A Fresh Start

This post from 2014 wasn’t the first time I had posted in this space, but it was a beginning after a false start. Since August 30, 2014 I have posted almost 2,700 times in this space. I’m not sure oif tehre is any way of measuring, but that is probably more than a million words. Below is the post that started this journey, with some comments added in italics.

Three years ago (11 years ago in 2022) I decided to start a blog. Several people had told me that it was something I should do, that my thoughts, expressed in emails or conversation, needed to be shared with a wider audience. I wasn’t so certain, but decided that it was not my place to argue with those around me.

So I started a blog, posted one piece, and didn’t tell anyone. Then I stopped.

The timing wasn’t right. I didn’t want the responsibility of writing to deadline and not being paid for it. I do, after all, write for a living. I had other priorities. I didn’t want to feel I had to write any more than was required for school and work. So I left it at that.

This past summer (2014) I traveled to six different countries in as many weeks. (Travel was so much easier back before the pandemic. Now when I think about travel I ask myself if it is worth it.) Some of my experiences were thought provoking. I jotted some notes down on my phone, originally meant as lengthy captions for the pictures I was going to post on Facebook when I returned to Canada.

However I soon realized the “captions” were taking on a life of their own. I am still working through exactly how I feel about some of the things I witnessed. (Eight years later I find that is still the case. Part of me is tempted to re-visit and re-write some of those 2014 posts.) The First World War battlefield, for example, that inspires feelings of horror at the human waste, and awe at the spirit of willing sacrifice. Some places I visited were just fun, but I probably won’t write about those.

To post these thought for others to see, to make them a dialogue, seems both appealing and a bit frightening. So I have resurrected this blog to tell the tale of “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” If reaction is positive I will keep it going with other random observations (which indeed I may intersperse with the summertime commentary). (Reaction, as you may have guessed, was indeed positive. I have enjoyed meeting new people through this forum and exchanging ideas with them.)

In the 1960s American pop artist Andy Warhol suggested that at some point in the future everyone would become famous, for 15 minutes anyway. That prophetic observation may have been one reason I have been reluctant to make my thoughts available. It seems everyone has a blog. The few who don’t blog have a reality TV show, which seems worse to me. (Full disclosure: my brother has been known to blog, but his reality TV show was only six episodes). (One of these days I need to watch that show. He didn’t tell the family about the series until the final episode was about to air, and that was back in the days berfore TV shows were found online. I’ll bet the episodes are there now though.) And, if we are being honest, most of the words being placed for public consumption would have been better left in the authors’ dictionaries. Who am I to say that my pearls of wisdom are really worth reading?

One of my summer rituals is two weeks at the beach in Maine. I don’t watch television at home, but in Maine I try and get caught up what I may have missed in the previous 50 weeks. (This year I only had the television on for the occasional newscast – and usually didn’t bother with those. American television seems less worthy of my attention than ever before.) Call it an annual sociology project, since I really am not interested in what’s being broadcast. I assume somebody must watch or they wouldn’t continue to make the shows, but apparently all that is broadcast anymore are variants on fighting chefs or fighting siblings, so-called reality television. Cheap to produce I guess, but just a perverted form of narcissism. Which leaves me concerned that making my thoughts public in this sort of forum is both pretentious and narcissistic. (I still wrestle with that one.)

Perhaps when I have exhausted the tales of my summer of 2014 I will vanish once more into the virtual wallpaper. Until then I will do my best to be both entertaining and thought provoking. Hopefully my best will be good enough. Feel free to respond. Without your input this becomes just the ramblings of someone who perhaps should have been told long ago to shut up (and if you do want me to shut up, please be polite when you are telling me that).

For the next few weeks you can expect to hear all about “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” I had a great time; I hope you do as well.

(As you can see, we have moved considerably away from vacation posts over the years. I still do have some vacation stories I want to share though. All I need is the time to write the words to accompany the pictures.)

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