Saturday, October 15, 2011

Gently Said

Last night I spent an hour reading some of my old posts. A little traipse through my history. I was pleased to see that, for the most part, I lived up to my theme of 'Say it gently'. I started blogging as a lark. I was goofing around on the computer one day and came across a blog. I was wondering how one created a blog so I googled the subject, and quickly found myself in over my head. As I was about to back away from the subject I saw an add for Blogspot explaining how simple it was...just follow the easy steps. I did. Somewhere in the process it asked me for a title for my blog. Without thought, I typed in Gently Said. Before I hit the enter key, I leaned back and thought about it. Since I had no idea what I would write in my blog, had no limits or rules in mind, I quickly understood that whatever it was would reflect my personality, however warped it is. Gently Said didn't limit me in any way and left the door wide open. And whatever I wrote I knew that would write it kindly. It fit.

When I told Marilyn I created a blog she wasn't too impressed. When I tried to explain to her what it was she was even less impressed, for she quickly realized that I didn't understand it either.

I found that there were abundant articles about how to write a blog. How to make your blog interesting. How to sell yourself. What every blog post must have in it. This immediately brought to mind writing courses I had taken in college. When they gave me a subject, I could whip out something in no time. When they started applying rules I was stymied until I figured out that I could write about the rules, and gently mock them. I didn't, and don't, do well well with rules and structure.

It didn't take long for me to figure out that a blog is a stage. A presentation. When I would open up a blog I was immediately confronted with a curtain opening up. The set design would establish the tone. Some of the stages were filled with garish design, some were rich and warm, others roaring, and some soothing. Before a word was read, a mood was created. With some I expected to find a screaming hard rock group center stage, others a symphony orchestra, others a glaring spotlight on one person. The blogs I initially read were so diverse -- preaching, extolling, crying, trying to convince, begging for understanding, lecturing, self-serving, babbling -- I wasn't sure where my voice could fit in.

I once saw a concert by jazz singer Mel Torme. The curtain opened and there he was sitting on a stool center stage, by himself. He started singing. Soon a bass player walked out and stood next to him and started playing. A good part of the concert was Mel sitting on the stool singing with that bass player. It impressed me. Simple, and connecting.

So blogging, from my perspective, is entertainment. My stage is simple. I sit on my stool and just talk about stuff. No agenda. No controversy. Mildly entertaining with a splash of humor. That's me.

Marilyn just woke up so I took a coffee break with her to talk about the day's plan. She asked me what I was blogging about today. I told her I was just talking about blogging. That is when she said, "I don't like how your blog looks. It is so boring."

My blogging world, simple and unsophisticated, just came crashing down.


  1. Hey, Is this a way to draw attention to a new Blogging background you have up? I guess I never really noticed what you had before...always more interested in your words...Some folks just don't need a lot of frill... the way, I have a painting just hanging around doing nothing...

  2. I don't usually pay much attention to the background of a blog - I just want to get to the content - and hope that it is easy to read and not formatted in such a way as to cause me to strain my eyes. If there is too much fluff it's distracting, I find.

    Yours is one of my favorites for those reasons and more. But the main reason I like coming to visit? The content. The content is ALWAYS perfect.

  3. Gigi is right, and so are you. Gently Said is one of the treats of my otherwise pedestrian life. Write On, Jerry.

  4. I understand that presentation is important. I see it in various media, and often recognize the importance and impact of presentation.

    I, myself, prefer the content to the presentation. I tend to be a minimalist, but I recognize that were the world populated my many like myself it would be a dull world. The fluff makers do lend some interest to things.

    Since this is your blog, do it your way. How often do you actually get to do that? It is a pleasant place to visit. Thank you for making me feel welcome.

  5. I never your blog looked bland, but I do like the background. To me, one of the beautiful things about a blog is that the owner of the blog has TOTAL control over what they present and the manner in which they present it. I think the way your blog looks now and the way it looked before go right along with your style. I also agree with you about the title, it's one of the better ones that I've seen.

  6. I love the new look! :) You have indeed left the stage wide open for whatever your heart desires with your blog. The freedom with which you write is refreshing and fun and I have loved it from the first time I read it and onward. I would even go so far as to call it a blessing because you make me laugh every time I read a new post! And to top that off you even come and visit and leave such nice "footprints" that you are even more of a blessing! So thank you - it may be just a whim for you (which I am glad you enjoy), but it really is a blessing to me. :)

  7. Oh no! See what you (or Marilyn?) just did?
    Now you've got us all thinking about our blog templates....I forsee a craze for new and fabulous templates in another week or so...

    And your new one is very nice btw..

  8. Love the Mel Torme reference. Those old crooners possessed a simplicity all their own--a perfect analogue to your understated approach.

    New format rocks, BTW. ;)

  9. This is the first post I've read in your blog. I think the background is inconsequential. I've seen blog backgrounds that don't really reflect the content at all. I change mine around for the season, like redecorating the house. But, regardless of the background, I enjoy the peacefulness of your writing.

  10. Oh, Marilyn. She just doesn't *get* the genius that is the blogging-you, Jerry. It's still a gift to me to read your thoughts and gentle are right up my alley.
    Cheers to all things gently said...

  11. Two observations.

    One, I'm one of the few people under sixty who appreciates Mel Torme.....and probably the only person regardless of age, who appreciates him and also likes Tom Morello of "Rage Against the Machine".....

    Two, I'd swear our wives are related.

    Keep blogging.

  12. I like the new look! Thanks Marilyn!

    Your blog is not only gently said, its warm and inviting, and often I learn something when I read it. Its like a cup of coffee with with an interesting friend.


  13. I think we approach our stage the same way, Jerry. But what happened to your old-lady wallpaper? Are you planning to make me the last one with that template? Ah well. I am happy you at least are using black on white so we old people can read it.

  14. What a terrific post on entering the blogging world. I like "Gently Said" as a blog title. It's interesting that an apt title for your blog can just come to your mind as the screen prompts you to enter a title. And it is funny, the 'rules' of blogging that one reads about. "Never, ever ....". "The 5 things every blogger should do ...".