my favourite poems by W.B. Yeats, "A Crazed Girl", which feels very apt for me and my blog, particularly when accompanied by my poorly molar.

"A Crazed Girl"
"That crazed girl improvising her music.
Her poetry, dancing upon the shore,
Her soul in division from itself, 
Climbing, falling she knew not where, 
Hiding amid the cargo of a steamship, 
Her knee-cap broken, that girl I declare 
A beautiful lofty thing, or a thing 
Heroically lost, heroically found.
No matter what disaster occurred 
She stood in desperate music wound, 
Wound, wound, and she made in her triumph 
Where the bales and the baskets lay
No common intelligible sound 
But sang, 'O sea-starved, hungry sea.' "
(W.B. Yeats)

"The Water is Wide"  Runrig

Photo, Gigi album

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