As is so often the case, it was another blogger that got me to thinking. Julie who has both a fine mind and a talent for making beautiful quilts wrote about not really wanting to blog about politics, but it seemed to burst out of her.
Then one of her commenters, Cheri, who has a mighty fine blog of her own, wrote, "I try to keep politics off my blog, too, because if I like someone's quilting, I don't want to know if I hate their politics!" And that made me smile because I kind of feel the same way.
As bloggers, we choose what aspects of ourselves we share with our readers, people who may be family, friends, acquaintances, or unknowns. As a blog reader, I'm generally drawn to those who share more dimensions, rather than fewer, of who they are.
I tried to keep politics out of my blog posts. My sidebar gave enough information, I thought, about my political leanings. When I was volunteering at a campaign office during the primaries, though, I did share the excitement that I felt, the idea that I was working for a cause that I believed in. I wrote about the experience more than about the candidate. I was uncovering for both my readers and myself a piece of me that I hadn't known before.
In the past few weeks I did some different political blogging. Rather than extol the virtues of the candidate I prefer, I realize now that I succumbed to the urge to express my serious concerns about another candidate. I wasn't totally happy with myself when I did it. I thought that venting would make me feel better. What it did was let me know which readers share my viewpoint.
I noticed that some of my regular commenters were quiet during those posts. And this led me to believe they support a different candidate. Their absence was felt, and I thought about what Cheri said. I hoped that they still liked my quilts, if not my politics, and me, if not my candidate. [It seems they do. :-) ]
(As a side note, rather amazingly, one Reader From The Other Side who knows me IRL as well as from reading my blog felt the need to respond but did it in such a strange and childish way --sending by mail a clipping that reflected his own opinion and -- I suppose -- hoping to impress me with his astuteness. He did it anonymously, using an envelope with a return address that wasn't his and carefully misspelling my name on the outside. He made an impression all right, but not the one he was trying for.)
When I'm with friends whose political leanings are different from mine, for the most part, we just let that be, and talk about the things we do share. I don't expect to persuade anyone to my point of view, and I certainly don't want anyone to try to persuade me. It is better, in person, to just by-pass this difference.
So, what I'm rambing about here today has to do with tension and risk. The tension of self revelation. What to share and what not to share. The tension between wanting to share and not wanting to offend. Between openness and discretion.
No conclusions at this point. Just thinking and pondering.