Saturday, August 03, 2013

SELF-EXPOSURE

Isn't that what we bloggists are doing? Even when not writing about ourselves the very fact of putting up a blog is a signal that we want to be seen and heard. Perhaps not for full-frontal revelation, perhaps only for those parts of our thoughts, observations, experiences, opinions, creations that we consider worth exposing to public scrutiny. 

If this  sounds like I'm leading up to a moral lecture about everything being vanity and illusion and self-indulgence....not at all! I'm all for self-exposure, as you may have noticed if you're a regular over here. This blog is my modest little streaking across the olympic football fields of the universe. Or words to that effect. 

And since my birthday is coming up at the midnight hour on the seventh day of August, I will prepare the ground by pasting up few self-exposures taken recently in that photo-booth thing of the Mac which doesn't do flattery. I took a self-photo on my birthday every year for a long time but haven't kept up that exercise quite so faithfully in more recent years, no doubt because photogenecity decreases with every revolution of the planet around the sun. Yes yes I know that under-eye bags, wrinkles and turkey necks are beautiful too. We're not ageist around here. Anyway I'm rather proud that I don't look my age...yet. Which is why I'm offering no prizes for guessing it and wouldn't tell you if you guessed right. Exposure only goes so far and no further. Expect another photo on my birthday.  And pretty soon I'll do some serious blogging instead of this space-filling drivel.




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17 comments:

Rain Trueax said...

looks like fun :)

Roderick Robinson said...

Well, why not? What's good enough for Rembrandt is good enough for you - or me.

I was coy for several years. Wanted to be loved for my prose alone. Later for my sonnets. Then I realised I was making a huge assumption: that self-exposure (of which more in a sec) would result in crowds of commenteers, indiscriminate in their approval, besotted by my looks. For goodness sake, I'm 77, soon to be 78, born under the curse of Virgo. So using well-formulated pretexts, I started releasing self-pix, all frowning. Finally one smiling. Then abruptly I was fed up with the whole game. I've gone back to being teleological and everyone's a good deal happier.

Do I look my age? The answer's no. My face is septuagenarian but my body - once an upstanding 6 ft 1½ in. - resembles a croquet hoop. I shuffle and buy shoes that help me do so. At 25 metres I look like Lazarus, newly released, at 100 metres I look like Blake's Nebuchadnezzar. Do I give a toss? Actually, yes. As a writer (only self-proclaimed) I can get more fun out of an old body than one somewhat younger.

Self exposure? How long have you lived in the UK? How long have you been reading about sex crimes in the popular prints? These days men - and it's always men - "commit an indecency". Decades ago they "exposed themself". Surely the most pathetic crime on the list. I think this phrase helped reinforce my reluctance in those early days. These days I smile and dogs, foaming at the mouth with rabies, are stilled.

Do you look your age? Who knows? I was drawn to your blog by (a) your impossibly rococo name, which I coveted, then (b) the liveliness of your writing style - a much rarer quality in the blogosphere than most imagine. You don't write with your face although perhaps you do. Those are those aforementioned bangs, a fact you have aleady recycled. And there's a liveliness that matches your prose. I'd say you're twenty-six going on something larger. Will that do? Vanity of vanity, saith the preacher, all is vanity. And moreover... It's that last legalistic word that tickles me.

Tom said...

Must remember that: August 7th, Natalie's 40th. birthday. :)

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Rain, talking about one's self is always fun. Isn't it? Unless the listener's eyes get that glazed look meaning they're thinking of an excuse to escape. At least on a blog we don't have to deal with such situations!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Roderick, since the mid 1960s - that's how long I've been in the UK so yes, I was aware of the 'exposed' implication but thought I could get away with it (the words, I mean) since I'm female.

Glad to hear of your nonchalant approach to physical maturity - ie getting on a bit - because I am wilfully immature about that state even though I am only 26 or 40. Excuse me while I roll about laughing uncontrollably at how wonderfully wrong both you and Tom are in your guesstimate, even though I know it was tongue-in-cheekism. Flattered doesn't even begin to describe my smugness.
Your verbal self-portrait merits being included in a novel - maybe it already is?

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Tom, I'm trying to remember what I was doing at 40. It's a bit vague but all
I have to do is look up my diaries for that period - in fact I might just do that. Thanks for the compliment and for the advance good wishes.

Dominic Rivron said...

Space-filling drivel? Don't knock it. All sorts can turn up in it - and it's great to look back on.

I found an OS map featuring Scottish mountains the other day. 10 years ago I had -that once only- scribbled notes and dates on the map at the points I'd thought of them, as I thought them, including a snatch of a tune. I'd forgotten I'd done it. I wish I'd thought of it years ago, and done it consistently on all my maps!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Dominic, that sounds like a fascinating and unexpected discovery - maybe you'll compose something based on it?
I love such serendipitous finds - they act as a sort of vitamin shot to the psyche, don't they?

Lucy said...

Once I was going with a Dutch friend, whose English is good and fast but not faultless, to see an exhibition of paintings by another, artist, friend's students. Having rather fallen into using quite a lot of Franglais together (my Dutch being somewhat limited and mostly just the words her dog understands), we were using the word 'expo', or even 'exposition', more or less anglicised, and my friend said,

'It's only an expo of his students' work, he's not going to be exposing himself.'

I said I was glad to hear it.

It would be good if the on-board camera had a 'flattery' filter wouldn't it? Actually I found one on mine which was 'photocopy'; by eliminating almost all but the absolute minimum of my facial features, not only lines and eye-bags but even my nose, it did actually render me rather winsome, and possibly more like my nineteen year-old self.

Anyway, hope you had a grand birthday, and never be afraid of space-filling drivel. Oh, and I love your face; friendship at first sight, as Robert Graves once said!

Ellena said...

I'm sitting here smiling back at you. Merci.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Lucy, I love that incident in the exposition!
And yes the photocopy filter is great for eliminating all unwanted facial detail. There are a lot of other tempting ones in Photoshop but I've resisted using them for self-expo purposes.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Ellena, and I'm smiling at you smiling at me......

Bruce Taylor, a.k.a. Catalyst said...

Ah, Natalie, the middle picture is the best. It shows the wisdom of the ages (around 40) written in your thoughtful and beautiful countenance.

I hope you have a happy (and youthful birthday. Take care with the champagne!

Natalie said...

Bruce, I don't know if I merit such compliments but nevertheless I lap them up eagerly - thank you! I'm certainly not going to dissuade you from the "around 40" guess regardless of how far it is from the truth.

marja-leena said...

Happy, Happy Birthday, dear Natalie! You are an inspiration to me with your artistry, fearlessness and joi de vivre! May you have many more years to spread your special joy to the world.

Natalie said...

Marja-Leena, I love to hear what you're saying. I wish I could really believe that I spread joy to the world - I'm going to try and persuade myself of it. What do they call it? Self-hypnosis.

Leslee said...

You look fabulous - and youthful and full of joie de vivre. Keep on smiling, Natalie!