Many thoughts about the world, meditation, parenting, Judaism, pregnancy, teaching, cancer survivorship, moving from West Coast to East and more.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Blog # 7: Parallel Play

As I write this I am visiting my parents for Pesach, contemplating a possible move in the immediate future and reflecting on what it means to keep in touch with people that you can't see on a daily basis.

When I first began this blog, I thought I would write out all my extremely important thoughts for the world to see. But lately I'm not as interested in doing so. I find I don't particularly enjoy reading other people's extremely important thoughts unless I am interested in the person who is writing them (or am already thinking about the subject the person is discussing anyway).

At the same time, I'm struggling with how to keep in touch with the countless people in my life who I enjoy... people I miss eating with when I was in a co-op in college, people I miss chatting with at shuls, people I once lived my life with. When you see people in those ways you don't sit down across a table and say, "So, how are things? What are you doing these days?" Emails too start to sound like this. We have the ability to send emails instantly and quickly that say, "What's going on?" and it gets boring and stressful. I don't want to retell again and again.

When I visit old friends and those questions come up, I become uncomfortable. What's to tell? And besides, if I see a dozen friends, what's the point of telling all those details again and again? The truth is, I don't really care that much what job a friend is doing unless that's really what is on their mind.

But I DO want to be in touch. I what to know what they noticed yesterday when they were commuting home, or what sorts of feelings have been haunting them.

In short, I want to do parallel play. I want to live my life as others live theirs, and be able to sort of look over and notice what is happening for them. A blog can provide this. Instead of writing directly to people and trying to figure out what I want to say, I want to check into their blogs while I'm eating breakfast or taking a break at work, and feel their closeness, without the pressure of making conversation. I want to connect without inventing.

Let's try that here.

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Blogger alissa said...

On the flight home from Ottawa, I sat next to a woman who smelled like an ashtray. It was extremely stinky. I wonder why some smokers retain the smell of their cigarettes in their hair and clothes while others don't? When I was still smoking, people that I associated with regularly and (physically) closely always expressed surprise on discovering that I was a smoker. They said they never smelled it on me.


Equally strange, but much more pleasant: our kosher l'pesach meal on the plane was great! The chicken (yes! chicken! Not dried up beef) was a touch dry, but the sauce was good, the veggies yummy, the dessert was actually delish.

Funny, but it was the matzoh that was stale and icky.

Have a safe trip home.

8:59 PM


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