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"marin county morning" - by unknown

EVER since I woke up from a nightmarish dream to find myself back into the world of the 'single being' or 'being single', one of the few 'pleasures' which couldn't wait to outlive its welcome is TIME. I remember bitching often, about having no time for anything else--to take a vacation, to read a good book, and much less time to explore something new--like learning the workings of the Internet and 'surf the Web'. In spite of having spent 20 years in the information system industry, I was dangerously ignorant of (what was then, and still is) a quickly emerging technology.


As a way to combat the boredom that I suddenly found myself in, I decided to explore the workings of the internet by creating a personal website. I found a lot of tools which made the effort a breeze, but my problem was deciding on its content. Then I stumbled on this fascinating phenomenon on the internet that seems to be affecting a lot of people. 

If necessity is the mother of invention, I'm sure boredom must play a major role in the re-inventing of one's self....

It was simply amazing.

As businesses were scrambling to hang up their own 'virtual shingles' and e-commerce storefronts, I found a growing number of individuals and/or families who are publishing personal diaries and journals online. Proud “here-i-am-itude” entries on their web pages—openly talking of love, anger, humor, or pain to an eager collective and faceless audience. What they hold so dear in private have now found a niche, and taken on a new cyber form, infused with the creative energy and  fascinating personalities of its authors, the 'netizens' who comprise its

Another equally fascinating part about it, is the seemingly positive-contagious feelings of camaraderie and quiet-subdued rivalry that hold these participants—authors and readers alike. There is an honesty which pervades it, an openness which is oblivious to mockery and rejection.... 

In these days of studies and polls and surveys, I have yet to read one, which tried to address this intriguing phenomenon. The nagging question seems to be:  “WHY?"  What emotion stirs and motivates these people to rip open their protective facade and feel compelled to bare open their hearts and soul to just anyone? 

Who cares?

The reasons are as different as they are personal. So given the subjective meaning why even bother to find out? For me personally, I am curious whether there is a common pattern--even some underlying force that attracts or compels a great many people to share very personal experiences openly. 

In trying to explain my reasons, I couldn't help but draw from two years spent studying various philosophical disciplines in college as taught by Jesuits.  Of those, I felt closely identified by the ideas of Socrates ("the unexamined life is not worth living..."). And  having been brought up in a deeply religious family, the profound writings of French Christian existentialist Gabriel Marcel, which centers around "The Mystery of Being" and the phenomenology of primary and  secondary reflection, were particularly influential. 

I have spent a lot of time in serious thought and reflection of my experiences. Most were like a "post-mortem analysis", a term I used  not for its morbid implication, but more for its objective of finding "cause & effect" and  "lessons learned". I never really understood before just what Marcel meant in describing the process of secondary reflection, but my post-mortems are clearly what Marcel refers to as primary reflection.  Some were loud, talking-to-myself thoughts. Most were quiet, soporific meditation. But a few seemed like whispered, from without as well as within, sort of like that of a still, small voice.

What I also discovered was that when I wrote them down consistently, they were not as easy to forget. Perhaps in writing them down, I have given them some form. In trying to articulate them, I have made them available for further debate and examination. Someone referred to it as "writing letters to myself", and it helps me to make sense of things. It enables me to keep things in perspective, and it helps me attain my  mental balance. 

So then, this would be why I am here.

I am joining the cast of thousands in this drama of life playing on this new venue. I am joining the thousands of people who wear their hearts on their sleeve in this  brave new world. A kind of world I only dreamed about as a kid growing up, or the kind that existed only in my mind,  or my imagination--a virtual world just like the World Wide Web, the cyberspace, in which we find ourselves today.... 

I know it feels a little weird at first, but when you start to realize what this new world is all about, and the kind of freedom it offers, (or at least an escape to self-imprisoned souls), then perhaps you too, can find some measure of fulfillment that such a voyage of self-discovery can provide....



Surf softly 

and tread kindly 

For here in 

this here pages 

The words that  

you read 


the images that 

you see

Is my soul's




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  This page was last updated on 11/04/98.