Sunday, March 18, 2012

Summary from the Healing Salon

Mel @ Stirrup Queens once said that the major goals of ICLW, from her standpoint, was the improvement of your language and communication skills. I've found this to true in my case as far as commenting goes, during ICLW, it is not easy to write an involved and personalized comment at any blog you stop off at, serious effort has to go into that. One of the reasons I signed up to host a Healing Salon is that it would present a difficult writing exercise. Writing the introduction was difficult enough, it seems harder to summarize. While the debate over PAIL pushed none of my emotional buttons, it did present intellectual questions and issues.

Here are some summaries, which have helped me understand the situation better.

--While everybody has no problems with the concept of multiple blogrolls on different websites, some have pointed out that to them,  PAIL is more than a  mere blogroll,  it represents a community as well.

--The other thing that was highlighted was that all members of PAIL would not have the same set of intentions. Some would see it just as a place where they can meet people in a similar situation, ie, a blogroll. Others might want to focus more on the communal aspect of it. Some may want to focus all their blogging energy in reading posts on mothering. Many others might continue in the same way they do now, they follow people in multiple situations in life- either those who are TTCing or those who are parenting, or those who remain childfree.

--On censoring, while everybody said it is not necessary and nobody wants you to do that, everybody does it to a small extent. I've done it on multiple little issues myself, but never on the big stuff.  When I was pregnant, I posted ultrasound pictures. If my pregnancy was making  me feel uncomfortable, I talked about it. We blog for multiple reasons, but two important categories are, catharsis and  the celebration of something very hard-won, and while tact is called for, those should never be compromised just so we 'do not hurt a reader's feelings'. That turn of phrase always gives me pause, however, because other people's feelings are not hurt because of somebody's 'happy situation', for lack of a better phrase, rather, that situation acts as a trigger for somebody's innate sorrow. Those triggers are everywhere, when you feel that raw, the world is a literal minefield.  In my opinion, it is firmly up to the reader to protect themselves. 

While there was largely a consensus on the multiple blogroll and the censoring issues, what really struck me is that 2 people can gaze at the same picture and see very different things, for example, on the 'exclusive club' issue. Such is human nature, and that cannot be changed. We are never going to agree 100% with each other, that is not necessary and would possibly be incredibly boring.

My take from all this? Live and let live. There are no villains here, just people with differing opinions. This situation arose because we tried to make it too complicated. As a virtual community, our ONLY goal should be to be there to offer support, to whoever we can, wherever we can and accept the same from whatever source that offers it to us.  It should not be required that all of us have to compulsorily hang out at the same watering hole to do so, we can wander if we want, we can make new friends if we want. Give people their space, let them do whatever they want to do. That is my incredibly simplistic worldview. I know everybody cannot agree with it, but, if you do, I am of the opinion that it can save you a lot of pain. Is that not the bottom line?

After this, I hope this discussion is closed for good and we have all retreated a little wiser. This was overall, a great, civilized, restrained discussion across the board, and I thank everybody who participated.  


  1. here here [raises glass!]

    a wonderfully balanced view!

  2.  Thank you, I'm glad you think so :)

  3. "As a virtual community, our ONLY goal should be to be there to offer support, to whoever we can, wherever we can and accept the same from whatever source that offers it to us. " Very well said, Jay! Thanks for posting!

  4. You are always a voice of reason and calm and I appreciate that. I hope *you* are doing okay with your own cycle right now. Any updates?

  5. Thanks Sloper! Nothing going on with me, just a BFN. Next try in a few months:)

  6.  Thanks Tiara :) You are welcome, I really enjoyed this and it was a great distraction from this cycle!