Tribute to Doverock: another Moses in the ultimate Promised Land.

Today Daily Prompt says: write your own eulogy. Here is mine.

Eulogy to Doverock

Good morning mourners, I am getting more ‘Goodbyes’ today than I’ve ever had”hellos”. That speaks volumes to the networks of my friends whom, I  believe, most of you are here to support.

My non-cyber space friends were few, three to be exact. I hid behind my computer, an anti-social blogger, writing posts hoping to cheer up the world, to make the world think and to make the world act. At times, I sought to educate or integrate; other times, I aimed to entertain or simply agitate.

My soul mate Caribbeanmarvel, often described me as an enigma; someone antisocial yet pro-social and expansive. But I did not see myself in descriptive terms. I was not an adjective rather I was a Caribbean woman on a mission, a modern day Moses leading thousands of followers  along the virtual timeless, borderless communication route towards the promised global village but unlike the Biblical Moses, my followers were not of one race or from one place.

English: Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afa...

English: Moses Sees the Promised Land from Afar, as in Numbers 27:12, by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I attracted and sought after people from all classes, nationalities, cultures, races, creed and sexual orientation. With my blog as my staff, this modern day Moses shared perspectives among my diverse group of followers, parting the sea of ignorance, freeing those enslaved by discrimination and ridding the world of pockets of bigotry.

I was not always liked or respected. Some people sampled my offerings and left without a comment not even to briefly acknowledge that they’d liked  or dislike what I had provided. Caribbeanmarvel, the describer, was always calling me a tenacious character; and would remark on my ability not to be thrown off by a man or woman’s fickle behaviour or disagreements over my ideas and methods.

Let me give you an example. Once I took a break, to read and research, so I could be better at my task but some people found a replacement. They said they had another hero. They went on to like someone else, in fact to worship someone who was freshly pressed, she was gold minted. But I forgave them and welcomed them back.

A friend said to me, “You are a sucker for punishment; and to think you are not paid for this job. All bloggers are egomaniacs, though and you are the chief among them.”

So mourners, this journey of blogging to a better tomorrow is a hard one with no thanks. I believed that by getting to know each other through blogs and other social media, we will lead others to the promised land of a globalised world, where mankind equitably share all the earth’s fruits.

I have gone to another place, but I hope you will draw from my experiences. To help you, I’ve summarised ten simple rules that helped me. Store them on your iPad, or any tablet of your choice.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

  1. Remember that as a blogger you are both a follower and a leader. No other positions are more important than these.
  2. Do not believe that your opinions are supreme. No one has all the answers, no one is always right.
  3. Do not misuse anyone’s intellectual property.
  4. Take time off from your blog- to read, research and explore.
  5. Honour fellow-bloggers and visitors to your site. Reply to their comments and say ‘thank you’. By doing so, others will respect you and your days as a blogger will be rewarded.
  6. Be honest in your criticisms though sensitive enough not to kill another blogger’s spirit.
  7. Be faithful to those who you follow and your followers. Visit their blogs, comment on their posts. Don’t ignore them for months while you enjoy yourself with other bloggers. Provide good quality, well edited posts for your followers.
  8. Do not steal other people’s posts; re-blog, if permitted.
  9. Do not purposely misquote numbers, facts, and figures.
  10. Do not covet your fellow blogger’s freshly pressed award; his or her trifecta winner’s logo or any other blog challenge trophy ; his or her sense of humour or turn of phrase.

Your beloved departed is resting in peace and will rise in glory, Amen!

P.S. written for Daily Prompt: Dearly Departed.

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All hail electronic friendships … down with traditional friendship

English: happy friendship day

Are you in the right group? Are you compatible with the others within your circle?

You may think the answer is ‘yes’ but suddenly you have an awakening that straightens you out. You ask yourself: financially, emotionally and intellectually, am I properly matched.

Examining yourself within that framework can be revealing. In fact, I’ve learnt that such an examination should be guided by what others think since this shapes their attitude towards you. You may consider yourself an equal but they may see you as the group’s football not purposely but because you sit on a low rung of the financial, emotional or intellectual ladder.

That is why I believe that traditional friendships that thrive on physical contact are overrated and are losing importance. An ‘electronic friendship’ is focused on the common areas between persons and the matters that are likely to cause division are downgraded in these modern ‘distant’ relationship.

Social media widens your circle of contacts, expanding areas of interests, places and races from which you can draw friends. Differences in time zones instead of reducing opportunities for relationships are now broadening them. Whether your sleep pattern classifies you as an early bird or an owl, you can tap into the computer and find someone anytime for a chat.

On a recent television programme a group of mental health experts promoted the view that social media and other digital technology tools were causing people to be more distant with each other and was therefore breeding loneliness and leading to an increase in cases of depression.

I strongly disagree.

During my recent awakening I’ve realise that my electronic friends are not interesting in things external to our common areas; and having a variety means all areas of my life are fulfilled. They encourage me and seldom put me down. Traditional friends on the other hand disappeared with negative changes in my fortunes; loss of my job, declining finances and so on.

So off, I go nurturing my electronic friends.

No audience: I am wondering

Alter Ego #1 (1961). Cover art by Roy Thomas.

Alter Ego #1 (1961). Cover art by Roy Thomas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wish I were heading somewhere; on a straight path with an unimpeded vision of what lies ahead. Instead, I am here at one of life’s many cross roads unsure about which way to take. Not even this blog which I started for leisure seems focused. I want to abandon it; I want to keep it.

I started bouncing with excitement. I thought that perhaps it would lead me somewhere, tell me something about myself that would unlock a gate leading to a confident future. I said my pen would roam un-tethered by the dictates of advertisers, politicians and other rein holders.  I would write for myself, never seeking to appeal to anyone else’s fancy.

Alas, my alter ego, Avram has stepped into the picture quizzing me. “For whom do you write,” she asked one lazy morning. The rising sun peeked out from under a cloud streaming strips of golden sunlight onto the patio where I sat listening to the sea and visualising a day alone at the beach peacefully watching the ebb and flow of the tide.

I ignored her.  She knew the answer, so why waste time with conversation.

For whom do you write?”Avram persisted.

“A writer must have an audience. Who are you writing for?”

‘Myself,” I answered.

“So what’s point?”

“My mind is bursting with thoughts day and night; I want to let them out.”

“If you know them and you are writing for you, why not lie in bed, look up at the ceiling and let them roam through your body… have some intellectual masturbation.”

I got her point, as much as the blog is about me, I want others to sample my offerings.  I need an audience to read and enjoy my writing; to learn from me and to challenge me to think deeper and seek more knowledge. I admit I need an audience.

My blog, however, will reflect my experiences. It will be a Caribbean potpourri, flavoured with political, economic and social issues; light-hearted with daily life stories but serious with economic and political issues. How can I attract followers when theory suggests that a blog should have a particular focus? I am at the cross road. Should I have two blogs? I wish I knew the way forward.

“But are you going to spend time, writing and researching; are you going to use electricity and internet minutes pursuing this hobby? A half-employed person like you; who is footing your bills?” My alter ego sensed victory and leaned in with all the weight of her torso.

“Take a writing job; stop saying that a writer’s block develops when you see a general newspaper that is a cope out.  You’re really mixed up for despite all your talk you are editing that Anglican newspaper. Don’t tell me again that it isn’t on your career radar, that you’re fulfilling a temporary need, some public service.  It means you can write for a living again.

“When you post to a blog you seek to appeal to someone else’s interests if not no one will read it. Therefore, you are following their dictates. So why not monetise something … get a job.”

“Money isn’t everything. I have live many years now on sub-wages so …”

“Money makes the mare fly, though,” my grandmother chimed in; she entered my thoughts as usual, uninvited but always with authority. So now I am in a quandary:  one blog, two blogs, or a journalism job?

Here in the no-man’s zone of life’s junction, it feels as if I am at the Wynter Crawford Roundabout which marks the centre of my parish and provides travellers with six roads to their destinations.  Everyone else moves purposefully along; taking their various paths with confidence, getting ahead. I stand here watching and wishing I knew where to go; that I were part of this contributing mass of humanity. But which I of these six roads is the right one for me?

Should it be Familiar Street, the road which I’ve trod for years; the one from which I was pushed by profit-seeking, selfish, tainted drivers racing to progress by all means necessary? Or, should I travel along Fight Back Boulevard stained with pain and frustration that is the road which brought me here a stronger, more determined, better educated woman.

Should it be Easy Avenue? That road looks obvious from this direction. In fact, it runs directly, some say logically, from the one that brought me here. Maybe the right choice is Expert Opinion Lane? Advisers and counsellors analysed my position and tendered their conclusion, this is it, they said. So I am asking myself, how can this lane point to the wrong way when it is so highly recommended?

Perhaps, I should use Billionaire Drive; its environs flow with financial prosperity but it requires cutthroat skills plus wheeling and dealing to navigate. But there lies Heart Terrace, the road I see in my dreams. It is paved with adventure and glistens with personal fulfilment but is lightly sprinkled with monetary reward. To travel this road, I must break free from my inhibitions, my fears, my what-ifs.

I wish I were clairvoyant, then I would know which road to take.