Tuesday, January 8, 2008



The prompt for this first filing of 2008 is “average”. Aspiring to be average. It comes from that feeling of being somehow different, labeled the dreaded “eccentric”, somewhere between “off” (off centre) and “crazy”.

I was reading in a Globe & Mail at the coffee shop that the average Canadian reader read 34 books last year, 2007. That makes me almost “average”! The 36 books I read in 2007 means that my list is down by more than a dozen; my usual annual page-turning achievement hovers around 50. Why was this last year so “down” for me? Too busy? Too much TV? Both of the above, plus more days away from home than usual, and more days home but otherwise engaged. With the gift of guests. With joining the artists guild and all that goes with it--preparing photos to frame and hang, making cards to sell, prep for workshops and craft sale, attending meetings and openings. The second half of my year included a fascinating writing project, and, a new experience for me, hosting an international student here in Canada to learn English. Excuses. Excuses. But what they all have in common is “too busy living” to read about other people living. Resolve #1: this new year, I will make the time to read more.

I’ve been averaging, in previous postings, over 1000 words per blog. Perhaps length is one reason why sitting down to blog seems intimidating. Perhaps my average needs adjusting. Yet the most depressing thing I heard last year is that a blog should be 200 words long, 250 max. 200 words? You can not be serious. No, I mean, how can one be serious in 200 words. Not enough time to think; not enough space to develop a thought. 200 words is an ad. Amusing perhaps, manipulative, targeted, with one point. OK. Better than 2000 words with no point. Resolve #2: I will write 200 words. I will continue to protect the Eartha persona, and to honour the anonymity and dignity of family, friends, clients, and acquaintances. Resolve #3: I will post weekly.

Eccentric Quote: “Precisely because the tyranny of opinion is such as to make eccentricity a reproach, it is desirable, in order to break through that tyranny, that people should be eccentric. Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.” – John Stuart Mill (79 words)

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