That nice Dr Crippen has tagged me with a meme. He’s a bit fierce about it. He says:
The participation rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote
This has put me on my mettle, rather. I am easily distracted so just about anything can make me think. However there are blogs that do regularly prod my mental horizons in different ways, and here are five of them strictly in alphabetical order:
1) A Boy Revealed writes about his transition to physical maleness. It’s not an easy journey. He is transitioning while at Med School in the USA. Some days he’s pissed off. Some days he’s excited. Some days he’s vulnerable. It would be patronising to describe him as “brave” because bravery implies some kind of choice. He’s just doing it. That ruthless facing up to inevitability is something that I deeply respect.
2) Then there is Compartments. She writes intelligently and insightfully about her compartmentalised life, giving us glimpses of her work as an escort, what she gets out of it and how it affects her. I like her honesty and self-awareness. She’s someone else I have considerable respect for, and she writes a blog I come back to again and again.
3) Jessi – whose strap-line is “What is this life but a Passionate Engagement?” – What, indeed. This is a blog that leaves me facing my own prejudices in the mirror and blinking. Jessi has all the intellectual and personal attributes I value or find attractive: self-awareness, compassion, wit, a sense of humour, a passion for life, the ability to think, the ability to write. She is also deeply and thoughtfully Christian. Try as I might, I cannot dismiss her or her faith. There are few things in this world that give me greater internal cognitive dissonances than intelligent, thinking Christians. I like her, and I like her blog. It would be so much easier for me if I didn’t.
4) Solnushka next for sheer eclecticism. A virtue (ha!) I value highly. Sol, again, is one who writes with insight and wit, allowing me glimpses of things I’ve never thought about and experiences I’ve never had. Her recent description of how to be noticed if you play the double bass is a delight, her reflections on culture shock intrigue me, and I just plain love her stories about Russia.
5) You are Sleeping – irreverent, arrogant, angry, pertinent, impertinent, witty, economical, deft, funny. A man who can do more with a ten word caption than I can do with a thousand words and footnotes. I bow before him.
I’m going to give a special mention to Reed; her way with a metaphor is a wonder to behold and her blog is always a delight. Her occasional opinion-pieces are tours de force of articulate passion. If I’m plugging others, I am damn well going to plug hers. Special mentions also to Bloglily, Charlotte Otter, Diana Higgins and the Eerie Apricot because they open doors onto considered and interesting lives being lived at some mental, cultural or emotional distance from mine. And they write well.
So, an eclectic mix, as you’d expect. There are others, but these are the blogs that most regularly provide grist for my mental mill.