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« In with the Old | Main | Keep A-Goin’, Robert Altman »

November 23, 2006

Comments

Oooooh, the RSS feed means I can be the FIRST to comment on this post. (Plus the fact that I'm making Thanksgiving dinner for Sunday instead of today, which is just business as usual in the UK.)

Danny, I LOVE reading about your kvetching, in any way, shape or form. Whether you think you're hiding behind Blog Character or not, I find your thoughts and concerns and hiccups and criticisms and oh shits to be life-affirming. "We read to know we're not alone" is never truer when scanning your posts. The rest is just damn entertaining.

You have a gift for both exposition and analysis that is touching and honest. I will be happy to read whatever you post!

Happy Thanksgiving too -- and know that this reader is grateful for your blog.

Danny,

Thank you for your honest and touching Thanksgiving post. I too grapple with the huge elemental issue of "focusing on the positive and spiritual" (of which gratitude is definitely an important part)--AND--honoring those deep dark emotions rather than denying them.

My solution is similiar to yours. Having those to parts of me side by side and honoring them both is crucial. Sweeping under the rug never works. Besides, the messages from the deep sadness and pain are very important and often transformative.

Adam, Sarah, Michael and I just went out to a Thanksgiving lunch buffet near our home. We were talking about you and reminiscing about past Thanksgivings. I gave Adam your blog info a while back and he told me he is reading it.

Much love to you and your family.

Laurie

Wonderful post Danny ... nice bit of reflection (and not too self-indulgent!) The beauty of blogs, or web logs, is that they are personal, are peppered with our own bias & perspective, and can be places for self-expression, in many different forms.

Much peace and warm wishes on this Thanksgiving Day. JP

I haven't commented on anybody's blog post in quite a while but this one spoke to me. You bring up things a lot of us think about - it makes you, and this blog, more real. Thanks, and good luck with the continuing struggle. Remember, it's the process...

Ah, Danny, I wondered where you'd been. How wonderful to read the real you again! How strange. You have always been so encouraging and supportive of me as an “obsessive self-indulgent navel gazer” and yet you are hard on yourself about it! Let me put it simply. Whatever you write about, whether your self or an essay on a single topic or issue, it is always interesting to read. Well written, humorous, intelligent and sensitive. Now I know you hate it when I say these things. But that is what I think and feel. At any rate, I have been missing hearing about you and am so pleased to find you again, even if it is only a brief spell for Thanksgiving!

Happy belated Thanksgiving to you.

Danny, Danny, Danny,

You never cease to amaze me. As a presumed member of the group you identified as 'some friends who recently started blogs and ...are going through some of the same early stages of blogger self-consciousness that I went through..', I've just gotta say that there are times when reading your blogs that I want to applaud and there are times when I want to cuss. This was one of those times I want to do both.

Of course blogging is therapeutic, and of course it's self-indulgent. It is also both of those things to those that read your blog. I described your blog (in my blog) as: '..part community event..' And you need only re-read the comments that your community posts on your blogs to understand just a fraction of the lives you touch. It's not that we merely sympathize, we empathize. We point at the screen and say: "Yes!! Exactly!" (God I hope I'm not the only one that does that).

Sorry about the lengthy rant, but this one touched a big part of me (the early-blogger self-consciousness thing). Being a late-comer to the party, I obviously haven't read the more personal blogs that have been removed from the sidebar. But you know what? Some of the best writers of their generation (and anyone else's) have dealt with their own demons, foibles, and doubts. From Mark Twain and Ernest Hemmingway to Woody Allen and Erma Bombeck.

See, I apologize about the lengthy rant, then rant some more. I have a nice-sized laundry list of things to be thankful for, and this year it got several new additions, your blog and (renewed) friendship being right there at the top. Hope your holidays are filled with naches (Yiddish never looks right in English print)

I've missed your posts, too, Danny and your comments as well...So it was nice to see you had been by for a visit today...I give thanks for that on the day after Thanksgiving...
I hope you and Kendall are well and recovering from your loss....I miss talking to you and to her...
I'm not sure what I have discovered in this year plus of blogging, but I do know I have a place to really 'get down' with my struggles and pain and it is in "the Cellar", and not so much on my blog....So I think one uses a blog for whatever one needs to...And you are such a talented writer that anything and everything you share is interesting, and meaningful... always...!
Keep on keeping On" my dear...

Danny, you may not do it often, but boy you navel-gaze well! :) I so understand your hesitations about what to do with the blog - analyzing it, defining it, redefining it. I suppose it's no different than the usual self-analysis we do our entire lives. Don't we constantly question ourselves? Don't we constantly ask, "who am I"? The Blog...is more of the same.

As a note, I love all your posts, no matter which "Danny" wrote them. ;)

Had a great Thanksgiving and I am filled with gratitude for all of you who've commented here and all of you out there who have the patience and empathy to slog through my ramblings.

I have a love/hate relationship with efforts at self-improvement, analysis, awareness.

I applaud those who choose to live an examined life and generally seek that path for myself. Yet time has taught me that I often gain the most wisdom from my experiences, both good and bad, when I just leave them alone for a while and let my subconscious process it all.

There's a delicate balance between seeking to improve one's self and seeking to change who we are. Some of my best moments as a person and as a writer are when I simply accept where I am and quit obsessing over where I've been or where I'm heading or who I want to be like.

Dear Danny,
In so many years as a therapist I've never yet heard as eloquent a siloquoy to process. It's all that counts, really, you're right, because the content keeps changing and the self-indulgence? Never stops.
Kvetching IS the name of the game in therapy, the process of kvetching is what makes people happy (I'm convinced), although a decent intervention is what opens people up to creativity and change.
Sounds to me like you've got both programs going. Yasher koach (You should have strength). It's your blog, do what you want (I keep telling myself).
But G-d, the temptation to edit EVERYTHING OUT is so unbelievable, isn't it?
Thanks for a fabulous post, Linda

Danny,

In one way I'm so glad to hear you haven't been writing much, because it means I haven't missed too much by not reading. I LOVE your long free-associative posts, that perfectly reproduce the way a real mind works and always end up someplace felicitous, but my attention span is so short and twitchy these days that I don't get through anything over a few paragraphs. I've got a couple of months' worth of Sunday Times sections lying around, that I can't get through but can't bear to throw out. Oy.

I wanted to tell you my own absurd story about how and when I got over my perfectionism -- because that's what it is, isn't it? A judging yourself harshly at every moment for falling short, for not being this enough or that enough (witty, compassionate, serene, vivacious, altruistic, whatever). It goes with imagining (contrary to common sense) that others have it much more together and only you have these dark inadequacies, and obsessions with them, to such an extent. Ah, I remember it well.

This is so embarrassing, but when I was in my . . . let's see . . . late 30s, I guess, I was interested in that charlatan guru Rajneesh. Long story short, I went to a meditation weekend in Montclair, NJ. In one of the meditations, you had to sit opposite someone and say "Tell me who you are," and then for 5 minutes they had to say whatever, and then you'd swtich. One of those exercises that makes you feel like you're going to be found out for the fraud and slime you are.

The other guy went first. He said, "My name is Majida [his "sannyasin" name], I'm a father, a carpenter, a this, a that, and I'm a phony, and . . . I'm full of shit."

When my turn came, all I could do was gasp, "I'm just like you! I'm just like you!" And for some reason I completely lost my self-consciousness in the mind-blowing realization that we're all, in some way, hiding the same dark secret, namely, our flawed humanity. (Some people successfully hide it from themselves -- we call them character neurotics, narcissists, or sociopaths.) What a joke! We're really all in this together. And the illusion that other people are less full of holes and doubt may be based on nothing more exotic than the fact that they appear to us as coherent entities -- we can see them -- while to ourselves we are just a black ocean haunted by sharks!

I don't know, but it's never bothered me much since then. I used to expect myself always to be articulate and witty and feel terrible shame if I was tongue-tied, which of course . . . made me tongue-tied! It was all focused on words for me -- if words didn't flow (in writing or in social situations), I felt as if I didn't exist except maybe as some pathetic garbage. I constantly feared exposure. At that meditation retreat, I got the joke and I have never really expected myself to be more than human since then.

There's something I didn't quite manage to say there, which is that all we're really hiding is the delusion that we have something that needs hiding. The moment you really realize you have nothing to hide, it pops like a bubble and you go, "What was the problem?"

You're a good, kind, sensitive person, which I'm sure is not a "Blog Persona". I'm fortunate to be able to read what you have to say. I always come away edified, no matter the topic.

Couple of things about me that you may already know... one is that I'm new in here, (your blog, and also, the blog world in general); the other is that I've been quiet lately. Included in the quiet is I haven't been reading other blogs much.
I’d talk about difficult periods I was going through and personal problems I was having without feeling the need to wrap it up nicely in a carefully composed piece.
This, and this entry as a whole, was quite comforting for me to read. I blogged today for the first time in a bit, and it killed me not to apologize for the lack of wrap-up.
Part of my personal ball of confusion is that I refuse to blog about a problem with Joe that he is not fully apprised of. So usually it's all fixed (or that chapter is put to bed) before I write about it. And naturally I end on an upbeat. But in the meantime, if I'm distracted by an unresolved Joe issue, I'm struck dumb.
Also, when I'm not resolved, you get your cryptic entries. Like today.
It's a little better tonight. We worked out a something.
Happy all-the-holidays.

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