Convivium Meta 24ii24

I find myself in an existential dilemma that I don't know how to resolve, except by trying to write myself out of it, or maybe around it. I've found 4+ years of Convivial Questions to be important springboards for thinking things through about a very wide range of worthy topics BUT I realize that what those Questions lead me into is what amounts to a personal pathology that I can best characterize as

"Informing People Against Their Will"

I slip so easily into Professor mode, and that's just not a register that's compatible with the ways of being (or the available time) of other Conviviants, or with their notions of what Convivium ought to be.

By sending out links to html texts I'm making a tacit [that is, unspoken] demand that others read and respond to what I write... and then feeling annoyed when they don't. It's JUST like the prof's expectation that the students will "do the reading" and come to class prepared to ...engage, play, etc. It doesn't work in college classrooms, and it's just not appropriate in the framework of a weekly Convivial exchange... BUT I recognize that I'm ego-involved in the thinking and writing, and so lose sight of anything outside of my own delight in finding stuff to marshal into html texts.

What I need to do is just STOP the Informing. And shut the fuck up, and listen instead. It's a difficult lesson to learn.

Looking at my /Conviv/ list, what each of those links demands is that the viewer commit time and attention to READING what's been written under each link. That has obviously been a big ask, beyond what others mostly had any wish to engage with. And a tacit/stealth requirement on my part that didn't fit with others' ways of doing Convivium; and evidence of my continued imposition onto participants of my mode and method of doing and being —in short, "Informing Against Their Will".

For me each of those now-70 links (plus 10+ un-sprung beginnings) is a mini-odyssey of MY discoveries and explorations, laid out for (1) my own understanding and satisfaction and retrieval [and admiration of my own cleverness and discovery skills, the Reference Librarian element], and (2) as BAIT for potential interlocutors. But the bait has rarely been taken, and expanded conversations building upon my bricolages have not occurred or developed. That should tell me something, and should inform my future doings.

The concept of "oversharing" is not inappropriate, and belongs in the same quadrant of questionable social behavior as 'passive-aggressive', in making excessive demands of others for attention and response —in effect, 'guilt tripping' under the guise of 'sharing'.

"Too clever by half" as the British might characterize the transgression of conventional social bounds; "showing off" as my New England upbringing might label the same /doing/. And hence my feeling that what I need to do is STFU, cease Informing, keep my hands to myself.

So each of those /Conviv/ documents is couched as a conversation with myself, with my curiosity ...but released with the wish? hope? tacit expectation? that others will engage. They haven't, they don't, and the demand is simply too much, inappropriate to the setting and situation. A bit difficult for me to admit, cope with, and respond to, given how /helpful/ I convinced myself I was trying to be, by "showing my work" and laying down attention traps (videos, outbound links). So:

What are the Wisdoms to which one aspires? To realize what one does in the world, and how to trim the sails for more elegant passage. The BEAUTY of the Game is what one should focus concentration upon, as in The Glass Bead Game, and Gō: Not that you win but how you proceed.

Most people don't write about what they're doing thinking feeling —or, these days, they do those things in the abbreviated Twitter and Facebook mode. I have pretty much always (at least since 1965) been a person who processes stuff by writing about it —by collecting passing mental cycles and blooming curiosities as a stream of writing.

How can I know what I think until I see what I say?
(a Question which I encountered in writing workshops at Bard in 1986-87,
and immediately adopted as a personal mantra).

I can't think of many other people who have that habit of reflective writing. Kate, certainly, much more consistently, and life-long... but she got the inspiration somewhere, and has spent her life making an art form of the self-curated narrative. I have a pretty hefty collection of writings by people whose habit was to WRITE their own lives, including diarists like Virginia Woolf, and various Journalers.

But MOST people find just LIVING their lives sufficient challenge, plenty difficult, and no call to add a written record too. And for why? For whom? the Diary is considered a private medium, not meant to be shared

So I continue to chew this over...