Today is the last Day of Christmas. If you’ve been following the song, your house is filled with leaping Lords, milking maids, two groups of musicians, and an awful lot of birds. But now you can usher them out, take down the lights and decorations, and put the tree out on the curb for pickup.
I’m guessing some of you did the de-decorating on December 26th and didn’t even buy your true love a partridge. On the other hand, the 2015 Christmas season apparently begins on August 31st (and includes “Black November”) so it’ll be back before you know it!
Until then, it’s time to get back to the grindstone.
This is the beginning of my second full year of retirement as far as the calendar goes. (In July it’ll be two years elapsed.) I’ve turned in my official grindstone — more of a millstone at that point — but I still have the blog and other projects. Not that any of that compares to “going to work” (especially if you aren’t thrilled to be doing so).
January is supposedly (but may not be) named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions. He’s usually depicted with two faces: one looking back and one looking forward.
Whether it be the Winter Solstice or Janus or just the calendar New Year, this is a traditional time for looking back and reviewing what has been and for looking forward at what we hope will be.
Many make resolutions at this time of year. “Getting in shape” is a classic one. (I’m already in a shape, so that doesn’t apply to me, but I do sympathize with the amorphous. It’s tough being nebulous!)
I’ve never really been one for resolutions like that. I’m very careful about promises to myself or others. I consider my word one of the few — if not only — things I can control in life, so I try not to say things I don’t mean or make promises I might not keep. They pave roads with good intentions, you know.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t reflect on what the new year might bring and how I might comport myself within it. In particular I’ve been reflecting this past week on blogging and on my blog in particular.
For one thing, I’m not the first person to question whether blogging is still a thing. Has it enjoyed its peak and now gives way to more purely social forms of media?
It would be interesting to try to determine how many new blogs are created each year and how many posts are published. WordPress has certainly changed in just the short time I’ve been here (since mid-2011). Their main page used to brag about how many millions of blogs they had, but that’s gone.
They do claim “WordPress powers 23% of the internet,” which I find hard to believe. My guess is they refer to sites or engines — so Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, would all be one each. My guess is that individual Tweets (as just one example) far outnumber blog posts.
Not that no longer being a thing would be a detraction for me. I never cared about trendy, and I’m decidedly old-fashioned in all sorts of ways (even a Luddite to some degree).
My cell phone is an old analog flip phone I carry strictly for emergencies — very few people even have the number!
Logos con carne has always mainly been a blog in the original sense: a web log, a personal online diary of sorts. With no progeny, this is what I can leave behind, for whatever that’s worth. On a secondary level, it’s an expression of myself as an artist. I can’t paint or sculpt (or sing), so I write — that I can do.
So, meandering ramblings aside, what do I plan for the coming year?
There are a few more tales from my past I may tell. One post in the pipeline concerns my first student film in college (a collaborative effort with two classmates). I think I’ve already told most of the high school tales: my favorite English teacher, my other favorite English teacher, how I discovered theatre (and my artistic side), my first paying job.
On the other hand, there may yet be some meat left on that bone. My high school years took place in a racially charged place and time: Inglewood, a Los Angeles suburb directly west of Watts — not long after the first Watts riots in 1965. There is the story of my high school girlfriends. Not sure there’s a good post there (neither affair ended well for me), but maybe.
College definitely had some interesting times (ala the curse). The summer I worked in Las Vegas happened then. So did the night I spent in jail. Whether I can turn those into posts worth reading is another matter. Some parts of my college daze are a bit vague, fuzzy in a cloud of smoke — it was Los Angeles in the 1970s, after all.
There is a topic — “vector thinking” — I’ve been meaning to explore in detail ever since I introduced it in the first days of this blog (my ninth post here). It’s a way of thinking about issues that I think is hugely helpful. In many regards I consider it the best gift I can offer.
Why I’ve found it so hard to return to is a real puzzle. Its importance, perhaps, makes getting it right a challenge (plus I have to create some graphics to support the text). There are topics on which words flow easily and topics where it’s more like pulling teeth — painful and difficult.
And — ugh! — speaking of which, this post is one of them. It’s just not flowing right now. The words seem without life. It might be time to take a break until I feel the need to post again. All I really had in mind here was commemorating the official end of Chillaxmas. Sorry for the rather rambling ruminations!
As a consolation for such a pointless post, I just put up a new Page (in the Stuff menu): The Rules of Leroy Jethro Gibbs (of NCIS). Enjoy!
Now back to the grindstone, everyone! (Or not, depending on your circumstances.) I’m headed back to the couch and the Ringworld sequel (and maybe a long winter’s nap — it’s been very winter-like the last couple of days — temps with single digits and minus signs).