I suppose I owe the few regular readers I have (who usually say things like "you write Snowed In?" when they see me in person...hopefully they continue to visit after that, but who knows) an explanation for the incredible slowdown in posting frequency in recent months. In addition to the decisions that weighed on the Snowed family, 2011 has given me pause to think about things, and as most people know, thinking and blogging don't always go hand-in-hand. At least not around this blog.
See, 2011 started in the worst way possible. Ten minutes into the new year, I learned that one of my best friends from high school* passed away very unexpectedly. He was a good friend in days when good friends were hard to come by. We still tried to get together with my friend every time we visited the old country.**
My friend had had a really, really lousy 2010. His marriage was in the process of ending non-amicably, and his sister had died unexpectedly in almost the same manner in which he would die several months later. We tried to reach out to him the one time we visited the old country last year, but we never could get hold of him. I guess when one is going through hell, one does not always want company.
Anyway, my friend's death put things in perspective for me. It reminded me that we really aren't promised a tomorrow, at least in this life. And it made me think about how much time I spend in front of a computer when I could be spending it with family and/or friends.*** Is staying up late writing blog entries that are read by as many as ten people in a day really worth it? Is tweeting?
And then, a few days later, Gabby Giffords and a bunch of other people were shot, and a dialogue started calling for a "new tone". Or so we thought at the time. In one of my very few blog postings in 2011, I wrote about that here. And so, between the death of my friend and this, I have been asking myself quite often if spreading my cynicism around the interwebs is the best use of my time. (Given that I am writing this portion of the entry at 11:00pm, the answer to that question, at this exact moment, is definitely no.)
And since then, I've watched as people have thrown the "new tone" right out the window, be they Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians****, or whatever. Meanwhile, I've kept to tweeting, and determining whether I've embraced any new tone myself is an exercise to the reader, and good luck to you, as I'm about to hit 20,000 tweets (and possibly as many as four of them were really meaningful). I'd like to think that I'm not perpetuating any hatred toward those with whom I am politically opposed; if nothing else, I'm definitely self-censoring myself a lot more.
But I have gotten a better idea of what the teacher meant when he said not to cast one's pearls before swine. I made the mistake of assuming that the Twitter bio of someone with whom I was unfamiliar, when it read "church-goer", meant that he might respond positively to a scriptural reference...see, he was raining all sorts of hatred on a couple of people with whom I was familiar because they're in my twitstream. And, as a "church-goer", that made him my brother, right? Scripture says "if your brother sins, rebuke him", and so I pointed out, quite gently IMO, that "church-goers", aka Christians, are not to hate their enemies. And what did I get for this? I was told, by the aforementioned "church-goer", that I am going to hell, where, he hopes, I will be sodomized for all eternity by Rush Limbaugh. (The actual quote is much, much rougher, and will not be repeated here.) Where that expectoration of bile that he wrote came from, I have no idea, but it certainly made me wonder even further what the point is of even trying to have a political conversation with other people. Is it worth it to tweet or blog political ideas? Does anyone really want to hear what I think, or is everyone looking for their own personal echo chamber? I don't really know anymore.
(No, I'm not giving this guy a link; why would you even ask?)
For those who've been around here for a little while, you might have seen the first seeds of this line of thought in entries here, here, and here, in which a former friend flushed a friendship with me over political differences. (As of this writing, that friend has never responded to me, though I changed my privacy settings on those entries so that the friend would see them when I posted them on Facebook. I no longer expect to hear from that person. Ever.)
I could go on about the unending antipathy toward all things conservative in some Austin publications and/or websites, or the continuing use of certain disparaging terms to describe Tea Party members, or the aforementioned decisions affecting the future of the Snowed family, or whatever, but I won't today. Regardless, it all adds up to the question: is writing still worth it?
I don't know that that question has a simple answer. I suppose it's cathartic in some sense for me, but catharsis does not necessarily make for an A-list blog. (For those asking, I believe my blog is somewhere around V.) I do believe that I have, at times, put more priority on writing than on things than I should; there are many more important things that should take a higher priority. (Like, say, sleep.) I'd still like to post the occasional blog entry, but I can't guarantee that I will be able to post in as timely a manner as...well, actually, from looking back over the history of this blog, timeliness has almost never been a trait found around here. I guess that's not change...that's more of the same.
So no real answers, just more questions here. And, in a repeat of my last post, a request for prayers for wisdom. For all of us.
Good night, one and all.
* No, gentle readers, I'm not still in high school, though the mentality seen in a few posts here might fit in well there.
** "Old country" should be read as "the place where I used to live which is not going to be named here".
*** This is not to say that I don't have online friends as well, but honestly, family takes precedence.
**** Had to include them because there is one person in my twitstream who definitely has libertarian leanings who has what can only be termed an unhealthy obesssion with one Sarah Palin. Ooh, she ran a yellow light? That's worth at least seven tweets and a 13-paragraph post!