I-Thou

A friend enthusiastically shared the address of her daughter's blog a few days ago. I looked it up, thinking I would read and leave a comment. It is nicely written, an interesting journal of this young person's life as a teacher in a country far away from her home.

When I looked for the "comment" button, however, I found that she has chosen not to allow comments. I was frustrated, at first, but then began to wonder why. Did a stranger hurt her with an acerbic remark?  Did a Spam-related incident cause her to take this draconian action? Were comments ever permitted?

It felt like a mystery. A blog is an extension of a person, not a person, but if her blog were a person, I would like to put my arm around it, lead it into this warm, comfortable room and say, "Come in, come in. Join us. Meet my kind friends. They would like to hear about your journey, and they would like to share theirs with you."

I-Thou.

I woke up this morning thinking of Martin Buber's Ich-Du.

When I read my last post — (Wabi-Sabi — don't you just love how that phrase rolls trippingly off the tongue?) — and then read each of the comments again, I was struck by the remarkable "Ich-Du" nature of our virtual relationship. When I look at your own blogs, and the content of the regular base of commenters, the "I-Thou" of our interactive meeting space is confirmed.

It is powerful, beneficient, and of great personal value. Go back. Read the comments from my last post, and read some from your own posts. It's an excellent meditation; and will surely lead to a deep feeling of wonder and appreciation for one another.


I-Thou (Ich-Du)   Encounter      Meeting

      Dialogue   Mutuality     Exchange

 

Fig Tree at Sugar Shack

15 thoughts on “I-Thou

  1. It’s possible to track the number of visits, but we don’t know anything about the visit until the visitor shares her thoughts. Then a connection is made. Yesterday I had a lengthy comment that was actually a better treatment of the topic than my post.

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  2. I hear you.
    ( and of course I went and read all the comments. )
    a few of my blog loves have chosen to disable comments. and explained why. I think if the content is religious or political the comment box can become a forum , a back and forth that takes on it’s own life , good or bad. In most cases the person is completely open to emailing, assuming that if you take the extra step that your opinion, affirmation, gush, or “me too’ is more sincere and not just a ploy to attract blog traffic etc. I get that. Sometimes a blogger can get caught up in the how many comments thing. vs another blog say, or why something so profound got one comment, and a silly quip about my dog got fourty. I don’t know. I like the chatter a bit. I like the community feeling.
    and look…. my comment is a ramble of a postish mess. feel free to moderate or delete. 🙂

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  3. I cherish comments; I’d continue to post without them but they definitely enhance my blogging experience. Every time I check my blog, I hold my breath, hoping I’ll find the gift of a comment. First, I tell myself that it really doesn’t matter if anyone has left a response, but it truly does.
    I can keep on with or without but I sure get a kick out of hearing my readers’ thoughts.

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  4. I agree with y’all. A blog is a sharing of self, whether it be thoughts, words, humor, or observations,and for sharing to be complete, it must move both ways. Comments are precious.

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  5. Yes, Gully, and we all have full, busy lives, so this sharing over time is a confirmation of the authentic nature of our exchanges. It’s especially nice, because we understand that there is an ebb and flow to life, and we all cut each other some slack. Oh, so nice.

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  6. And with the internet, it’s so easy to communicate from opposite sides of the globe…reading and enjoying your writing wouldn’t have happened otherwise! I wonder who wrote the very first blog…would like to thank him/her personally for opening up this wonderful pipeline…^-^

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  7. I’m quite new to this blogging world as I only started blogging nine months ago. But, it is the comments of others that inspires me and motivates me to continue to share my life with the world. Through the love, care and support of my readers I have grown as a blogger and hopefully my dream of writing a book will become a reality very soon.

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  8. Welcome to my world, Tracy — I look forward to exploring yours. Visit some of my friends here and you will find vibrant, great folks. For starters, I highly recommend Elizabeth at “a moon, worn as if it had been a shell,” Deb at “Talk at the Table,” Kathleen at “Hill Country Mysteries,” and Denny at “Building Personal Strength.” (That’s just for starters!). Thanks for visiting.

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  9. I dunno … I can understand why someone would disable comments, although I very much like comments people leave on my own blog.
    I read Robert Genn’s Wabisabi article on your recommendation (thanks!), and noticed that some of the comments took away from the article. For example, someone wrote:
    ” … the next time you feel you want to start a sentence with ‘I’m laptopping you from …’ please consider that many of us a) would prefer that you stick to topics regarding the creative process, b) would appreciate being spared reminders that we have neither the time nor money to indulge in exotic jaunts around the world, and c) are not particularly interested in your personal lifestyle (sorry, but it’s true!)”
    The author of the comment claimed he was offering “constructive criticism” but it came across as just nasty. I was interested in Mr. Genn’s personal lifestyle. Isn’t one’s lifestyle part of the creative process? Even though the ugly comment was all about the author of the comment, not about Mr. Genn at all, it somehow made the experience of reading the article less enjoyable.
    I love reading your blog (and the comments 🙂 Your pantry is delightful. I especially like what you did with the chain. The concept of storage as art is quite appealing. When I was a poor, single mom my daughter and I once lived in a small house that had no closets. I hung our clothes on the walls, like tapestries.

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