Monday, March 28

the rest of the stories

the very oldest old draft in my blogger file of draft blogposts was last edited sometime in 2011. only that is no longer true-- I am editing it now. and by the time you see these words, the draft will no longer be a draft at all, and my editing will have been and will be very past.

before I reopened it today, this draft had two very short lines in it.

1. a link to an old post on a blog that sadly no longer gets updated:

2. the words the survey.

a third thing, the thing I wanted to blog about today, is something newer. something my dear clever sister linked me to the other day: a deep, detailed slideshow summary of a book called How to Have Crucial Conversations.

can this amelia girl create any insightful or meaningful link between all three of these snippets? I think she can. you'll have to let me know if it works, or what.

dear friend Elsie, many years back, was the one who first linked me to the Miss Nemsis blog. I binged on the archives for a while--those days being the golden age of blogging--and found myself drawn to this librarian woman who had lived in England once upon a time and who held fascinating opinions about books and who daydreamed in grand, romantic directions. her lively comments section was once a thing of envy. for example, see here.

and now her blog is covered in dust (or at least has been since two autumns ago), but mine is not. yet.

the Miss Nemesis post from 2009, "Commemorating One Year of the Thermostat War," must have spun to the top of my mind when I began working on the survey. The Survey. my survey. an informal, random, semi-widely distributed survey, it was. despite all my digging around in old google docs, not a single shred of this project has turned up. but I know it began in 2011 and that it consisted of a single question--
what's the hardest/worst part of being married?
I sent this question to almost all the married facebook friends I had. I sent out very random emails to any relatives and acquaintances I thought might not mind my nosiness. I brought it up in dozens of conversations, and still do occasionally, when I think of it. in 2011 I began compiling answers in Google Notebook, which even moreso than Miss Nemesis's blog, is now no longer a thing. I vaguely remember transferring them all to a document somewhere, and formatting them nicely with introductory commentary and everything--but it seems to have been lost. or perhaps I cannot remember what to search for, or where.

someday, hopefully I'll find the thing.

it took me multiple days to click through all 244 slides of Mattan Griffel's summary of How to Have Crucial Conversations. it must be a pretty hefty book. I wonder if I'll ever read the thing, or if those 244 slides covered it all well enough.

some sections of it seem like marvelous principles to teach a class of would-be technical communicators. maybe in this century, even if it is no longer the golden age of blogging, all of us are technical communicators at least some of the time. not many of us live outside of technology anymore, if we ever did.

one of the sections that poked at me with the greatest effect was all about how powerful stories can be, and how much attention they deserve.

I was chasing more than a single story with that survey question, five years ago. up to that point there had been mainly fairytales and rose-tinted spectacles, thin and sparkling. marriage is like this; relationships should be like that. flowers and birdsong, pastels and sugar. those can be lovely stories, of course, but they aren't enough. no single story every can be enough, no matter how awesome or detailed or long or meandering it might be. the more stories, the better. I guess I'm still trying to cram as many of them into my life as I can.


Elsie Boyer said...

huh. Are you sure it was me? I'm not remembering it...but I trust you. And I found your survey responses! I shared it with you on google drive.

amelia chesley said...

I am pretty sure it was you! you were always introducing me to good blogs back then. like the Mormon Bachelor Pad one that was so silly.

thank you so much for finding that! I have no idea where my other version went. someday maybe it'll turn up.