About a week ago, a friend shared an article with me on the popularity of Mormon mommy blogs. She mentioned that perhaps a part of their appeal is that, unlike many Catholic blogs, the Mormons rarely refer to their faith, they aren’t out in the open, working through their issues, struggling with the requirements of faith, and openly seeking to form a community of like-minded brothers and sisters in the blogging world. They simply share a part of their lives, a clean, fresh image with only a little bit of struggle. The conversation, and the article itself started me thinking again about the place of information and about living modestly in our written lives.
Catholic women tend to write blogs that are too open in many ways. We over-share sometimes in areas of marital strife, fertility, birth, and our continuing pursuit of sainthood. We gripe about the world’s misrepresentation of our faith, and sometimes, we focus too much on these frustrating areas of life and less on the beauty that permeates everything in life - a beauty sometimes dark and terrible, sometimes light and healing. In other words, we fall on the opposite end of the spectrum from the happy Mormon blogs. We struggle out loud and in the open with private issues and hide the happy and easy parts of life from our readers, or - like I often do, we share our thoughts only after they’ve formed completely - failing to use the community we’ve created to shape and develop our thoughts.
So what is the balance? What balance am I trying to strike here, on Cyganeria? I don’t know. I’m working toward a blog that is less static in it’s ideas and portrayal of my artistic life, a blog that nurtures growth in myself and others, and that encourages thought and discussion. But I know I’ll always want to avoid over-sharing - there will be not instantaneous reactions to a new thought or dream or ideal; those writings are for my journal, to gestate in my own mind until they are ready. I don’t want this site to be merely a sink for my own overflowing mind, and I don’t want any struggles I may experience to bring doubt to my readers, but I would like to avoid giving the impression of perfection - of surety and sainthood already achieved. Reading, briefly, some of the Mormon blogs, I see them doing the same (posting pictures of messy-haired mothers grinding coffee in weekend kitchens) and laughing over mistakes. They walk a balance of their own, I’m sure, in their witness to the beauty of domesticity.