This time of year usually inspires reflection. A check of the calendar shows that I’ve been standing on my orange crate bullhorning into the void for about 10 months. I set a minimum expectation of one blog post by Thursday each week and yes, I am behind this week.
blogging writing. I love this quote by Joan Didion, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” And I think, well, me too. Run with me!
What I’m thinking.
Ah! There’s the rub. The quality of writing is directly correlated to the quality of thought. The practice of writing makes good writing possible; great writing at it’s foundation has not pen and paper or screen and mouse and keyboard, but thought. And this for me is always, always the challenge — to improve the thought, improve the communication. Words can be found. The exactness, the preciseness of the word, the nuance — that is what requires thought.
And I sit with that and I’m pretty sure greatness is overrated. Heh, heh.
What I’m looking at.
Originally, in early 2017 I was looking at the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and I wanted a place to drop my notes, research, and
thoughts and prayers summary of the protest and concerns for possible outcomes.
That hasn’t happened yet.
My notes and research on DAPL are somewhere, since I started blogging there has been another spill, and it was announced that the pipeline will be finished soon. I’m pretty sure I’ll get on it.
I’m often surprised to find that what I’m actually looking at and choose to publish isn’t what has been under my microscope. When I look through draft posts with ideas that were current at the time, I push ‘publish’ on something from the periphery. As an example, I had just finished Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City when the Hurricane triplets Harvey, Irma, and Maria visited eviction on great swaths of population independent of their poverty or wealth. Instead of a commentary on eviction as living in a steady state of hurricane uncertainty, I dropped some climate change ideas. Go figure.
What I see and what it means.
The immediacy of the internet has made reporters of us all. And the professionals — the trained journalists and reporters and publications that try to beat the immediacy of ‘now’ — try to get the facts straight and think and form opinions on the fly. By reference to current news sources and writing about current events, I appreciate how hard it is to locate the truth. Any truth. Statements have to be researched, sources need to be verified and I appreciate that professionals deliver news in a race for your attention and in competition with click-bait.
And what it means is that I have the luxury of time to consider an event, to turn it over and look under the hood, to discuss with others what things mean. And to weigh in with my bullhorn after-the-fact and not in-the-midst-of and during.
What I want and what I fear.
What I want is to read and to be read!
And what I fear? Technology and that big blue ‘publish’ button up and to the right means there is no editor, there is no traditional publisher, there is no one between you and me. There is no one to save me from myself. My thinking could be off. And very public.
What was I thinking? I stand on this little orange crate with my bullhorn. I might spout strong yet wrong ideas and slide off into the margins like the itinerant repent-the-end-of-the-world-is-coming preacher or other interesting and startling orange crate peers.
Or maybe my orange crate and bullhorn, reporting from my little space off in this section of the bleacher seats is just homage to my love of mixed metaphor and play on words.
I know that very time I click the ‘publish’ button and release a post, any post, this post into the internet wild, I win.
I think. I look. I find meaning. I write. I want. I overcame fear.
And dear readers, you have my love and gratitude for reading me thus far.