Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More precious than rubies...




I am a little fed up with the anonymous spammers who have been scattering their noisome pellets at random in the comments of older posts here, and occasionally on my other blogs.  The whole matter puzzles me: who on earth would possibly buy on-line pharmaceuticals or DVDs, let alone take up loan, from a spam comment on an out of date post on an obscure blog?  Even I wouldn't know they were there if I didn't receive comments through on e-mail, but once I do I can't abide the thought of them there and have to go and scrub them off.  I suppose there's an outside chance that someone might decide to click on the invitation to see a teenage pop star without her habillements on, thereby allowing themselves to be jumped by a bit of malware, but it all seems so vague and unlikely.  I don't understand it and neither do I want to. 

I could of course put on the comment verification again, but it is a bit of a drag, and would put all the rest of you to trouble just because of a small amount of inconvenience, and I'm not sure some of these might not be activated by real people anyway.  I could not allow anonymous comments - if the spammer has a Blogger ID I always report them, but then just occasionally a real anonymous person drops in with something wonderful for me, like the person who sailed in the Aztec Lady in the Tall Ships race back in the 1970s and always wondered what happened to her, or a non-blogging friend or family member.  I know these people could do Open ID but even that might scare off a reluctant or non-savvy but genuine person.  I could perhaps close comments on older posts, but the same thing applies, I sometimes get something interesting left on a really old post, like the woman who had picked a load of horse chestnuts and was going to eat them until she read my post about how you shouldn't - OK, I know I'm probably exaggerating the importance of my role there, she'd have found out anyway, but it was fun getting the comment.

So I'll probably leave things as they are, and put up with the nasties, for the sake of my real commenters, because...

A couple of times lately, and before, visitors here have complimented me on their fellow visitors, on what a loyal readership I have, and one who is dear to me saying how happy she was to know that people like the rest of you existed.  I say 'complimented', and somehow hearing such words makes me feel pleased and proud beyond anything, but I don't exactly know whether this is right or not.

Some parents, my mother was one, and Tom another, have difficulty with the idea of pride in their children, are somewhat uncertain how to react when others say 'you must be proud of them'.  This is not because they don't take immense pride and joy in their offspring, that they don't love them without reservation and admire their achievements (I know this now), but that it feels like some kind of inappropriate arrogating of those achievements to be vicariously proud of them; or because, being uncertain or short of love and pride in themselves, they feel they have no right to express it about their children, not wanting to cast them as extensions of themselves.  Or perhaps they fear giving those children the impression that they are only loved when they are doing something worthy of pride, and mistakes and perceived failures will lead to a withdrawal of that love. 

Somewhat similarly, I wonder if I have the right to be proud of you all, as if your warmth, responsiveness, imagination, kindness, intelligence, generosity and marvellous variety was anything to do with me, rather than flowing entirely from yourselves as it does.  I have never been one of those collectors of people in the outward world, for a number of reasons, but I turn you over and over in my mind like a pile of wondrous, rare treasure.  Whether you come every time and bring a warm glow to my heart, or just drop in now and then as a lovely surprise, whether you're new on the block or have been around forever, whether you stay around or roll off eventually, whether I've beheld you face to face or never will, whether you respond best to pictures or poems or chatty ramblings, or all of the above, whether you leave a stone or a smile or long and discursive reflections then come back for more and a chat, I never cease to enjoy your company and your words, which, I fear, I never do justice to in response, either here or at your own places.  I know that you range in age from your mid-twenties to your mid-eighties, are of many faiths and none, and live on pretty much every continent, except, to my knowledge, South America and Antarctica (please, if someone is reading this at some base camp on the latter do just leave me a word, I'd love to know, and I've even left on 'allow anonymous comments'... Of course you might be fibbing but I'll take a chance.). 

You may not be legion compared with the readership of some blogs, but you couldn't be a better crowd for me.  And with all your diversity, you have always, always, behaved yourselves impeccably here, with courtesy and respect and tact and tolerance.  As if you'd do anything else.

So, whether or not I should, I am enormously, heart-swellingly proud of you, and grateful and delighted that you continue to come here.  And, in fact, it's totally right to be proud of other people, whether they're your kids or anyone else, and to let them know it.

So, rather loosely, here are some croppings which seemed to me to go nicely with the title of this post.

Thanks, all of you.
























~~~

18 comments:

Plutarch said...

A good crop of crops, I would say.

blackbird said...

Your luscious shades of red and green seem to quietly usher in the coming season. There is just something about a peony bud.

I love the community of bloggers and readers- the tentative nature of the first posts and the richness of the accumulation of years. And, I do love to read back through the archives- to see what I have missed. But, the spammers should get real jobs and do some good for someone else.

marja-leena said...

Thank YOU for the rubies and the lovely words, Lucy, I feel the same in every way!

Barrett Bonden said...

Well, we're pleased to visit and honoured when you visit us. But at the heart of what you say is that very private matter: your own assessment of your own worth. It's something that even the most bombastic of us doesn't normally attempt to explore in public. But it's there and without it we are a cipher. By worth I don't mean gifts to charity, kindness to horses, politeness and the rest of it but the comparatively limited definition of worth as exemplified by our blog. It's your personal answer, to yourself alone, to the question: Do you do a good blog? Even the admission that such an answer exists is enough to cause hair to stand up, etc. And one reason is that doing a good blog over a year or two is a much bigger matter than pictures in focus and felicitous prose. It is the building up in public of part of what we are. Often quite a large part.

As a result compliments, totally sincere and well expressed, can be hard to take. Indirectly they are comments about you and they're based on lots of evidence you've left behind. Detach yourself from the immediacy of these judgements, or gather them as a generality, and you may if you're objective enough (and many people aren't) look very coolly at how a reasonably large slice of people regards you. Cumulatively it's as persuasive an assessment as you are likely to get away from a psychiatrist's couch or the connubial bed.

Compliments vary. Some show the complimenter has misunderstood you; others press your own personal button. But the blogger who gets plenty of responses is in a position to aggregate. I could go on and on, but I can't bring this to an end. Perhaps you can.

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely photos, you're gettign quite expert at the cropping!

Comment verification doesn't stop spam, I get similar inexplicable spam on old posts, mostly in Chinese. Or from people wanting to see me tooth whiteners....

I value my blog audience too, its nice to have regulars and to see new faces once in a while.

As for parental pride, it must be a difficult one, I think there are parents who had such set ideas of what they wanted their children to be that they can never accept anything else and so will never feel pride. But then as you suggest pride is a strange thing to feel for someone else anyway, hmm, interesting one...

PurestGreen said...

This made me feel special. Thanks. I am also now craving a giant strawberry.

Bee said...

First, a suggestion: Why don't you just put comment moderation on any post older than, say, 7 days. I recently did that -- mostly so I wouldn't miss comments on my older posts. It would work for spam, too, though; as then you could just "reject" that spam trying to pose as a REAL comment.

Lucy, you have a very special blog. It is serious, beautiful, reflective and personal. I don't think there's much question as to why you have such a loyal following.

(Just wanted to add: When I wrote that recent post about my brother, my mother told me that she read the comments and that she was VERY touched by the warmth and generosity of my blog-friends. I felt so "proud" in just the same way that you do here.)

Bee said...

And however did you capture the miracle of those tiny strawberry seeds?

Granny J said...

Aaah, look at all that lovely R.E.D.! Agreed about not using those horrid "captcha" filters to keep the spammers out. On the other hand, Blogger does a nice job of sequestering comments on old posts; just once in a while, one is of interest.

Rouchswalwe said...

It's almost Thanksgiving Day here in the States. Your blogging is something I am thankful for, sweet Lucy.

Pride ~ something that I was told once by a narrow-minded person is an evil in any form ~ is rather like a gift, I believe. When you express pride in another person, you are giving them a fine gift. There is an old, old, old saying in Germany: Liebe jeden, aber die Besten nur laß es merken ~ love everyone, only let the best ones know it.

Thank you for your generosity and your tender kindness. Love ya, Lucy!

Zhoen said...

Proud to be included in such company. Parents of shining children should be allowed to take pride in the warm relationships between them. Shared pride is a delight, and should carry no guilt.

I got so much spam, and a few trolls for a while, and commenters who just wanted more readers of any sort, that I gladly hide behind the verification and no anonymouses. Still get some chaff. I'm happy with my score of lovely readers who are so positive and who make me laugh and smile, their wit and heart and creativity. I'm sad to miss a few, but I know my limits.

That is an amazing strawberry photo.

Sheila said...

Awwww, this is so sweet to read. I am touched.

I wish we had another word for pride in its positive sense, so different from pride in its hubris sense. But I guess we're stuck with it, in English, anyway.

Thanks to you for creating this lovely gathering place.

Rosie said...

I identify with the unripe strawberry...all though truth be told, I am a little over ripe...

Avus said...

That's really nice, Lucy. Thank you.

Barrett Bonden expresses it all so well, don't he?

Barrett Bonden said...

Despite Avus's kind words, please ignore my incoherences above. These were in effect unrefined notes which were interrupted by a call to dinner.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Aww that was rather lovely.

It's funny how comment boxes are so different. They definitely have an atmosphere of some kind, just as a party or gathering of people generally does in Real Life. I often think about that when I visit blogs.

I like your comment box a great deal (although not as much as mine of course!) and yet it is hard to put a finger on what it is that gives the box a particular feel.

But anyway you have nice loyal readers who take the time to write thoughtful comments because you inspire them to do so, by letting the "you" shine out of your blog and through what you say etc.

Yeah? So definitely feel good about it. I always do.

Lucy said...

Thanks all again.

The strawb's popular. That was an extraordinary strawberry in that it appeared one October, one of those late summer flowers that actually produced a fruit.

BB - Avus is right,and I appreciate your incoherences. ;~)

herhimnbryn said...

Everything everyone said. Thankyou dear Lucy for the prose and pictures and poetry.