Internet listening.

I didn’t mean to take a whole week off following the February blogathon—it’s amazing how lifting an imposed disciplinary structure, even a friendly, low-stakes one, allows time and attention to start flowing away along the paths of habit and routine. I would say that I had no time to post anything in the past week. But that is true of every week, including every week in February, when I managed (for the most part) to post daily. So posting something is possible even when one has no time to do it.

I think the thing that compelled me to get those posts in was knowing that my mom was looking forward to them. I received a concerned text one night toward the end of the month that it was 11pm and no post for that day. I got it in under the wire.

Now my mom, who writes at Zebra Shoes, is attempting the exercise for the month of March. I love this! And I like being on the other side of expectation, because it’s helping me see how these posts are part of a unique conversation—not necessarily the “statement followed by comments” on the blog page itself, or the sharing of ideas around the internet through linking and discussion, but one where individuals takes the time to think about something in words, and other individuals take the time to listen to it, whether they comment or not. I think reading and listening are important components of response, ones that are elided by fetishistic notions of “feedback.” So to think about writing in this space not as a way of promoting ideas, or even working them out, so much as responding to a listener—speaking because someone is listening, openly, with no expectation except that you will say something—this is one of the more promising thoughts I’ve had about internet communications in a while.

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