Why I Do This Thing

Where does a month go?

It doesn’t go anywhere (to answer my own rhetorical cliché): in the case of the particular month in question, I lived it, day by day, hour by hour, often minute by minute. It many ways, it feels more genuine, from my perspective, to ask myself “Was it really only a month since my last post?” It has been a packed several weeks of academic life for this writer, and for once I am glad of a lull in my studies (or at least my classes).

And that gives me time and energy to turn up here again. But why? Why this: this blog, this endless cycle of lapse and retrial?

I have addressed myself to such questions more than once before, in this space or another like it. Not much has changed, but some thing are worth saying more than once.

I write. That, more than anything else I have believed (or endeavored to convince myself) of myself over these decades I have longed to be someone I could look up to — that much is true. I write. Not much, not consistently, not entirely satisfactorily. But I do so inevitably. Some people run (I know, I don’t get it either, but I have actually seen them doing it); some people garden; some people throw Molotovs and brace for the tear gas. All of these things are, without a doubt, something these individuals, and all the other billions with their own billions of ways, are in some sense made to do. Not in any predestination sense, or hard-wired functionalism. But yeah, there is something in me that wants to put words on pages, not for kicks, or to make some point, or because it seems like a virtuous or romantic thing to do. I both need to write, and I love to write: the two drives are experienced as distinct, but at the same time are absolutely inseparable for me.

And the next step, or level, or component, or whatever, of my particular drive is that, having written, I must then share. The very possibility of sharing plays a huge and (in my experience) necessary rôle in me committing the act of writing to begin with. And I mean necessary in a strict philosophical sense here, which anyone who knows me will know is not something I ever do; that’s how serious I am about this. I share because I write, and I write so that I can share what I write. And this blog is how I share.

I have rarely made any pretension to being a quotidian blogger. There have been brief, humiliating, demoralizing points in my history here where I have attempted some version of habitual regularity, but it is not me. Not “that could never be me” but at least it has not been me yet, and I don’t want the place any bets on when that might start to be me.

But I am comfortable enough, now that I am more than halfway through my probable lifespan, to simply carry on, and keep writing when I can, how I can, and as much as I can. I hope you will keep reading along with me.

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