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Blogging Makes Me More Human
Writing is a way to understand myself and explore the world around me
Maria Margaretta Vivijanti (retty67)     Print Article 
Published 2007-05-05 14:18 (KST)   
I recently read a quote from Zeami, a Japanese actor, playwright and critic from the 14th and 15th century. He said: "People die but art lives forever." I believe it is really true.

I began my personal diary 30 years ago, when I was still in Elementary School, due to my admiration of The Diary of Anne Frank. I even named my diary as Anne Frank did.

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"Raden Adjeng Kartini, a young Javanese girl from the 1900s, had her letters collected and published by her pen-friend J.H. Abendanon.

Her published letters originally titled Door Duisternis tot Licht, were translated into Bahasa Indonesia as Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang. The translation also exists in English (Through Darkness into Light), French, and Spanish. We could say that she had her spirit known globally. To this day Indonesians, especially Indonesian women, still turn to her thoughts for emancipation and education.

Reading articles published by citizen reporter Nick van der Leek and by Claire George, prompted me to write down my own perspective on blogging.

I love reading diaries, they inspire me. I have learned the misery of war through Anne Frank's diary and also through Zlata's Diary from Sarajevo.

Books like Uncle Tom's Cabin, Little Women and The little House on the Prairie are like stories based on diaries.

Howard Pyle, an American children's book writer had a nice saying: "In one's mature years one forgets the books that one reads, but the stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is outgrown and outlived." (The quote is taken from The Educated Child, written by William J.Bennett, et.al.). So, art lives forever ...

I love reading my own diary, it shows how I grew up. It helped me to make my New Year's resolution too. It helped me to review my actions. I would not want to share the entire diary with strangers. Yet, there are some parts where I might love to have somebody else comment on them.

When I was first encountered a blog, I felt like I was peeping around somebody's diary. Later on, I saw some blogs that were written for the purpose of being read and commented on. If my heart urges me to write a comment, then I'll write a comment. There was one time when I commented on a very beautiful but sad and gloomy poem written by a total stranger a continent away.

My first blog, Journey-to-His-words, is a written report from my religious meditations on the Bible as a Catholic. I think I could be sharing something to enrich the world.

We do need guidance to hold on to the wheels of life, and I think God is the best answer while religion is one way to approach Him. Hopefully by sharing our religious thoughts, it could also enrich others to view different point of view, which in the long run will avoid fanaticism. I did not really put my attention into this blog as I was not accustomed to the Internet way of life.

My encounter with citizen journalism Web sites (for more about that see this article), lit up my spirit for writing. Afterwards I cared more about my blog and I even created more blogs.

I've got a personal blog, which I still keep only for the eyes of my close friends and family. I've also got a blog with my writings inside. I call this blog Buah Pena, an Indonesian language term for the "Fruit of a Pen." To access it you should go through www.kazanahpikir.blogspot.com.

Khazanah is an Indonesian word derived from the Arabic language, and means treasure or could also be translated as treasure room. Pikir means thought. So, kazanah pikir is the treasure room for my thoughts. As I am not an expert in blogs yet, I don't know how to manage all my blogs in one roof.

Buah Pena was started as my list of writings in Wikimu.com, the citizen journalism Web site (in Bahasa Indonesia -- Indonesian language), but then the spirit of writing was stoked by the comments and by the encouragement of the citizen journalism Web site's community.

My words just flowed out into my diary -- mostly due to my activity as a citizen journalist. They record my growth as a citizen of my country and as a citizen of the global world. It records some seeds of topics I'd like to share with others, so whenever I got time or motivation I could dig it out to make another article. I am still working on it.

Another blog is coming up. It is the one inspired by OhmyNews International, my Khazanah of Stamps and Post Cards. Now, it consists of my published article in OhmyNews International, but I would like to develop it into a way of peeking into Indonesian culture through stamps. The idea actually came from Claire George who shared my first article on stamps in OhmyNews International, but I'd like to seriously work on it. Yet, I need to learn a lot with picture scanning and downloading. It will take a lot of hard work to make up for my lack of knowledge in e-technology.

I have to admit, there might be a slight degree of narcissism in it. As Chairil Anwar, a famous poet from my country Indonesia wrote in his poem: "I would like to live a thousand years ahead," I would like to share my ideas so they can live longer than me.

But it will not turn me into a monster, it will help me recover myself as a human being in a more and more dehumanizing world. Hopefully it will also give a better hue to the world.
©2007 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Maria Margaretta Vivijanti

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