For the past two and a half years, I’ve had the pleasure of a completely analog writing gig. I wrote the weather column for a small weekly newspaper in rural, agricultural Montana. The printed word on the page, un-Googleable and physically archived, viewable by some intrepid reporter 100 years from now, but also it’s fish wrap at the same time. It drained this webby writer of much ego, and much anxiety about how my words appear. Highly recommended for the finely wired, newly sober, the blocked and anxious writer, or all of the above, which I was.
There was a printing press, rolls of paper, a typist, a darkroom. The archives told the story of the intrepid first homesteaders in a speck of a Western town. Posters for rodeos past hung dustily from the walls. …
“Where there is hatred, let me sow love”, the supplicant pleads in the Prayer of Saint Francis, “where there is despair, hope”. When faced with an onslaught of murders last week, people took to social media and to the streets to express their sorrow, outrage and the unhappiness with the status quo. An instant, human response is fear and distrust of the perpetrators and people who look like them. We are collectively mourning and wondering why the shooting deaths of so many people happened, and demanding change.
One of the most radical things you can do today to effect this change is to seek to understand rather than to be understood. Cultures such as the fraternity of police, a military family, or a protestor in a movement: when these people have the audacity to share what it’s like to be them, believe them. …
Aw, I miss y’all.
We used to write out such heart-strung phrases. Inside jokes. Buried meanings.
Goes without saying that I’m apathetic about Facebook. Reminds me to tell you something sweet on your birthday, which is better.
At the painstaking risk of representing some internet generation, I want to wax nostalgic sometimes online with you. Slack & Gchat (I’m never sure if there’s the right apostrophe or E) have made things better. But blogging is the best.
Oh, I like reading what you, yes you, write.
So do it.