Thursday, August 28, 2008

In Which I become a Fangirl (Or, an Open Letter to Ian Crocker)

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know much about the sport of swimming. Oh, I know how to swim, and I do swim often- but only for recreational purposes. My appreciation of competitive swimming could pretty much be summed up as- "Oh, hey. Look at all the pretty going fast." But this August, like much of the rest of the world, I got caught up in Phelpsmania (את חטאתי אני מזכירה היום) and in doing so I found Ian Crocker's blog.
Ian Crocker, my friends, is fast . He holds the world record in the 100 meter butterfly at 50.40 seconds, which is faster than I can put on my shoes in the morning (also I have never learned the butterfly). He can also write. In fact, he writes very, very well. Reading his blog, I was torn between intense jealousy (He can swim! He can write! He plays the guitar!) and immense admiration (He can swim! He can write! He can play the guitar! He loves his car! Made entirely of win). Sometimes his posts are just very good. He writes with wit and sincerity about music, his car and truck, his cats and food. He's fun to read. But sometimes his essays absolutely resonate.
One of his more moving posts is about scars. He writes about small scars- the time he sliced his hand open while tinkering with his beloved car and having to call his newly ex-girlfriend to come help him out. It's a sweet story and you can't help identifying with his open, slightly self-depreciating tone. I've certainly got scars like that-the ones on my hands, because though I'm a good cook, I'm an absolute klutz with a knife; that guy who won't call (jerk). You know, little scars. And then, suddenly, his essay becomes something else entirely. It becomes about a moment- a single, irrevocable moment in time; the type of moment that's personality forming. (And yeah, I got me some scars like that as well.) But the tone of the piece never falters. It remains open, self-reflective and humble. He doesn't wallow in self-pity, or anger. He never closes down on his reader. That takes a lot of guts.
After I read that post I felt like I needed a good cry, or in the very least, a good hug. But nobody was around so I settled for some quality bonding time with the cat. (Mr. Crocker, Annie thanks you.) I enjoy reading blogs. It's a feeling akin to catching glimpses of people's houses through the windows of a fast moving train- it's amusing, enlightening and sometimes perplexing (Why, in the name of all that is holy would anybody furnish their apartment like that? Really. Really.) But it is rare that a blogger makes me feel like I would like to stop and admire their living space, so to speak.
So, dear readers ,(I have readers?) go and check out Ian Crocker's blog at Send him some love. He hasn't updated in months, but it's worth reading his older posts. And to Mr. Crocker -at the risk of sounding presumptuous, condescending and generally fangirlish (none of which is intended)- I say this: Swim. Swim for as long as it serves a purpose in your life and for as long as it keeps you happy. Break a few more world records, if you so desire. I'll watch. But please, please, write. I don't much care about what- you have talent and sincerity and an interest in the small details of life- all of which contribute to the makings of a good writer. I sincerely hope to walk into a bookstore at some point in the future and find a book with your name on it and be highly happy.

Thesis Watch: 10 pages

Book rec: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Cubbie Watch: a tenuous 4 games up

1 comment:

Miri said...

I know exactly how you feel about the windows through a moving train thing. (Haven't you always wanted to ride the El at night, just for a better look?) And especially as applies to blogs; there are some blogs who really need decoration advice. :)