If Socrates was right in his opinion that “the unexamined life is not worth living” then poking around must be a virtue. Still, as with a number of virtues, there are drawbacks. Mark Twain offers the cautionary note that “the unexamined life may not be worth living, but the life too closely examined may not be lived at all.”
By my definition poking around is a leisurely, random, even whimsical approach to examining life. Poking around is not just a pastime, but a passion that fires the inquiring mind. Poking around is walking the neighborhood noticing the details that have gone unnoticed all these years; poking around is hopping off the bus on the spur of the moment to check out a coffee shop; poking around is constant vigilance to spot the curious, the weird, the wonderful, the aggravating, the not-quite-newsworthy happenings of the day, and poking around is hours in the archives searching for roots and reasons.
Poking around is what I’ve done all my life: I’ve dabbled in a string of occupations – libraries, open government and community journalism. I’ve come to realize that these interests that share a common fluidity and breadth that hone the habit of poking around just to know enough to connect the dots.
Adherence to a rigid regimen of persistent probing is the rubric to which the blog Poking Around with Mary adheres. The result is a rambling potpourri of hard core research and soft core observations of one who seems to have little else to do. Posts are peppered at times with foments of the moment, rants on some affront to humankind or to the earth itself. Those mostly ventilate the author and require no other action.
Poking Around with Mary joins the blogosphere blissfully free of categorization. It avoids the clarity of focus that garners SEO placement and draws single-minded readers who want to know everything about a single topic rather than a little about a multitude of things.
If you know folks with catholic interests and time to dip into ideas and all manner of things that aren’t even new yet, suggest they check out Poking Around. If you have ideas for people, places or things that deserve a poke, please let me know that, too. Ideas and curious readers fulfill the intent of Poking Around with Mary. Without these the blog is nothing but an indulgence for this LOL.
If you enjoy Poking Around with Mary please subscribe to receive the pokes by email Think about forwarding a link to another dilettante who will “get” that poking around is a noble pastime that thrives on inquisitive pokers for whom the point IS the probe. MT