Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The blogger's lament

I've been accused of never posting photos of myself on this blog, which is for the most part true. I'm used to being the photographer and don't enjoy being photographed. Here's an exception --- taken a year ago with my buddy Mary Ellen.

It occurred to me the other day that this blog now is in its eighth year --- but that the anniversary date, some time during May of 2007, was long past and had been overlooked again. Not surprising for someone who rarely remembers that it's his birthday on his birth date. Or any other anniversary for that matter.

There are 1,226 posts in the archive, which is a little misleading --- I excise a few now and then that seem on later read to be too silly, too irrelevant or pointlessly caustic. Plus, when the Lucas Countyan started it was not possible to post a photograph with text --- each image had to be posted separately. Many of those free-standing photos have since been rolled into text, cutting the total.

Another milestone passed unmentioned --- exceedeing earlier this year the huge amount of free image storage space assigned to each Blogger account.  Each photo posted now has a price tag --- a tiny amount, a fraction of a cent.


The blog began because I missed writing and photography after a professional switch many years ago to editing --- from manipulating my own words and images to polishing and arranging those of others.

So now I write --- and frame my own images, but many editing skills have fallen by the wayside --- these are my words now. The old Buddhist admonition --- if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him --- applies to editing, too. If you meet a herd of personal pronouns, misplaced modifiers and adjectives on the road --- kill most of them, too. Not enough of that happens here.

Local and family history was supposed to be the blog theme --- and it still is in a way. Research into the stories that lie behind tombstones, monuments, place names and building facades is endlessly intriguing.

But other themes have been added as years passed --- nature, religion, LGBTQ and related political concerns and more.


Nature because interrelatedness --- an inkling of the divine if you like --- is evident more often on the trail than in a church: God incarnate in a red-winged blackbird.

This has been a season of drought, too much time spent inside. It's time to get out there again for a dose of the whole.


Religion because there's so much potential, too much bitter fruit --- orthodoxy becoming hard and angry and brittle --- prone to outbursts of fear-based violence and breakage; the less orthodox "liberal," mushy and unable or unwilling to define a new purpose --- in danger of washing away; those aiming for the middle, off-balance and scared.

On hopeful days, it's comforting to speculate that something new might emerge from the current debacle, a renewal based perhaps on discipleship, on merely caring again for the garden and the critters that inhabit it. But on all days, it's a more interesting form of spectator sport than football.


LGBTQ issues because it seems useful to defy a few stereotypes --- that we're all youthful and fit, scary, somehow embody the "other" and live somewhere else. Not. We're here, we're .... you. So get over it and let's try to move on together.


I wish I could say I blog to change the world, but actually do it mostly to entertain myself and any preaching is most likely heard primarily by the choir.

Besides, I wake up early. Like an old hand-crank tractor --- I start hard. So I get up in the morning and do this. It's like two cups of coffee straight to the brain. That's seven personal pronouns in two short paragraphs. Jeez.

P.S. --- Yes, it's true. There is some personal satisfaction involved in merely annoying Republicans.

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