Textual Arachne

A weaver of threads.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Today in class, we talked about Virginia Tech.

My head was full and reeling afterwards; the questions that I expect are going around in many other minds were making the same circuit in mine. Why, why them, how did he, how could he, how could You, what now, what policy, what ethic, what act, what change will fix it, what will keep it from ever happening again, what's it mean, what do I do, why don't I feel more, why do I feel so much, what do we do, what can anybody do...

Then I stopped and pulled me out of it. This is not, should not be, about me and my sorrow or fear or anger or hate.

Lady, bring them back to You. As we come from you in birth, we return in death; bring them home and lay them to rest, all of them, and walk with them wherever they may go. May your peace be with all those who have lost and who mourn.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Blogging miscellanea

*I need to update my blog links! Several people have browsed by and left wonderfully encouraging comments; I'd like to add them to the blogroll, and I need to take a little time to rearrange my blog a bit.

*That got me thinking about something Sojourner had mentioned a while ago: the concept of Gastblogschaft, which includes some responsibilities of bloggers. I haven't been living up to that standard, and although it'd be easy to blame my busy life, I would bet that many bloggers out there are even busier.

*Which also got me thinking about the difference in my tone between speaking as Arachne and speaking on my personal blog. Here, I adopt a much more philosophical (and pompous) tone; there, I do the usual complaining about work, sharing silly links, bouncing about good news, and so on. I'm not certain why I felt I had to split the two, and to give Arachne a different environment, but the result has been good for me overall. Like the freedom of adopting a costume or a role, I can present a part of me more fully this way. The unfortunate side effect is that, as Arachne, I don't have the same kind of full, friendly engagement with the blog as I do in my personal journal.

In order to let part of myself speak, I have to deliberately set out a space for it. And...to bring this line of thinking back around to the topic of this blog...that makes me think of delineating ritual space. Without Arachne, an aspect of myself that tends to be lost under the day-to-day amusements, irritants, and encounters would be too quiet to speak, and would never get stronger. Without ritual, I tend to think "Sure, I'm aware of the divine! Now, what was I going to get for lunch? And where did I put that assignment? And...and...and..." Setting out ritual space is like clearing the weeds away from a fragile plant and giving it the sunshine it needs.

Of course, there are side effects. If I split Arachne and everyday too sharply, it becomes nothing more than a role, not an opportunity. Likewise, there's the danger that ritual and everyday space may come to have nothing in common with each other, nothing that carries over from one realm to the next. And there's the danger of treating others differently when we're in different roles, so much so that we lose our self-consistency.

Hence, Gastblogschaft. And, once finals are over, updating the blogroll.