August 09, 2007

The Blink of an Eye

It's easy to create drama on the internet, to make more of something than it really is. On Friday, August 3rd, I was in a car crash. I've called it an accident on occasion since, when discussing it with family and friends, but it did not feel like an accident. When a stranger so violently and deliberately steers a car through a red light, accident feels somehow an inappropriate word.

The moment itself was exactly like the movies—the noise, the telescoping of time, a car sailing through the air. The most incredible part for me, though, was not the drama of what happened but what didn't happen. I did not die. In fact, all three of us drivers involved opened our car doors, stepped outside, and made our way to the sidewalk where we were engulfed by a growing crowd.

The fact that I am, relatively speaking, okay—hurting, achy, bruised, swollen—but okay (that is, alive), still slightly surprises me almost a week later. I don't put it that way for the sense of drama, but because going into it I was sure I wouldn't be. As soon as it dawned on me that this woman was going to drive at full speed straight through her red light and into me, I braced for something I knew would happen. The impact came sure enough. But afterwards, looking up at that green light through my windshield, I had to double check to make sure it wasn't a symbolic green light.

The point of all this is nothing more than an explanation for why you haven't heard from me all week. And for why you probably won't hear from me for a while longer yet. The crash has raised some funny questions for me. Not questions about guardian angels or reasons for things happening, but questions about how I can spend my time now that I can't sit in front of a computer for very long. According to my statistics, there are a lot more of you readers out there than I ever would have expected and it occurs to me that I don't know you very well. I'd like to. Because although writing on the internet is often an exercise in egotism, for me it is also about the craft of writing and exploring ideas.

So now that my time online is limited, I want to make the most of it. Will you tell me what you think? About it all: your experience with this site, with the ideas I write about, with what you'd really like to read about, with all of it? There are all kinds of rules and tips and suggestions for writing on the net; much of it is either bullshit or common sense and I'd like to offer a little bit more than that. I would love for you to leave your thoughts below, or even to email me directly if you prefer.

[I've also posted this entry on my other blog, Bar Stories.]

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7 Comment(s)

Blogger Webomatica said...

Although I am more of a lurker than an active commenter here, I find what you write about very important and inspiring to the future we have on earth and what we as individuals can do to have less of a physical impact on the planet. What I read inspires me the make a difference in my own small way. But...

You health is more important than this blog - especially if it means that later on when you feel better you can blog for a longer term. So if you have to take some time off that's fine!

Get well soon!

2:33 PM  
Blogger Ethan said...

Your tone is engaging, your topics important and accessible, and I commend you on the name of your blog. I think that there is a disarming quality to all of your discussion - like you're in it with us, not above us or some keeper of sacred knowledge. Thank you - I wish you a speedy recovery (but enjoy the downtime.)

10:43 PM  
Blogger Gon said...

I agree with Ethan. Your tone and presentation makes your posts that much more engaging. Especially when considering such a sensitive topic that is getting so much attention in the public these days.

7:51 AM  
Blogger ben huff said...

Jess, glad you are still in one piece. get well - the world will still need saving when you get well;)

11:52 AM  
Blogger AngieThien said...

Hi Jess,
I am sorry to hear about what happened, I hope you are getting well.

Ever since you introduced me to your blog I've been a constant reader. And have enjoyed coming to your blog because you provide the information in a quick compact package. I love the fact that it's more like reading a letter than the successive news stories you would normally find on other blogs.

Take good care,
Angie

12:04 AM  
Blogger Tracie said...

I had a similar car crash while driving home from work with my 2 year old in the back. I sympathize with what you are feeling. I hope the outside and inside pains get better soon. You blog like a real person. You don't try soooo hard to tell people who you are. It makes you trustworthy and readworthy. Keep going...I am a reader, not a writer.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

Oh my god, Jessie, I can't believe what I just read — I'm so relieved you're OK. Life events like this really do call into question how you spend your time and what's truly important to you. Your blog has been so great — it really did serve as inspiration to me to start my own — and I hope you'll find some time every now and then to write a little something on it, whether it's green related or not. Better to have quality over quantity, so as long as you write honestly and openly, I think your readers will stick around for a while yet. Be healthy and happy!

3:14 PM  

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