A friend of mine, David Truss, recently showed me how blogging has become his personal learning space. I have been resisting entering the blogosphere. As a writer, I had not yet graduated to the understanding that one does not give up the importance of print by recognizing the importance of hypertext. I was a print snob.
I feel now that I am standing on the shore of a limitless ocean and my toes are being tickled by the surf.
When I was very young and very small, I slipped off an inner-tube into a swimming pool and began to sink to the bottom. My father pulled me to the surface moments later, but the experience gave me a healthy respect for water. Later that same year, we took a packed and rickety motor boat across from Livingston, Belize to the Guatemalan coast in the middle of the night. A storm kicked up shortly after we embarked, and both my brother and I had to be gripped tightly to keep us from going overboard as the waves tossed the boat around. Healthy respect turned into a deep fear of deep water.
This fear, however, was not compatible with my nature. I am a New Mexican girl. We are desert-dwellers in love with water. At the first sight of a thunder-head, I would rush around to find my rain gear. If I was lucky the shower would last long enough for me to don the rain coat and boots and splash around. The shower would be down to a “six-inch” rain by the time I got outside, six inches, that is, between drops. I loved the water with a passion, and would spend every moment of the next half-hour splashing in the puddles left behind, and would curse the sand for sucking up the water so quickly.
By the time I was seven, I couldn’t stand NOT getting in the water because of this stupid fear any more. My aunt would take me to the swimming pool, and I would stay in the kiddie end, in two feet of water, surrounded by pre-schoolers. It was time to take the plunge. Little by little, I forced myself to get wet – first my legs, then my belly, then the big hurdle – my face. I learned to hold my breath. I learned to drag myself around like an alligator. Soon, I was pulling myself through the water with armfuls of water, SWIMMING! I was a fish! And I have been ever since.
I am standing on the edge of this internet ocean now, the blogosphere, and thinking to myself I just have to get a little wet. I know this fear. It catches in my throat like the excitement of a new love. It bubbles in my belly like the nerves before a stage entrance. And I am taking the plunge!