The first one

Blog is an odd word.  Harsh to the ears. Cumbersome as it issues forth from the mouth, falling like an ice cube.  It is not a word that lands easily.  But the ACT of blogging — of writing thoughts that might otherwise remain wandering around in the folds of  a brain, or trapped in the body’s fascia — that’s not so odd.  It is perhaps an act of expression, of sharing recipes, or a wee bit of exhibitionism. Or maybe  an attempt at guerilla marketing or quite simply a reaching out with wonder  to see and ask:  are you like me?  Am I like you?   Or an announcement: “Here I am world!  Let’s talk!”  I have not yet decided what this blog is except that it is an act that considers all of the above and yet is more.  It is a process, a learning, and most of all an exploration of insatiable, terminal curiosity.

But it needs a name, doesn’t t?

It  began as My Blog.  Didn’t much like the sound of that. So started a process: My Blog.  Teacup, no Tempest. Minor details I lost count of the sighs.

Titling is quite an art  I thought as I rifled through my brain for words and combinations thereof that could be a serviceable title.  And off goes the brain (not brain: mind) into its tangent because the word art somehow wiggled its way in, and following that  tangent, the thought …so is creating those amazing swirls and shapes in the crema of espresso.  THAT — creating designs shapes or patterns in espresso crema or the steamed milk is truly an art form. Best seen at the Dark Horse Cafe on Queen Street East, or Broadview Espresso aka the Porn Cafe (because it used to be a porn shop.)   I am ever on the hunt for Toronto’s penultimate espresso  (other than my own home).   The crema is a good indicator of the quality of the machine, of the beans, of the grind, of the water pressure  and of the taste.

Anyway, that led me to thinking about shapes and swirls…which led me to the concrete swirl I saw in Rome. (No:  swirl  is NOT a sweet girl)  Short story long: Espresso Swirl is now the title of this blog.   For now.  (Or should I key   4 now?)


About FS

Toronto, Canada. Writing about slices of life, the moments and minor details of which come into awareness or out of imagination and the spaces inbetween.
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11 Responses to The first one

  1. letempspasse says:

    Vulcan? No way ! I’m part Vulcan on account of my grand father !! No pointy ears, but Logic’s my middle name. 🙂
    And Ingenuous is my surname: I just realized (just now, swear to God!! )(I know, I know, one should never swear) that every time I’ve posted a comment anywhere using my WordPress identifity, my email address (the one with my real name in full) has been attached to it. You’d think with 12 years of university under my belt, I would have noticed such a thing.
    Ha ! Ha! Ha! Now MY face is red…. So much for anonymity…. (well at least I had realized that anonymity was relative… )
    Live long and prosper my friend and have a good night!

    • FS says:

      Hmm, dare I enter the discussion of the fallacy of logic? That the Socratic method is good for some things and not others? That there is no such thing as an objectively pure logic? (And if there is, we tend to label those people as sociopaths or psychopaths and inhuman, but not in a good, Vulcan way. In the bad Romulan way. Researchers are pointing out how we fool ourselves into thinking that we are logical and rational, when in fact we rarely are, and it might actually not be possible to be 100 per cent logical and rational? Vulcans on the other hand, had eons of mental discipline that made it possible (at least in theory) for them to override emotion — a sort of ninja extreme mental processing that could seem to exclude emotions and did not factor in the emotional stuff into the equation. Except of course during mating time: then there was no mental discipline, just biology. Mind you, Vulcans were also quite conformist and I must say that part does not appeal to me in any way.

      12 years in university might help you notice a few things…maybe ;-).

      • letempspasse says:

        You are quite the philosopher, aren’t you? This would make for a loooooong discussion. 🙂
        That is why it’s so great to be a mutt. A mix of a liitle of this, and a little of that. Who needs absolute perfection and purity, even if it did exist. BORING!
        I try to learn a little of everything that appeals to me (like the dry humor, and the capacity of vulcans to analyze a situation with reasonable detatchment).
        hopefully only the good stuff (yes yes i know… You could riff off on the very notion of good and bad… 😉

      • FS says:

        Me? Philosopher? Not so much. A collector of stones, though. ;-). I could perhaps riff on the notions of good and bad, however, when I close my eyes and consider it, all I see is a spiral. That’s so values-laden — culturally, religiously, institutionally derived — and filtered through personal and subjective biases, assumptions hopes and fears with a twist for some of academic indoctrination. Maybe that’s one thing I ought not touch with a barge pole. Or find something other than good or bad as the goal posts, although that would be me reframing it, wouldn’t it?

        It’s interesting to talk about (or listen to people talking about) and think about. Not so long ago, I was with a group of people and we spent a day with a bioethicist from one of the health centres here. We had a day of conversations — about what’s good and bad, about decision making, about subjective experience as it influences decision making. It was all mighty fascinating. I loved listening to people’s rationale for their positions. I saw the rather intense Spanish film Biutiful, which (for me) raised that whole question of good and bad, and about good people doing bad things, bad people doing good things. November is a month in a season that provokes pondering. 🙂 Arriving at the end of my reply to you, maybe I can riff on this some time. Thank you! 😉

  2. letempspasse says:

    Yes, I too, thought the “act” of blogging was an interesting way of phrasing it. Oh yes ! Please DO feel free to use your own phrase as a writing prompt… 😉
    I haven’t been blogging for very long, but somehow, for me, it seems to satisfy a need to feel connected, in a different mode than the “taking care of” mode. Plus, I’ve always found it a great exercise to put your thoughts and feelings in writing. Clarifies how I feel (for my own benefit). Unfortunately, I have never been able to keep a diary. I kept ripping pages out, because I didn’t like the way I had written it (didn’t have my beloved delete button). Still, for some reason, every week I ask myself the question: “why am I doing this again?”
    Another question that keeps popping up is: do I really want to be anonymous? Would the interaction with other bloggers be different if I were “me” instead of anonymous Letempspasse?Don’t you wish, sometimes, that people knew who fs was?
    Then again, maybe you DO have a non-anonymous blog. I just don’t know about it. Cause that’s how it is 😉

    • FS says:

      Hmm… so ripping out the pages would suggest that when you wrote in a diary, that it was not possible to turn off the internal editor, that you could not just dump out the contents of your head without judging it. Your question about anonymity is a fair question, and I’ve been pondering it a good deal lately.

      So is the question why are you blogging? Or, is it why are you writing? Writing can often serve the function of connecting you to yourself… and the internet can bring you into virtual contact with people you might never otherwise communicate with, share ideas with, or, um, tease about forgetfulness. (How am I supposed to remember what I wrote two years ago? ;-p) You know we are such a productivity oriented culture that everything has to have an outcome or a tangible reason. Sometimes we write because we can’t not write. Because words live inside, with thoughts and feelings and stories and wonders and questions and we want, no, wait: we need to find a way to let that out and writing is what does it. There is of course a difference between writing for oneself, and writing for others. Writing privately and writing to be published. Being a writer and being an author, or having a byline, as the case may be. But that’s for the other blog 😉 OR the post you have inspired about blogging — soon to come.

      Have you ever heard of morning pages..? Classic creativity exercise, mostly a writing one, but one that can work on a number of levels. I tell everyone about it. And have done it time and again.

      • letempspasse says:

        Morning pages are a nice idea. Thank you for the link! My problem is I already have big trouble finding time to meditate in the morning, before putting the day in gear, so if I had to add a writing ritual on top of that… Gee Wizz…. And then, there’s the exercise that I can’t seem to place anywhere…. And the dog walks… and the child and the work and… and… eating…. and…. Blogging ! 😀
        You are right: “why write?” and “why blog?” are two different questions. I suppose the fact that someone who writes for a living (such as yourself) would chose to blog for a past time (as opposed to doing it only on a professional non-anonymous blog) is a testament to the fact that blogging adds a new (mostly social?) dimension to the act of writing.
        My dilemma, since I’ve started blogging, is that I wonder if it wouldn’t be healthier for me to spend less time on my computer and more time with real people…. (not that you aren’t real mind you 🙂 (you ARE human, right??).
        My daughter certainly seems to think I should slack off on the computer. Children are so wise nowadays…
        Anyway, I’ll look forward to that post about the act of blogging (and any other subject that you might want to write about).
        Have a great evening !

      • FS says:

        It’s always a challenge finding time for things. And parenting is a full-time job from what I understand. Writing does take time. Writing is also in many ways a solitary thing — it requires creating boundaries and to some extent privacy. That’s hard too when you’re parenting and working and stuff.

        Yes, I can be human, although I have longed to be Vulcan my whole life, pointed ears included. It’s true: blogging can have that social aspect. I think for some people, blogging isn’t so much about writing: the act of, and having readers. It seems that for some, it is more about communication and communing, and community. It can open the world and take us beyond the physical boundaries of the place we are to a meeting place we would not otherwise have. Hmm, much food for thought … and your young one sounds rather bright.

        Hmm perhaps it isn’t that you’re on the computer when you’re writing so much as in the medium you use to write. But that’s hard to explain, specially to a kid.

  3. letempspasse says:

    Reading some of your older posts. Decided, this morning, to go back to the very first one.
    I’m curious: two years into the experience, has the act of blogging satisfied some of your terminal curiosity or just fueled it? 😉

    • FS says:

      Oh my goodness… what a wonderful question, what a wonderful way of conceiving it: the act of blogging. I think the answer to that is three, or seven, or nineteen. ;-). Would you mind terribly if I used your question as a springboard to an article/post?

      Meanwhile back on earth: for me, the mostly simple answer is that blogging is strictly a medium — like paper — for writing. [Having said that, the medium exists within a communication channel, (the internet) containing an enormous number of stops along the way (websites, blogs, microblogs) which can be both personal and public.] Technically, the whole connected world could read a post. I think that having a blog (or a few) has answered some of my questions about blogging that I had going in. Beyond that, fueled is probably a good way the think of it.

      Terminal curiosity has no cure, although there are limits. Two years on, I confess that I vacillate more and more about whether I will to continue to blog. However, I am reminded of a few things when that conversation comes up: it is the freest writing that I get to do and I get to have interesting, thoughtful and provocative conversations with people I have never met and don’t know, who help me look at things differently than I might otherwise have looked at things. I think that’s part of the wonder of the internet, of a blogging platform, of people brave enough to send a comment.

    • FS says:

      Okay, my face is red….two years on, I have a different notion of the act of blogging than I did when I wrote that first post, and used the phrase, the act of blogging. Geez, I had forgotten that I’d said that. And… my formatting has improved somewhat. I wish I knew how to make a red face…

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