“The pen is mightier than the sword.” Who said that? Whoever it was I proved them right.
What they should have mentioned is that that sword could slice off your own arm.
Case in point.
For a number of years I was a member of different poetry groups but really active on one where I liked the writers, the content, and the interaction. The style seemed so free and natural. Very chatty.
Well, beware the internet!
I got so happy and comfortable with what I thought was my online friendships and those few jolly people that always conversed with me and I with them, i.e. responders,commenters, and feedback-givers, that I thought they understood my poetry, my written expressions of my thoughts and served up a delightful poem.
Perhaps I expected too much.
I have never had a big mouth in my opinion even though I have been accused of it. I have always though been one to see something and say exactly what I see. No embellishments or retractions. That is why I try to keep my mouth shut. Lesson learned as a child. Yet there are times when I suspect I am in safe company and I let my thoughts and observations be known.
So to the delightful poem, long since buried in the internet’s graveyard.
In it I ruminated and reasoned that our internet relationships are never real. It is virtual; an imagined reality that may dissipate into the ether without notice.
Our friendships are disembodied caricatures; a formulated intimation of a probability. We could probably be friends in the real world, but we have no surety of this. It is only seemingly a likelihood. It is a sort of prolonged first meeting, or date, where we seem to get on well and of course we have similar interest or even objectives, but at best we are colleagues or acquaintances. Any perceived friendship is just that, perceived. All in the mind.
…turns out they proved me right in a way, and I fell on my sword. Well, pen anyway.
I hasten to say here that this post is not aimed in any negative way at anyone currently reading it. I am just saying/musing/observing that’s all. I am not trying to get a dig in on anybody that I connect with in this blogosphere.
You see it turns out some of them thought so, rather than seeing my mighty penship in the same light as my other offerings and spewings – An objective light that may shine on any idea or concept or subject in Life, or that otherwise may be seen as an inspiration or warning of sorts; or more definitely the mere expression of my soul.
For me Poetry was/is an intellectual yet basic endeavour that is a good tool when foraging our minds and life experiences. So I killed myself with my own bloody sword. OK I didn’t kill myself, but I did cut off my arm.
Who didn’t unfollow, delete or block me, used their their pen to mightily chastise and outright cuss me (in good language suited to poetry lovers) and so stunned mystified angered and hurt me, that I stopped writing and eventually left the sites.
My poem had been impersonal. The use of the second person may have triggered it, but I fail to see how the poem could have been otherwise composed. And what about poetic licence or something?
How was I to know that a (pseudo) intellectual group would not see this poem for what it was, but remove their intelligent specs and assume that I was attacking them?
On the bright side, I guess I was finally a super wordsmith. I got reams of comments/responses unlike any previous. However, their comments to me were personal in nature. A couple were unequivocally insults.
And that’s why I left. It was because of my big mouth. I dared to say what I thought at the time of our seeming reliance on, and belief in, friendships curated in a non-natural sphere.
I was not bullied. I was given what they may have thought a good lesson. And in that, a reminder: People are fragile, regardless of their intellectual acrobatics.
And some are not willing to admit a truth or ponder its possibility even when it is not their truth.
Here is my truth that I cannot shake: I have a big mouth. I may not think so, but I do. I tend to speak my mind freely, and expect others to understand and not take offence. I AM AN INTELLECTUAL
SNOB. I expect you (oops, anyone with whom I deign to feel safe enough to share my considered thought) to understand what I am saying by holding it within its context. If my considered thought turns out to be bullshit, I expect empirical logical denunciation. I do not do personal. When I do you will know without having to read between the lines.
But… that finally off my chest….
Did I learn my lesson sufficiently? 😕
“Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.” -W.B.Yeats
this post is aimed at me and my big mouth. It is aimed at the anger I felt. It is aimed at the pain I felt. It is aimed at the disdain which I then held for the group who presumed to “read my mind” and attach unsavoury nuances to my plain offering made in trust of their acumen. It is aimed at my folly for forgetting the clinical reality of the www is sometimes a place inhabited by more of the emotional and psychological in us because of that very feeling of separation or distance. It is therefore aimed at my healing, and at wellbeing.
It can be a lonely place where we feel rejected or unfairly chastised by those we thought worthy of our ‘trust’. It can be a lonely place where we realise our peers are not our peers. It can be a lonely place where we are not alone. But the internet is merely a world wide web of information and emblematic human interaction. I/We should never forget that.
Beware the Internet! We are all penpals at most until we meet. 😉 If your greatest online friend were to close their account would you really feel anything comparable to if your greatest physical real-life friend suddenly disappeared off your radar?
Oh, the dichotomy and the paradox.
We’d all be healthier if we all remembered that to connect on the internet is not always to connect. So to those in that poetry group I say “screwww you”. I will not be drawn into your web.
There is only One World.
Anything thing else is a “mock-up”, a (mis) representation.