Friday, August 7, 2015

The Glorious Life

"How was your vacation?"
"Where did you go?"
"No place special.  Florida for a little while."
"What did you do?"
"Nothing of note. Read, walked, played the guitar, ate some grouper."
"Ah, that does sound glorious."

It is a given that no one, at least no one that you like, will play up his or her vacation.  You will get positives, but they will be bland and general like "It was awesome" or "Nashville is awesome" or "We had the best time" or "I didn't want to come home."  But nothing in there to give you the powerful specifics of days and weeks spent in a glorious, different world, whether because of topography or cuisine or culture.  No one wants to hear about the glorious life, especially as represented by the vacation time and freedom and money to travel beyond the dry corners of home.

I think, though, that we live the glorious life every day.

In the glorious life that I am living, every day provides something for me to write about. Vthat doesn't doesn't mean, of course, that I do write about it, but more often than not, I at least file it away and get to it.

The last two summers have been blog summers where I have shined, mostly because my partner (my blog partner!) Billy has been occupied with grad school work, as in the first, overwhelming summer, or the looser, broader social life in a grad school program in its second year in a cool city, as in this summer.  It's hard to be social and write.

In any event, the circumstance took me back to the first days of our blog when each day or couple of days was a new challenge to fill a blank, white space.  Back then, some eight years ago, we faced each day with wonderment, not sure. When our how our little shop would continue, and if it did, if it would have any readers or relevance.

Admittedly, those readers have changed somewhat over the years.  Some of our stalwarts have disappeared into cyber-oblivion. Some of our family members, much as they might want to support us, simply can't keep up.  And so we are always surprised, I think, when someone mentions having read one or more particular blog posts.  We don't know who you are until you tell us, and then it is like, oh, you are our readers.

But I want to tell you about the glorious life.  Because writing matters to me, probably more than most other things, the glorious life that I celebrate here is the one that reloads nearly every single day.  It is the one that tells me that something has happened today that is worth writing about, that is worth other people reading it.  And the glory comes from figuring out how to tell it.

My blog partner Billy sent me an essay this week from a former student of mine.  I hadn't thought about that student in years, but now here he is articulating a position as a teacher, as a PhD.  And I wrote to him.  And I said, "Here is your reward: no one else can write the essay that you wrote, not with the same use of irony or the sophisticated use of language,"

The way that you are different from, if you are different from me, is that you are not using each day, each week, each month to find those unique perspectives of the life and the world that swirls around us.  We may lack for energy, we may lack for initiative, we may think we lack for insight, but we do not lack for topic.

Today, alone, I could write about one friend's circumstance, another friend's inability to control his emotions, the pleasure of reuniting with another friend, the physical distance between me and three other friends, the complexities of mixing friendship and work, the disappointments of friendships that dissipate in the summer, the concerns that a group of friends have for a friend in a. Icu stance that he did not anticipate.  And that is only friendship--one part of life.

The glorious life is the one that demands examination at every meal, every encounter, every gathering.  The glorious life is the one that tries to make sense of those aspects of living that seem anything but. So I hope that I speak for Billy, too, in saying that we are not stopping anytime soon.

There is too much to ponder, to examine, to critique, to minimize, to make a grand statement about.  Our own small little world contain galaxies of ideas, most of which we will never get to.  And some of the ones we do get to will be minimally-interesting, false steps, much ado about, silly overstatement or leap from the specific to the general.  Still, we push on.  Stay with us, because who knows?


troutking said...

Great post! I truly admire your dedication to the blog and the dedication to thinking, examining, analyzing, theorizing, expressing and writing it entails. All of us who read it regularly benefit from the efforts you both put forth on this blog. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

What Trout said!