Monday, October 09, 2006


When I got back from Maine, I had a lot of catching up to do, reading the blog posts on my list, back nearly a month. I had to read them because of my insatiable curiosity. My kids have always kidded me about this curiosity about other people’s lives. “Who’s their doctor?”, they mimic me. This is a practical question, the only way really to find out who is a good doctor and who is a mediocre one. You have to be roundabout in determining this. At one point I heard many tales of a back surgeon who was bad. Eventually, probing, I realized that the many tales was just one tale of a person who had a bad experience and had broadcast this widely. Probing further, I discovered that the surgeon in question was really very good. Fortunately I have never had to use this information because none of us has had to have back surgery.

Blogs do give me some of that same kind of information. For example, today Anecdotal Evidence writes about Isaac Babel, one of the few notable Russian writers I haven’t read, giving me the urge to find one of Babel’s books.

Reading some blogs is very much like reading published journals, the ones of May Sarton, for example. After I had read one of her journals, I read some of her poetry and one of her novels, Anger. They are not nearly as good as her journals. In fact, she writes about the experience on which the novel is based in one of her published journals. This is so much more immediate and unmitigated. In the blogs, I follow the adventures of a man moving into a new house, of a woman with a new baby and still having time to homeschool her children, of the comforts of a woman having a toothache, the details of ordinary lives, but with those details thought about, philosophized over.

A while ago I went through my blog list and took some off it because it was becoming unmanageable to read all of them daily. Recently I added two. There are millions of English blogs (since I am unilingual, those are the only ones I know) and I have only found a tiny percentage of them. I am sure there are many that I would find fascinating if only I could discover their whereabouts.

Because I took as my theme, tracing my life from birth, I do not write about the day to day as much as others do. Saturday night Bill and I watched the end of the Detroit Tigers game where the young players were so excited by their victory that they ran out into the stands and squirted champagne at the fans, unadulterated joy and high spirits. Wonderful. A few days ago the new premier put the first Aboriginal to be elected MLA into the cabinet as Minister of Justice and Attorney General. The Aboriginal MLA was so excited that he used the word “extremely” many times in the newspaper interview. Today in a quote of a few sentences he again used the word three times. Is he going to do a good job? I would bet on it. High spirits and joy and thoughtfulness. Ah yes.

Yesterday we had Thanksgiving at our lake camp with part of our family and some friends, a delicious meal, a beautiful warm day, leaves turned, great company. While we were there our daughter phoned to say she was to be in a commercial in which she has to swing from a chandelier, shouting “Whoopee.” "Whoopee," I say.

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