Even the most hardened skeptic of the self-expression free-for-all has to admit that plenty of nonprofessional creators, ignoring the wants and needs of the market, have produced priceless gifts for the rest of us to enjoy.--"Valuing $0" by Rob Walker, NYT Sunday Magazine.
Though the unwise cling to their actions, watching for results, the wise are free from attachments, and act for the well-being of the whole world.--Bhagavad Gita, 3.25
(Isn't it funny how things seem to coalesce when you're trying to come up with a blog post? All these quotes floated across my radar screen this past week, and all seemed relevant.)
I'm a big fan of Web 2.0, and all the kooky, wonderful free stuff that's out there for the downloading (plenty of shite too, I know, but that's part of the fun). I wonder if this is going to be the "good old days" that everyone refers to when we have to start paying for content and subscribing (not that that wouldn't be fair). And I'm proud to be a contributor to the kookiness which, by the way, has been for exactly four years on Saturday.
Sometimes I think about all the "unvalued" time I've put into this venture. By now, once-a-week for four years (231 posts), it's more like a hobby/habit than anything else. I feel obligated to stay current; I think about what I'd like to formulate into an essay; I get interesting feedback. [BrooksHall wrote a nice piece about this last week] By putting my little offering out there ("gift" seems too grand a title for these random musings), I feel like I've done my work and any fruits that result are a delightful extra. And there have been quite a few fruits (so to speak)--internet friendships, writing opportunities, teaching opportunities, new students, yoga-blog-community membership. Actually, a wealth of riches in exchange for about 45 min.s of my time every 5-7 days.
Would that my physical practice was so regular. But, in a way, they are of the same piece. Some people learn best by doing, others by reading. I float somewhere in the middle, as I like to think and learn and study in addition to do, and it all informs my work on the mat. This writing exercise, such as it is, has deepened my understanding of asana and pranayama and strengthened my teaching in ways I never could have imagined. I am a person of the book, to be sure.
Thanks, everyone, for accepting this little blog as an item of exchange. Unvalued it may be (at least as part of a market economy), it is priceless to me.