Monday, October 8, 2007

About omphaloskepsis

And what might that be, you ask? Just look down and lift your shirt. There it is. Your navel.
From that most reliable of sources, Wikipedia:

"Omphaloskepsis is the contemplation of one's navel as an aid to meditation. It is well known in the usually jocular phrase directed towards self-absorbed pursuits: "contemplating one's navel" or "navel-gazers". This criticism is also often leveled at professions which are interested in themselves: movies about Hollywood, for example, or television shows about television writers.

"From the Greek: omphalos (navel) + skepsis. The word has several other forms, such as omphaloskeptic, for someone who engages in navel-gazing, and omphaloskeptical, meaning to be in a self-absorbed state."

Is blogging the ultimate navel-gazement, jocular or not? I think it just might be. Because what do most of use write about? Us. And do we do it very well? No. And do many people read it? Not really.

For example, Sitemeter tells me that last week, 75 people visited these very pages, staying an average of less than a minute.

That number actually surprised me. Not like I did a lot to invite people to gaze at my navel along with me, although all are warmly welcomed. Hi!

And how about this post? It's a double-dip of my navel! I'm writing about ME, which it's all about, and I'm also writing about writing about ME!

But the former very-bad-teacher in me (short stint at IPFW vainly attempting to teach students magazine writing, oh my goodness, I apologize to all of them for my ineptness) has to celebrate all this writing. I used to assign that each student keep a journal throughout the semester, and I'd check it--not for content, just that people were making the effort to write. every. day. Of course they cheated. Nowadays, if I were badly teaching, I'd just assign 'em all Blogger, and I could really check in a very few minutes whether they had written anything or not. God, I love technology.

So we write on, whether about ourselves and our days or about subjects that obsess us. Or about our navels. Just keep the pictures to yourself.

Well, how 'bout you? Are you omphaloskeptical?

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