Sunday, January 23, 2005

Lacking and Full of Words at the Same Time...

Back in early 2002 I was in a UBC community group which met at JD's coffee house and as we were talking and getting to know each other a girl named Christy Crother's was talking in her usual rapid-fire manner, telling us about her life and such and in the midst of the million words she managed to get out in a minute she said the word "blog" and everyone's response was the same. "Blog? Huh?"

She told us about the blog and how we could do it and how therapeutic it's been for her and I decided to do it, not for the therapy benefits but because between the years of '89 and '93 (my high school years) there was no one in the world who was a bigger Doogie Howser M.D. fan than yours truly. I saw the blog as an opportunity for me to finally realize my dream of ending the day a la Dr. Howser and sharing my thoughts to my computer.

As I browse through my first few posts I see that the circumstantial daily anecdotes were what occupied my writing time. As the months went on I became a little more introspective and it appears that I was trying to write daily devotions for Guideposts magazine. But throughout it all I tried to put my best foot forward, whether that be the "intellectual" foot or the "political" foot or the "authentic cussing" foot or the "simple-minded small town" foot. Any bad feet I had remained in the back, unless I could get sympathy points for them and then I shot that foot out quicker than my step-offs in my marching band days.

Sometime early on I quoted Garrison Keillor..."The urge to be top dog is a bad urge. Inevitable tragedy. A sensible person seeks to be at peace, to read books, know the neighbors, take walks, enjoy his portion, live to be eighty, and wind up fat and happy, although a little wistful when the first coronary walks up and slugs him in the chest. Nobody is meant to be a star. Charisma is pure fiction, and so is brilliance. It's the dummies who sit on the stage, and it's the smart people who sit in the dark near the exits. That is the Lake Wobegon view of life."

Later on I spent a lot of time telling stories about my past and people and how they affected me. Like this story.

A couple of times I tried my hand at weird poetry.

Once I let you eavesdrop on a letter I wrote to my then 20 month old friend Jude.

Always the political posts, and yes, quite a few bullets.

But lately I just haven't felt it. Oh, I've posted stuff to be posting stuff but I feel I've said everything.

If you think you know where this is going and that I'm about to announce my retirement from blogging, you're wrong.

At the beginning I blogged for myself. Later I blogged with the hope that a lot of people would notice. Over the past few months I have blogged for the half-dozen or so people that I know frequent my site, well, frequently. The situation I'm in is this: I'm not that complicated of a person. I resonate (more than he knows) with some of a friend's feelings about himself that he really doesn't have a whole hell of a lot to offer. In the end, you all know me: Politically conservative with reservations concerning the Religious Right. Theologically all over the map, but becoming increasingly uninterested. Small town, simple things, value in the mundane. Blah.... Blah...Blah. That's really all I am.

But there's another thing. It's the love thing. It's the thing that I feel I'm trying to convey in most of my posts. It's the need I have to let a family with the most beautiful kids and loving parents and a couple of somewhat newlyweds and about a half-dozen or so good friends from ETBU to Duke Div. and parts in between and members of my church, know that my heart bursts wide open with love for them... so much so that if I tried to express it in public I would become the most awkward blubbering idiot you've ever seen. That's really what I'm trying to say. That's really why my nose and tear ducts are swollen right now.

I love hearing people at work on their cell phones in the break room. Cell phones have made contact with loved ones easier but they have also eliminated private conversations. If you want your phone in public, well, you get your conversation in public as well. I always get a kick out of the "I love you's" at the end of cell phone conversations. They are a little awkward in front of other people. Whether it's a parent to a kid or a kid to a parent or friends or lovers, I love hearing the "I love you's." No matter how cool or independent or intellectual or dumb or busy or tired or excited we are, we want to love and be loved. But the other funny thing about cell phone "I Love You's" is this: The givers of the "I Love You's" know the receivers know they are loved. Those that receive the "I Love You" went into the conversation with the full knowledge that the giver loved them. But it gets said anyway. We keep saying it because we have to. We struggle saying it because it's so personal. But, I guess I should add, if we are lucky, we keep having it said to us and we say it and we want it to be said and we say it and say it in our head and we practice it and sometimes we dread it but regardless of all of this it's there. "I love you." It's complicated and simple all at once.

So I guess if I run out of cool stuff to say I guess I'll just keep writing about those I love. Because one of the few special things that has been said to me by a close friend over the past few years that I actually believe is what Robert told me: I have a lot of love to give.

I'll keep stumbling through this path of life trying to give it. I can't keep it.

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