Hello and good morning. It’s Thursday, March 10th, 2022, the second Thursday in March, and it’s time again for my weekly blog post.
As those who follow this blog know, I posted the 4th part of Outlaw’s Mind earlier this week. If you haven’t seen it, you can feel free to go and read it here. If you haven’t read any of it, and you’re interested, the first part is here, and you can see the listing of all the “parts” here.
I call them “parts” because they really aren’t chapters. As I break them up, chapters tend to be longer in most cases, but I haven’t assigned chapters yet in this story. I often don’t do that until the story is finished, after I’ve trimmed and adjusted things. This story is being posted in very raw form, and if it’s rough and not as good as it might be because of that, I apologize. I do appreciate those of you who read it, and I hope you enjoy it.
I’ve done a decent amount of writing on it this week—about 6500 words—the single biggest chunk last Saturday morning, when I cranked out a ridiculous two thousand words in under an hour. I have no idea how to explain that. It may very well be crap because of it, I’m not sure.
I don’t honestly know whether any of my writing is anything other than crap from anyone’s point of view but mine. I’m not fishing for compliments; nor am I fishing for insults*. I just honestly don’t know. I don’t know very well how people react to anything I do, frankly. People in general are confusing to me, sometimes even people I’ve known my whole life. I do know that, for the most part, they don’t like having me around much. Can’t blame them; I feel the same way about myself.
I haven’t done anything new, musically, but I did re-figure out the chords and specific melodies of my song Come Back Again (which is available to listen on YouTube if anyone is interested). I hadn’t written down the chords except the basic opening ones originally, and when I happened upon a sheet with a few of those the other day, I figured I’d write out the melodies as they are and refigure those chords—maybe even change them some from the original, though I don’t think I did. I’ve never been completely happy with how the song turned out as I arranged and “mixed” it before, but there are things about it that I like**. It’s maybe too slow, and it’s certainly a bit gloomy, but then again, I’m a bit gloomy…in the same sense that the Pacific Ocean is a bit damp.
I’ve been trying to get into somewhat better walking condition, trying to work through calluses and blisters to get ready for a near-epic undertaking that I have tentatively planned. I’ve been going slightly farther each day (with a few days off to let blisters settle out), and last night I walked about three and a half miles after work. Once I’ve gotten up to about six miles at a pop without new blisters (no pun intended) or soreness, I think I’ll be pretty much physically ready for my undertaking, though there will be other preparations needed beyond that.
I’ll be saying/writing more about it as time goes on, and when it happens, I mean to make YouTube videos and will of course share them here and via my few anti-social media channels. I don’t know whether anyone will even notice, but I hope to make it a useful process, perhaps calling attention to some charities or other. My favorite one so far, and the one linked to my Amazon Smile account, is Reading Is Fundamental. I remember their public service messages from when I was kid, and I agree entirely with their title.
I’ve said it over and over again, in various places and times: I think written language is the lifeblood of civilization. Almost everything good that we’ve done on any kind of scale, and any durable progress we’ve made, has depended on written language in one form or another. As Carl Sagan put it, “Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”
We watch videos of people all over the internet and web, and see stories told in movies and TV shows, but with a book, we can hear the words and thoughts of other people speaking directly in our minds, even ones who lived a very long time ago, in a galaxy that was then far, far away…certainly on any human scale***. Through writing we can store memory and experience and understanding that can endure and build over the course of millennia. We can step outside our parochial concerns—and all of our daily concerns are, finally, parochial, as is all politics, and social movements, and fashion trends, and all else that seems to grab people’s attention so very strongly.
That’s about all I have for this week, I suppose. It’s probably actually more than I have, frankly, since I haven’t really said anything of substance, and I’ve probably wasted your time. Apologies for that. I hope you’re doing well otherwise, though.
*Hopefully that’s obvious, at least.
**I’m fond of the lines, “Only meeting strangers; always losing friends. Every new beginning always ends”, because it is self-evidently and logically true when you think about it.
***After all, the Earth orbits the sun, the sun orbits the center of our galaxy, and our galaxy is moving even relative to the cosmic microwave background, towards the Andromeda galaxy, and of course, the universe itself is expanding. The Galaxy Song, by Eric Idle/Monty Python gives a nice rundown of just how much motion that is, over how great a scale. The last bit about the expansion of the universe being limited by the speed of light isn’t quite correct, but it’s not a substantive error as far as the song goes.