I’ve been up for about an hour, but, other than the morning dash, feel no compulsion to jump out of bed and start rocking a day. The forecast looks bright for the day–if you are an Inuit. We should climb above 0F by nine or ten this morning. The snow has abated, after leaving just enough that shoveling can’t really be ignored. The spacious and nearly empty apartment that I’m currently stuck in is quite cold, not having yet taken it up to temp since returning from another road trip. Mostly awake, now, been flipping through WordPress “best of’s” in an effort to get some kind of idea what actually sells these days. Obviously it isn’t whatever I’m hawking.
It seems that greatness has nothing to do with logic or knowledge. It has even less to do with what is good and right. It has everything to do with experience. It has everything to do with danger, rebellion, cynicism, mocking the status quo, any kind of aberration from the accepted, whether there is any validity or not. Shock value, if you will. Or maybe the excursion from the ordinary. Something to take us out of here. After all, what poetry is there in a middle-age man sitting in a stark, cold room on a stark, cold day, contemplating going about another day of trying to survive the dominoes stacked against him, off to the drudgery of the incessant office work in another cold, lonely room before finally driving off to a fun-filled, exciting night on the job site in some cold, dingy, empty school, where at least the night custodian stops in to say hi.
I was born under a wandering star. It’s kind of hard for me to remember now, now that I haven’t set foot outside Wisconsin for more than a weekend jaunt to the neighboring states in, lo, these past long eighteen years. There once was a younger man with dreams of seeing the world. He is gone now, killed under the weight of his own plan to finance a tall ship and a star to steer her by. Funny how a little Barney Frank and caprice can so alter the course of destiny.
Yet, the younger man still lives inside. The younger man has never ceased to wander in spirit. The younger man has traveled the world on the internet, yes, even on WordPress. The younger man has become the older man, well-seasoned in his travels, exploring the diversity of nations, and yet recognizing that there really is no diversity. The older man now knows that everyone is the same, that there is only and always one universal truth, though many nations might have various ways of coping with that truth. The older man has been there, and he knows, but he cannot speak of it because he has not been there.
I have a commitment to myself this year. It’s one which I have made before. In fact, it’s a recurring theme of my new year resolutions in one form or another. I must blog every day. Is it because I have such important things to say? Well, maybe they are and maybe, because someone else has probably said them all before, they don’t need to be said. Maybe I’m just adding my TMI to a world already filled with TMI. But, every day I try to get to the piano and practice, because that’s what musicians do. You either get better or worse, so I have to practice at least enough for some tiny improvement. I once decided to draw something every day. In the past I decided to write a poem every day. All for the same reason. Being good at anything comes from practicing it until it’s automatic.
Of course, it helps if you have some specific reason for doing it. If you are a sports writer, for instance, assigned to cover a team or a town, you have constant fresh material–game scores, personal achievements, highlights, human interest pieces of players and coaches and maybe fans. Of course, it’s the same stories in Pittsburgh as Boston. Only the names change or the scores change. And yet people will hang on your words, because who doesn’t like to root for the home team? In the end, it becomes what you do, and it’s a living. So you do it, over and over again, until it’s time to fade off into the sunset.
A job is a job is a job is a job. Pays the bills. So, what is blogging? How does it change the world? What new perspective does it impart that no one ever thought of before. King Solomon said it already three thousand years ago. There’s nothing new under the sun. Yet there is never an end to the making of many books. And much study wearies the body. And yet we write. And write. As if someone is actually listening. It is our daily crack addiction. It is our daily silent scream from our cold, lonely hovels of existence. It is our longing to fill the void of the wander lust. It is our need to be more than Johnny 9 to 5. It is something we do well, even if it doesn’t really need doing.