Lonely Memorials in the Blogosphere
Yet there are so many blogs stranded in cyberspace without readers, without recent posts. Some of them are deservedly lost, vapid dithering distinguishable from spam only by the lack of commercial focus. Yet there are other lost blogs whose discovery is akin to hiking in the forest, far from any settlement, and suddenly stumbling across, in a hushed clearing, an ancient slate gravestone covered in moss.
Confronted by such a discovery you cannot help feeling, someone once lived here. There was a life worthy of notice in this place, that is now disturbed only by the wind and an occasional bird call. That is the sense I have when I read a promising blog that lasted for a few weeks, a month, perhaps a season before it was abandoned.
What became of the person whose blog this is? If they were as talented as it would appear from their posts, why has no one heard from them since? I doubt most of them are dead. True, blogging does not confer any special immunity to danger. Perhaps a few of these are true memorials, to someone who shared their thoughts with us for a brief space, then drowned, or died in a speeding car.
Surely, however, that is not the fate of all the missing bloggers. There are too many of them for death to be the only explanation. Somewhere out there, they are alive, yet they have abandoned a part of themselves far off in the blogosphere, to be noted only by a few explorers in the wilderness of little known blogs. What happens to them all?
They have something to say, a fresh point of view to share, or perhaps just a talent for stating the obvious that makes it fresh and interesting to the rest of us. Why would anyone abandon such promise? What pulls them away from something they are so good at? Do they leave because a personal crisis consumes their time, or do they just forsake their talents to throw all their energies into a career that may be dull but promises better pay than writing could ever offer?
I doubt such questions occur to most who stumble upon the few clues they leave behind, but they haunt me. The greater the potential and talent I see in the traces some vanished blogger has imprinted upon cyberspace, the more haunting such questions become. The fact that I may never know their fate, and can only guess, does nothing to ease my mind.
Then there are blogs that are still new, yet offer haunting questions of their own. Someone offers a tiny glimpse into their lives, a chance to get to know them just a bit, and it can be hard not to care what may be happening to them. A Room Full of Noises is one of those blogs that must haunt everyone who pauses to read it.
The author writes poetry that would be haunting under any circumstances. Her language and imagery is far better that found in many published poems. And yet the photos she posts to illustrate those poems, the context they appear in, make them even more haunting. Is she truly safe? I cannot imagine anyone who could write so beautifully abandoning it voluntarily. If there are no new postings to A Room Full of Noises, I shall always fear the worst.
And yet, what can any mere visitor do? We have a hint of the danger she may be in, but none of us knows enough of her life to save her. Perhaps if we knew, we would still find we did not have the means. This must be what a man feels who watches a person trapped within a burning building, knowing he cannot reach them. Will the fire department arrive in time, or will they be lost? He may be helpless, but he cares desperately about the outcome. If you believe in prayer, pray for Ischelle tonight, and for all the others lost out there in the blogosphere.