My Ela-stic Blog-a-rhythms
blogging about blogging, and when not to follow advice
You may be reading this post shortly after it was written, following the sequence of my postings, or you may be reading it at any given time (probably, but not necessarily, subsequent to my writing it). Blog posts straddle a crossroads of the immediately relevant and the timeless treasure. Emphasizing the “timeless treasure” aspect, advice to blog writers often counsels against meta-discussion of situational or sequential issues--it draws too much overt attention to something that will likely be irrelevant two weeks from now.
It’s good advice, but since when have I followed advice 100% of the time? So yes, this is a post about what this blog is for and what to expect from it. The short version: I remain E-la-stic, but there is a rhythm to my blogging.
If you have been reading along in sequence, over the past few months you may have experienced a somewhat arrhythmic blog loosely arranged around healing, literature, herbs, spirituality, and their intersection, followed by a sudden plunge into the ketogenic diet and how it’s been the material game-changer in my physical health, first made possible by a fundamental change in my attitude toward myself and my self care.
I do believe that the ketogenic diet is a hugely important and very interesting therapeutic approach. Under various definitions, more or less precise, it is the subject for much great research as well as citizen science/self-experimentation at the moment, and it’s been shown to help alleviate several categories of serious ailments. And, of course, there’s a host of misconceptions to match.
I do also believe that my combination of a history of anorexia/bipolar/celiac and nutritional/herbal knowledge puts me in a good position to engage with the subject. Reasonable, then, to morph this into an anorexia/bipolar/celiac recovery blog via ketogenic diet? Perhaps.
But-- but-- I am Ela-stic! (See the post before this one.)
I’ve never been a one-trick pony, and I’ve never written a single-subject blog. Maybe I’d have reached more people if I had done so (?) but it doesn’t seem to be in the cards.
As a person who counsels others on their nutrition and health, I’ve very rarely found occasion to recommend a ketogenic diet. My intention going forward is to retain this flexibility of awareness. When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I prefer to be a highly adjustable and sensitive tool, evaluating all the conditions and open to guidance.
I will continue to share about the ketogenic diet with depth and enthusiasm in the hopes that my experiences and understanding will be helpful for others. I also hope that people who work with me not using the ketogenic diet will recognize that I’ll engage in their individual and unique conditions with similar depth and enthusiasm.
I feel blessed that diet and herbs--physical things--help so much. And/but these are the how and the what; the why and the who are more important. Working with the breath, emotional counseling, Chi Nei Tsang/working on people’s bellies, and connection to Spirit are nearer and dearer to me still.
And aside from healing, I am still a writer! I am still working as an editor, translator, writer, and researcher.
I haven’t even mentioned it on this blog, I don’t think, but my essay that was published in The Georgia Review last winter was selected for Best American Essays 2016!!! Keeping company with the likes of Joyce Carol Oates and Oliver Sacks, as well as three other Tucson dwellers! What an accolade that is! Worthy of celebration, for sure. Best American Essays comes out in October, and I’ll be participating in a public reading in celebration--October 28, Antigone Books.
And I’m a word nerd. I love it. I can’t help it. I love that the word “spell” compasses both herbs and words, and I love that it doesn’t compass everything I do or write about. So I’ll be writing about that too.
Speaking of which, “blog-a-rhythm” as a playful word for something like “rhythm of my blog writing” only gets to be a pun on “logarithm” because the “i” and “y” sounds of ancient Greek sound the same in English. “-arithm-” means “number” (arithmetic?!) whereas “rhythmos” means “rhythm.” Blog rhythms are kind of logarithmic. And “arrhythmic”? Yes and no (which is also rhythmic). Both rhythmic and a-rhythmic.
I’m not a machine. I thrive on a degree of regularity, but I’m not a machine.
Returning to the comment up top about not always following advice, when is it okay not to take good advice from a trusted source? I’m currently engaged in sharpening my attention to the promptings of intuition. This is the “I’m not a machine” part. This is the nonlinear part where I have to trust that the responses and promptings I receive to my request for guidance will be answered. Guidance is only effective if you follow it! And this takes trust and courage.
When I was a teen studying music, we had to become proficient at writing four-part harmony to chorale melodies in the style of J.S. Bach. Honestly, even when I was good enough at it to get As, I had no real understanding of what I was doing there. What I did understand was that Bach himself knew what he was doing so well, he could break every rule in the book and create effective harmony. (That’s why he’s the great-great-granddaddy of jazz.) But while I didn’t know what I was doing, I had to go by the book, follow the advice.