13 October 2005

Post Poison

Venomous Venting or Healthy Processing?

Through a very helpful conversation this morning I became even more aware of the public nature of my blog for the CDSP community. My frustrations are, in theory, available for everyone in the semninary community to read.

Up until today I have regarded this is a blessing that comes with much repsonsibility. In other words, I must take good care to post what I think might be of some use to others, not direct ranting or general complaining.

"How is your semester going?" my friend asked.
"Great. I have a good outlet for dealing with the things that irk or confuse me so I can really appreciate the positive stuff."
"What's your outlet?"
"I blog," I grinned. "I can process my frustrations that way and get on with enjoying everything else."

She went on to suggest that our venting may not be healthy if we are squirting it back into the community. A private journal does not have the potential to adversely affect anyone else because it isn't being put into anyone else's psyche. A friend outside the community serves a similar healthy purpose.

Is my blog unhealthy? came the question. I cringed. I remember making the conscious decision to post frustrations and disconnects because I thought others may find commonality there and we might discover it isn't all in our heads. Neo-consciousness raising. And on a very small level, it has worked. I am in conversation with some people who've had similar reactions to the seminary experience and I'm trying to form some structures for future newbies in response to our experiences, alike and diverse.

In my opinion, there would be no point to having a blog if it didn't push some edges somewhere. I'm not on Xanga anymore, a website for what would otherwise be a mass email to friends and family: we went to church today, then out to lunch, then we gathered signatures for the kerry campaign, then we went to Kirksville for the weekend. At the same time, I don't want my frustrations to infect those who aren't frustrated.

There is a prophetic thing going on here. Not that I'm a prophet, but the sense is that someone who sees a problem risks making others as cranky as they are in the process of consciousness-raising. Maybe my fellow students would rather not hear my thoughts on the chapel experience and would rather go on their merry way enthralled with the learning curve. Am I making more of a mess than I am making connections?

I don't want to poison others with my crankiness, but I also don't want to miss an opportunity to dialogue and a convenient medium for that dialogue.


Blogger CJA said...

It's such a fine line, isn't it. Still, any organization is going to have its jargon, its technical terms that mean a whole lot to the people who know them, and nothing at all to people who don't. I have been thinking about your frustrations, and realizing how defensive I've become (I've certainly shared it with you, but you might not have known it was defensiveness). So my work for the week is to not get into the trap of thinking that you're somehow attacking, but trying to clarify. I'm doing the same with H. P. and emerging church stuff. Keep it up, sister. I'm trying to listen!


4:08 PM  
Blogger Zinnhead said...

i have been patiently waiting to hear this from you; i have many thoughts!

4:45 PM  
Blogger CJA said...

You knew I'd come around eventually, didn't ya. Let's go talk face to face sometimes this week.

10:09 AM  

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