I’ve been blogging for about six years now. I started hesitantly, on more of a dare than anything else.
Recently, I’ve thought about discontinuing the practice because there is a significant portion of the blogging regimen that smacks of narcissism. I’ve been reading Hemingway while on the road recently. His terse, tense short stories are masterful. He was good when was good and his second best was still better than most other men’s best. Eventually, Hemingway fell victim to his own legend. In The Green Hills of Africa and later in The Old Man and the Sea, he didn’t write like the great early Hemingway but more like one of Hemingway’s heroes might have written had they been literate. He ceased to see himself as a writer and saw himself instead as a hunter, a warrior, a mighty man who could take it even if he could no longer dish it out.
If you live long enough to look back, it’s evident that we lead different lives at different times. We’re still who we were – at least shades of our former selves, but life and experience changes us. Sometimes it hardens us. Other times it breaks us. Our reaction to adversity defines who we are if to nobody but ourselves.
The times that we find ourselves living in are outrageous, and blogging about that daily assault of abomination and weirdness becomes nearly reflexive — at least to me.
Perhaps blogging is similar to Yeates’ lonely impulse of delight (An Irish Airman Forsees his Death) “I balanced all, brought all to mind, the years to come seemed waste of breath, a waste of breath the years behind”. I prefer to think that I leave behind a somewhat mute record of impressions. Breadcrumbs for those who would read that lead to at least what I, in my narcissistic best, thought of this or that.
I’ve been writing my own brand of terse, tense prose, which I do as an artist might doodle on a sketch pad. If you follow this blog, you’ll see it showing up more regularly…at least until I tire of my own drivel and doodling. Think of those stories as mandalas that are crafted for their own sake and then destroyed.