Monday, January 26, 2015

Reading Between the Lines

Dear M—,

I read your eloquent post today, the one explaining your recent hiatus. I’ve always admired your site and how you kept it fresh for so many years. It has been a continued inspiration. I can’t count the number of posts I’ve made emulating the style and content of yours. Your other work—your short stories and your novel—have inspired me even further. They were the nudge which turned the Flippist ‘key’ enough to open the door to my own long-form writing; something I’ve been meaning to do since I was a child.

When you stopped posting last fall, I knew there were reasons behind it. I’m beginning to think that there are infinite reasons for stopping a blog but not many rational ones for continuing one. That said, emotions and the longings of the heart are never rational. It’s the ‘real-life’ storyteller's dilemma: always trying to relate a narrative which one only sees a small part of, with ever-changing plot lines, told to a world of indifference and incomprehension. In your post you crystallized the only real reason to continue: it is a calling.
“ …sometimes you are called to do something that you may not even enjoy all the time, but that compels you in both internal and external ways to take part in… ”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself. You mentioned that you had receded from all forms of social media, that I can understand. The ‘noise’ you referred to is the flip side of being interconnected. Not a malevolent force but, rather, a dumb colossus that roams the web, crushing subtlety and beauty under its mass of inanity and commerce.

Of course, it is different now, different than it was at the time you started you endeavor. I can’t imagine living the way you must, among a throng of strangers, in great numbers, overwhelming what is basically just a small city. My early visits to your town, in the off-season, were to a place that has now changed in many ways. But the moments I remember and cherish most were those of quiet and gentle interactions with the people, the people who have always made your city such a special place. I may not return, but those days and nights I spent there will never leave me, as long as my memory persists.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Jono said...

Wow Batty! I just saw that entry and dropped her a line before I came here and read what you had written. I think MAR must have some kind of ethereal vibe that draws us in. I respect her power (and her photos and her writing).

Blogger Iceland Eyes said...

Gentlemen, I am humbled and honored and a bit stunned! It's Sunday morning and I just sat down with my coffee and laptop to ease into the day, and discovered both your respective emails and now the words you've written here.

Jono, you wrote to me and mentioned that you and the Professor had finally met in person, and I wrote back that when I met him here in Reykjavik, it was "interesting because it was as if we were total strangers and good friends at the same time." (The photo on this post is of our arms having coffee together. Our heads were somewhere else, in some kind of intellectual storyland.)

This is a brand new world we're exploring, this online one, and it could disappear like that if, for example electricity failed. For now, it's a strange kind of second home where we get a chance to share our pictures and words, and for that I'm thankful. We do have to beware the Clumsy Colossus of dis-culture pounding on our doors, but it makes all the difference to know you're out there too : )

Professor, this entry is beautiful, not least because you touch on the changes you've seen here in Reykjavik. I'm afraid it's never going to go back to the kind of quaint it used to be, but that's evolution, yes? This is a big(-ish) island, and quaint can still be found in bucketloads, if we dare to travel just a bit farther along the roads into the less known. That's what I'm going to do!

...and of course, I'll keep you two posted with words and pictures, along the way ~.~

Blogger Professor Batty said...

"… Our heads were somewhere else, in some kind of intellectual storyland…"

A perfect description of two bloggers nerding out, with the tools of the trade in front of them!

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