25 July 2018

Never Far Gone

She wondered where the blog had gone—where I had been in the absence of the blog.  Well, I had been here, of course. A very abbreviated explanation of my absence: I had printed out the fifteen years of blogs and then categorized them by subject, with the largest category being my neurotic positions, as you might expect. At some point I thought to write something with the blog pieces as base but I got bogged down in the categories and hadn’t the foggiest notion of what to do with any of them. And so one answer as to my whereabouts:  I had run away from the project because the project overwhelmed me.
     Another answer I could have offered is that I felt there was not sufficient readership to maintain the effort, as if I was writing for the most part for others and not addressing my own wants. But he reminded me that the first audience was almost myself, though I suggested to him tentatively that as a first audience it was he for whom I wrote. But I acknowledged vainly that I wanted a readership so that I could share my ruminations, though certainly, I note, the cow doesn’t ruminate for any one. Bovine rumination at least serves a digestive purpose. The animal swallows its food without chewing and then brings the food back up for mastication and re-swallowing. I am not a biologist and have no interest in further study or explanation, but certainly the metaphor is apt for the process of thought and the function of writing as a ruminative practice. I consider that the writing might serve the same purpose for thought: mashing the ideas all together in a gooey mass to prepare the ideas for sustenance and energy.
     A third response could have included the idea that in rereading the fifteen years of blogs I saw too many grammatical and typographical errors and if I had a readership I might have appeared somewhat less than a competent and skilled writer, or even a scholar. But maybe the errors are merely the result of enthusiasm and suggestive that pausing would have stopped the flow. In any one blog there are not an excess of mistakes, and perhaps in revision I might have noted and corrected them. In this sense, the blog would remain ongoing and though subject to polishing is never really polished.
     To speak more directly about the silence, I have been horrified (traumatized!) by the actions of the President and his Republican lackeys in Congress and did not want to devote any more time to their destruction of democracy than I had to in any one day. I still looked at the papers, though I have spent less and less time in the news than ever in my adult life: Thoreau it was who said that reading the papers is equivalent to a dog returning to its vomit. I am repulsed by the original retching and have only revulsion in a return to it.
     But I continue to read and go to the movies and I want to think about what I’ve seen. Arlo once asked, “Did you think of anything on down the line.” I think he said it, but if he didn’t I have no issue attributing it to him. It is what he would have said if he had the opportunity.
     So I think I’ll resume—at least with this entry. And then head into the books and the movie theaters and continue to ruminate. And besides, only she reads it anyway.