Thursday, February 9, 2012

As You Like It

I am one of those people who finds that he enjoys a challenge yet once the challenge is met I prefer to move on and try something new.

I am an atheist, which in the US these days is a political statement, but I mean it simply as a statement of fact. I believe the pursuit of meaning, the hope of life everlasting is futile and disperses energy best consumed in the pursuit of the best possible daily reality. I like the Buddhist notion of "mindfulness" that is to say attempting to pay attention to the value of each passing minute.

Which, like most religious precepts is almost impossible to follow precisely, because if religion were easy it would be senseless. The difficulty is part of the charm. Nevertheless I do try to live each day mindfully, and each day I fail, I remain determined to try again when I rise the next day.

After four and a half years and 2500 essays I felt I had figured out the blogging thing. I wanted a new challenge so I went into partnership. That the partnership has failed is my fault not Chuck's and I am forced to take responsibility for the failure of the other web site because I had to recognize I am a one man band not a partnership. I wanted to view blogging as an activity and I wanted to try to increase the difficulty of the activity to increase the challenge.

Instead I find my blog actually is my diary. I can go back and read an essay and use that tiny little window into the past to remind myself of a time in my life. I found myself drawn to my old diary for pleasure and to my new website less and less and apparently I was not alone. This site gets as many hits after a month of inactivity as the new website where I was blogging daily.

That reinforced my feeling that this space is different and special because it is particular. My space is mine because it's mine. Here I can meander in my own garden of ideas and make no excuses to anyone or for anyone. I have a quality rarely found on the pages of the Internet, an old fashioned quality that I like very much in myself.

Ironic detachment requires me to take observer status and try to see the unintended humor in daily life. I have the awkward attribute of being able to see two sides to any story, a quality that makes me unsuitably inclined to a career as a police officer. Ironic detachment is a fine quality I have discovered, in a police dispatcher. It is just too bad I cannot tell the stories here that cross my desk every work night. Irony is a very helpful tonic when forced to listen to endless stories of human misery night after night and then seek a solution to the intractable.

Ironic detachment requires the observer to have the ability to laugh at himself. When I was a reporter I grew up in the shadow of the old school dictum that a reporter's job is to "afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted" and some days I like to do the same here. On other less moody days I see myself as a clown on the stage of life, Mr Bean failing in the simplest of daily tasks, and better yet observing my fellows in doing the same.

It doesn't always work yet sometimes I find people recall with perfect clarity an essay I wrote and posted just to fill the space. It's impossible to tell who sees what richness and value in which space. This is my space as eccentric and uncertain as am I. The lesson is learned: this is my home. Welcome to my space on the infinite web, a place that could fairly be described in Shakespeare's "As You Like It" suitably enough as "a poor thing but mine own" quoted below in a discussion of virginity, it turns out, not penmanship.

God 'ild you, sir; I desire you of the like. I
press in here, sir, amongst the rest of the country
copulatives, to swear and to forswear: according as
marriage binds and blood breaks: a poor virgin,
sir, an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own; a poor
humour of mine, sir, to take that that no man else
will: rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a
poor house; as your pearl in your foul oyster.

I hope Key West Diary can occasionally yield a pearl from foul oysters.

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I'm Back

This is a test. Key West Diary resumes forthwith. I have been gone too long.



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