There is only one letter difference between a blog and a bog. This is a post about keeping that critical “l” in place.
This blog started as an act of defence. It began right after I was forced to stop posting on athensclimbing essentially shutting down a personal product of love and inspiration. The person who demanded me to close down athensclimbing viewed it as an act of revenge. He believed that taking it away from me would hurt me. He was right. Unfortunately I was bullied out of athensclimbing and later regretted it. But I was so disappointed at that time that I did not care to stand my ground.
And like this, something nice ended and something new was born.
I inspired Climbing, travel and other trifles to be sort of a continuation of athensclimbing, a blog cherishing the joy of climbing and wanderlust. But reality had other plans. Following the destruction of Athens Climbing Guidebook I found myself consciously moving away from climbing. I never lost contact entirely (thanks to plastic) but for the first time in almost 20 years I felt that pursuing other things would be more important and fulfilling for me. Family also got into the equation and a long personal quest set off. Climbing became largely irrelevant. Travel, the way me and D always knew it, became a non-possibility as well.
Thus the blog never lived to its literal title. But at the same time it became something else. It became a personal space for self-pondering, an initiative for gathering and organising random thoughts into more meaningful batches of information. I embraced this as an exercise to better understand my thoughts. I found that when I had to blog about “something” I needed first to secure a better understanding of this “something”. Every time I had to write about “something” I was motivated to study this “something” more carefully.
Meanwhile I struggled with serious doubts. I was constantly haunted by the idea of this endeavour being “yet another boring blog about everything and nothing in particular”. I kept on writing about subjects that I was not an expert. I wrote about history without being a historian, about astronomy without being an astrophysicist, about biology without being a biologist. Did the world need such another blog? Was it something even remotely meaningful or was it simply an act of vanity and narcissism?
When vanity came into the equation, I started reflecting on my reach to the world. I begun this blog writing mostly for myself but as time passed I started to hope that my words will reach other ears too, that they will be a stimulant for fruitful discussion and learning of new things.
And so I started posting my blog posts on Facebook.
The problem is that the more I posted my articles on Facebook the more I became dependent on how they were received. I began to worry that I will be tempted to negotiate my way of thinking in order to be more “liked”.
This, I d’ rather not see happening.
So I just now decided to stop posting my blog posts on Facebook and take a step back from the social media in general. I fully understand that this will make this blog even more introvert that it currently is but I am fine with that. My posts are still here for anyone wishing to enter in my head or engage in discussion. But moving away from the social media will release me from the attention arena. I shall not be tempted to write for attention.
I will start writing for the ideal reader again.
As for climbing.
Yesterday I went to the rocks again after some time. I had a superb day in my favourite crag which I hadn’t visited for 10 months. I remembered how great it can be when things fall into place under a warm winter sun. How nice it feels to climbing with relaxed company and no judging eyes around, enjoying the quietness and finding a nice line beyond your reach to fight till the last drop of your strength, throwing at it everything you have.
Even the robins, acting in their adorable winter boldness were there. Everything tuned in.
Unburdened from expectations of performance I enjoyed every bit of my day out. The whole thing was so intense for my body and mind that I managed to get very little sleep that night. I was galvanised.
The feeling of being so intensely alive, this bursting love of life coming from my ached fingers and muscles after such a session, this satisfaction and gratitude that I still walk on this planet, all this I didn’t manage to get from anything else in the past 10 months of absence from climbing and I know that I will probably never get from anything else. I suppose this might make climbing look like an addictive psychotropic drug. And being the only drug I ever got addicted to I suppose this is why I will probably never completely manage to quit it.
Time will show. But dear reader, I thought you should know…