Sunday, April 01, 2007

Message in a

So, I'm back to my Sting mode. I never finished "Broken Music" that I bought recently because I needed to finish a Rushdie for a bookclub. I like reading a memoir like this because you feel like you're on the couch with the author, he has his arm around you and is just telling his life story. When I read "Bookless in Baghdad" by Shashi Tharoor, I felt I was being led by the hand through a library (here's my review). With Hillary Clinton's book, "Living History," I felt like we were sitting across from each other with her photo album and yearbooks on the table.

Anyway, I mentioned the universe is pulling me towards Sting. I was at Best Buy the other night with the intent to buy a DVD gift. There was a Police CD, Every Breath You Take: The Classics, on sale for $9.99. What a happy coincidence!

I was listening to "Message in a Bottle" a while back and some of the lyrics struck me in a different way.

Just a castaway, an island lost at sea, oh
Another lonely day, with no one here but me, oh

More loneliness than any man could bear
Rescue me before i fall into despair, oh


A year has passed since i wrote my note
But i should have known this right from the start
Only hope can keep me together
Love can mend your life but
Love can break your heart


Walked out this morning, don't believe what i saw
Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore

Seems i'm not alone at being alone

Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home

It really reminded me of my online writing experience. I've been actively engaged in writing articles and discussion posts for almost 10 years now. I send out my lonely message, not knowing where it will end up. Yet, I do it. Then I learn there are lots of castaways like me! Anonymous voices chiming in agreement with me. Sometimes there are dissenters, but that's ok. Else, we'd be in an echo chamber with our own reverberations pounding back at us and we'd never learn. I like to meet people who have opposing views because it helps me reinforce and strengthen my own beliefs.

I love the line "A year has passed since I wrote my note." A year? A year means disaster, baby. We need instant feedback. We needed to know yesterday!

Even though I send out my bottles, I try not to be anxious and collect the ones that do wash ashore. A majority of my blog visitors don't bother to communicate directly to me, so I have to take a deep breath of faith and confidence that they are enjoying what I have to offer and keep coming back! So, for the "hundred billion" castaways, only a handful are sending their bottles to me!

Keep the bottles coming!


Rob Windstrel Watson said...

The similarity between a message in a bottle and a blog post has been fascinating me for a while now. It's just yearning for a short fictional story.

Problem is that I can't identify the twist to give it a bit of umph at the end.

Maybe one day inspiration will strike :-)

Are you talking about billions actual or potential. Over the years, I've definitely been read by millions (it's all free after all) but billions would be really cool.

One more thought. I've recently been thinking about longevity and writing. Perhaps the Internet will make us all as long read as Shakespeare and our bottles will bob about for ever.


(Rob Hopcott - online author, castaway in a sea of Internet dreams)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your feedback. That's interesting you say that internet gives longevity to writers.

I think online writing is the opposite - it's so ephemeral. It's only available as long as the server or webmaster determines it to be available. Only those lucky enough to print it out can hold onto it. It's as if someone casts a net and picks up our bottles and drops them into a pit.

I don't think I've been read by millions or billions.. hundreds, most definitely..and almost 9000 hits :-) Though page loads don't necessarily mean I'm being read.

ZenDenizen said...

First of all, this is lovely imagery especially when it comes to Sting - "because you feel like you're on the couch with the author, he has his arm around you and is just telling his life story." *sigh* Message in a Bottle is definitely one of my Police favorites. I relate because I do have a tendency to isolate myself but yet I need to share my thoughts as well. I liked the message so much I used to use "seems I'm not alone at being alone" as the tagline on all my online dating ads :)