Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Time to be Quiet

“If a person feels he can’t communicate, the least he can do is shut up about it.”
                                                                     ~Tom Lehrer

How do you feel about the plethora of blog posts that say they have nothing to say?
You've seen them if you hang around the blogosphere. One of those “I know I haven’t blogged for a while, but really, nothing much has been going on…”
And if you are on Twitter, you've seen enough of these (mercifully shorter) “standing in line at my favorite coffee shop waiting for my latte, bored…”
I have a friend who has such contempt for the endless space filled by these published nothings, that this friend will not ever admit to seeing this blog, or any other. Friend refers to us who hang out here as “bloopers” and “Twits.”
Friend has a point.
But we have a better one, methinkst.
I have found beautiful posts on others’ blogs. I’m not on Twitter, but I have seen some clever tweets that are worthy of great Haiku poems. So a lot of it is benign? A lot of traditionally published books are surprisingly vacuous. And the latter aren’t free.
And my last point is the one I really popped in to talk about. There’s writing about nothing, and then there’s quiet writing. Quiet stories, quiet poems, and quiet novels. I have found that some of the most subtle and exquisite writing is not about much, at least not on the surface. I’m thinking of Henry James passages where the writer makes us rest a bit while observing the quiet seemingly mundane gestures of his characters. Not a lot going on, and yet a whole lot present.  
The television series Seinfeld was supposedly about nothing. The characters could make much of standing in line at their favorite coffee shop, waiting for that latte. It was different, and it was great.
Made my point. Now I’ll go and be quiet.


  1. I can forgive one 'I'm bored' or 'Nothing's happening here' post, but if it's a reoccurrence, I won't be back to that blogger's site. There's too many other happenin' blogs out there with relevant/funny/inspirational content. Yours in one of the latter, Mirka! Great post.

  2. Yes, sometimes people (myself included) post meaningless things on Twitter and even their blogs. I avoided Twitter for a long time because of this. But you know what? These meaningless things are what we all have in common. They actually show that we're real people. And I think that in moderation (can I repeat the in moderation part for emphasis?) that's good.

  3. And why I always jump to read your posts, Mirka. Content. Value. Intelligence. Wisdom. Yes, these things can be found online if you know where to look. "Bloopers and Twits" LOL.

  4. Great post, Mirka! Seeing wisdom in "nothing." This is why I don't blog much either...don't have a lot to say. I don't feel like an expert in writing.

  5. What you have here on your blog is quiet writing with content. :) And while many tweets are just silly -- I don't like the ones that are just lists of people to follow, for example -- there are some out there doing marvelous things with only 140 characters.

  6. Israeli television had a subtitle on their weekly news program (Yoman) for quite some time: "tweeter: AyalaHason..."
    I loved the mistake. Tweeting sounds so very much nicer. I just imagine those little birds.

    1. There's an oddity in the noun TWITTER and the verb (=the act of inserting the 140 characters max) TWEETING. But that one really isn't my world, so I will be quiet...

  7. I am a fan of quiet writing: words that ever so gently leave their impression on the reader. That's what I find here on your blog, Mirka. Thank you for that =)

  8. Thank you for your quiet, thought-ful writing here, Mirka. I signed up to be one of your followers (something I rarely do for blogs) and expected to get email reminders when you have a new post, but I've received nothing. What am I doing wrong?

    1. You, Ev? Doing something wrong? Never.

      I don't think blogger notifies followers. But if you log into your Google/blogger account you will see all the new posts of the blogs you do follow. You just won't get Email notifications like one may from WP blogs.