Sunday, May 02, 2010

Still blogging after all these years

This is the eve of the fifth anniversary of The Lucas Countyan, commenced on the 3rd of May, 2005. Who’d have thought it? It began with the photo above (and upper right in the sidebar) of the Lucas County Courthouse tower, marking its 117th birthday in this year of grace, 2010.

The tower as does the title suggest connectedness to a place. Born here, raised here, never far away, hope to return to dust here.

I started the blog because I like to write --- an art and a craft that like playing the piano is done reasonably well only with practice. I’d worked too many years as an editor, shaping and presenting the words of others; it was time to get back to the business of speaking for myself. I’ve never aspired to write a book; write here instead.

Researching and writing about the past fascinates me, so that is what I’ve done the most. There really is nothing new under the sun --- more complexity, more confusion, more technology, sure. But all the lessons to be learned already have been learned by others. The past informs the present --- and the future --- if we allow it to; ignore it at your own peril.

I also like to think, research and write about the web of life into which we’re woven. Sadly, humankind is most notable in that web because of our capacity for destruction. I am most at peace, however, most fully aware of my place, standing quiet, looking out across the prairie or the water, toward the woods, occasionally mountains, watching clouds other critters. Being not thinking. Because of that, I aspire to be less destructive than my nature would have me be.

Mourning doves were patrolling the grass in front of the kitchen window this morning, scratching for seed --- as happy as we can be, I suppose, but perhaps overwhelmed at times by worry, too (who are we to judge the intellectual and emotional life of a bird, less destructive but as important in the grand scheme of things as we are?)

I’ve written about politics sometimes, but not much; so infrequently that the other day someone asked me if I were an independent. I’m a yeller-dog Democrat, actually, but skeptical about the political process. Republicans scare me the most, but in both parties success follows money and goes to the most accomplished liar, the most highly-skilled whore.

I am a U.S. Army veteran of Vietnam and have written directly and indirectly about that now and then, not because of anything I did (it wasn’t much) or because I’m especially patriotic, but because of the intense pride I have in the company I kept there. I come back again and again to those who died in that bloody war and others, or who were damaged. Their involuntary sacrifice (no soldier expects to die) is, to me, pure light in the midst of horror and I keep trying to explain that adequately.

I’ve written sometimes about what it’s like to be gay in a straight world, homosexual among heterosexuals. Frankly, it’s not something I think much about; if I did, I might write about it more. Because of the times in which I grew up, I am incapable of trust and expect betrayal; alternately bemused and appalled about the power such a minor point as sexual orientation has among humans as we try to relate in a civilized manner and walk together. On the other hand, I have some insight about what it’s like to be inside looking out while those outside look on without bothering to look in and judge based on pre-conceived notions. I do exactly the same thing in other areas of life, so I know how it works. I keep working on that.

Finally I write about faith sometimes because it is important to me, home again in orthodox, but liberal and generous, Christianity after years in the guerrilla church, stealing the sacraments from those who would not share them with me if I had told them how I had been created. I’m still mad about that, but working on it, too.

The rhythm of the liturgical year brought us specifically to love this morning, and the great commandments are not a bad place to end here: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment,” that guy Jesus told us. “And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Now there’s a stunner for you. I’m going to go outside, plant something and think about it. See ya later.

1 comment:

Ed said...

Congratulations Frank! Although we have different opinions about some of the subjects you mentioned, I respect what you right even if I disagree. Initially I was attracted to your blog because of your historical and genealogical writings pertaining to our part of this state but I've come to really enjoy all the other things you write about. I expect I will say that in another five years if you give me the chance. Keep up the writing.