Dave Eggers is haunting me. Marissa recently suggested I read his book, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, after my mention of The Road started a little back and forth between us about book recommendations. I checked it out of the library and was reading it last week when my in-laws were in town. My father-in-law, seeing the book on my bedside table, said that he really enjoyed reading it. Then I saw Andrea's recent post in which she included a quote from the book. Several people left comments on her blog about how much they liked it as well. I'm in the minority on this, I guess, because I wasn't a big fan of Eggers' book. My blog friends loved it, the press adored it, heck - it was a Pulitzer finalist. But it didn't float my boat. However, there were a few passages of the book that really stuck with me. Like this one:
"...I know what I am doing now, that I am doing something both beautiful but gruesome because I am destroying its beauty by knowing that it might be beautiful, know that if I know I am doing something beautiful, that it is no longer beautiful. I fear that even if it is beautiful in the abstract, that my doing it knowing that it’s beautiful and worse, knowing that I will very soon be documenting it, that in my pocket is a tape recorder brought for just that purpose – that all this makes the act of potential beauty somehow gruesome. I am a monster."
This sentiment relates (it's definitely more intense, but it relates) to one that I've had recently as I've decided what and what not to document and post about here. A few nights ago, while plating our dinner (doesn't "plating" sound formal? it wasn't), Barry asked if I wanted to take a photo of the food for my blog. I'd spent a decent amount of time in the kitchen preparing a yummy soy and ginger salmon recipe and an improvised Asian-inspired slaw that I was compelled to make after hearing a recent episode of the Splendid Table with Sally Schneider. But no, I didn't want to take a photo of what turned out to be a darn good meal. I just wanted to eat it. Sure, I wanted to share the recipe links with you guys, but I wanted to share the experience of the dinner with Barry, and not be bothered with thinking about lighting, camera angle, to zoom or not to zoom... Thinking about so much of the good things in my life in the context of how I document them on my blog makes me feel kinda lame at times. How about you, fellow bloggers? Ever feel like some of the beauty of an experience is taken away by posting about it (or by doing the work it takes to post about it)? Or is blogging simply a nice way for you to collect and share snippets of beautiful (and/or not-so-beautiful) parts of your life? Or maybe blogging is more than that - maybe it causes you to see and experience beauty that you hadn't before. Maybe it's all of the above. Discuss. And have a great weekend, whether you document it or not.