Last week a friend of mine remarked on all the perfect happy-happy blogs that continue to be happy, day in and day out with never a hair out of place or a glitch in the works. She wondered if those bloggers were really happy all the time or whether she was the only one who was screwed up.
This got me thinking. I know I am guilty of trying to keep my blog a positive place to visit. I've written many posts about how content I am, carving away at my totems in the courtyard with the sound of the stream rushing by, birds twittering, monkeys visiting. Yuk, cloying isn't it?.....but those peaceful times I write about are usually when everything is going well and I am brimming with creative energy. However, there is an ugly side to living in South Africa. The truth is I live in fear a lot of the time. Fear for my daughter who drives home alone at night, fear for my husband who has had death threats for speaking his mind, fear for my elderly inlaws who would have little chance against the intruders who have almost broken their door down several times and fear for myself especially when my husband is away and there is only one pair of ears to listen for thugs who might break in during the night. Armed thugs are a reality here. We have to barricade ourselves in to stay alive because these people have no respect for life and will rape, torture and murder at whim. Not even children or the elderly are exempt.
We are often shocked by the violence in this country. My best friend's husband was shot in cold blood leaving a wife and 5 children to battle on without him. Our beloved Dr. Bhamjee was brutally murdered during her lunch hour in her own surgery. My G.P.'s mother was beaten and left for dead by a group of men at 8.00 a.m after waving goodbye to her son from the garden gate. The son of a friend of ours was murdered whilst he was working his shift in the family hotel. A young matriculant who was studying for his last exam on the beach in front of our beach cottage was stabbed to death for no obvious reason. My step niece was shot 7 times by 5 thugs in front of her tiny children and left for dead. These are only a few of the incidents that have happened to people we know. There are millions of victims that we don't know . Victims of every race, colour or creed.
Perhaps we do need to share some of the negatives in our lives to balance all the positives we write about...or should our blogs be our sanctuaries where we unwind and escape to. I wrote about how my teenage daughter lost her battle with cancer and also my husband's recovery from this disease...and it worried me for days that I had shared too much information. Should we keep our private lives private or do we share our worries and benefit from all the feedback we get from the bloggersphere? I lose myself in my blog and the dozens of blogs I read. They uplift me and generally I come away feeling inspired. Last week Denise from grrl+dog shared her story about discovering a lump. Her journal pages during this period in her life are deeply moving. It is posts like these that make me feel so proud and grateful to be part of a blogging community such as ours. ......And yet I still worry that I am sharing too much.