BootsnAll Travel Network

To blog or not to blog

Here I am again in one of those existential blogger moments. In summer of 06 I went to Portugal and started this blog of a pilgrimage, a journey. I came back from that adventure with the sense that all life is a pilgrimage, so I went on with the blog, during which time I intensified the search for a place to plant myself, a place to “retire” and step into as much freedom as I can find. I wrote about books and movies, about my daughter moving out, about the search for a new way of life, and about my cat. Now I think I can vaguely see that new way of life ahead…if I get Section 8 housing in Portland, and if nothing unexpected arises to stop me. In the meanwhile I have one more semester to teach, before that career is over. Do I go on blogging?

I look at the blogs I like to read, and it seems to me that they just about have it all covered. (Check my list of links on the right sidebar; I won’t link to these blogs yet again.) Conor is returning trafficked children to their parents with a sense of humor. Nacho is a Buddhist with a love for poetry and gadgets and his family. Tania and Snarky are wandering in Africa. Obsidian Wings is musing about American politics. Joan Halifax is considering the meaning of life. Alberto is facing life beyond the Zen center. T is on about gay Black mixed families and American politics. There are blogs about literature, film, and music, about art and peace and Iraq and people, like me, trying to find an authentic way of life, trying to find a way to live that isn’t mass-produced, that’s right for them. That about covers my interests. There are, I think I heard, about a million and a half blogs. So maybe it’s time for me to shut up.

I’ve loved the-blog-as-net, pulling in exciting connections with new friends like Stephen, Dave, Jetgirl, Lareina, Dustyshoes, and Nacho. It has been great having the blog as a kind of bulletin for my dear friends all over the planet who can check in and get the latest Kendall report, and then we can spend our email time talking about THEM. Margaret is about to publish her memoir and a volume of New and Collected Poems. She has an agent. Leif’s book is doing well and she has another one ready for the press. Christopher has published–oh god, how many books? seven? eight? and always has another one on the back of the stove. Gloria, may her bones rest in paradise, has shown up in the new Norton Anthology of American Literature. She once told our group of friends, “If there is one of us who will make it, it’s Kendall.” No, Gloria, it was you. If only you had lived to see it. I didn’t “make it” in the way we meant then. I didn’t stay focused. I drifted. I directed plays, wrote poems, rescued children, cultivated prisoners’ voices, hung out on balconies, sucked in the fragrance of old-fashioned roses, engaged in political activism when I wasn’t sniffing up someone’s legs or scurrying around (thank you Luis Urrea for that simple clarity), read, watched movies, and danced…. I lived. And I mean to go on living. I did get four books published and quickly forgotten, and wrote four more that ended up in dumpsters here and there. But I’ve lost the desire to “make it” in the ways that I once dreamed of making it. This blog has been satisfying my writing itch for the past year-and-a-bit. But now, I don’t know.

I’m in my after-trip malaise. I’m creating new syllabi for five courses again. Here comes my last semester of teaching, if I can just force myself to keep moving (I want to stop, NOW). The college is going into its accreditation crunch, and everyone is buzzing with educationese: cover-your-ass exercises for college teachers. It makes me feel desperate. It suffocates me worse than my most insanely jealous lovers. I feel as though there is a great heavy weight sitting on my chest. It’s hard to breathe. I keep sighing.

I can see the promised land. Will I get there? This is the moment in the movie where the heroine suddenly gets diagnosed with a fatal illness, or meets with an unexpected car crash, or falls in love, or collides with some other form of doom for the life she dreamed, leading her into something better than her dreams, or not. How will this movie go? Maybe it’s best to leave the blog now, before anybody gets sick of it. Including me. Maybe it’s best to let everybody imagine what happens next. Exit in a state of wonder and slightly addled curiosity, laughing. Yeah. Maybe I’ll do that.


3 responses to “To blog or not to blog”

  1. alberto says:

    Hi, Kendall
    please read my answer in my last post “to blog or not to blog” and I hope you enjoy it…

  2. Dave says:

    Please do not stop blogging. Please. I know that it must be draining to reveal so much of your life. And to reveal it with so much clarity and such beautiful prose–surely it can’t be easy. So I understand. But I would feel that something is missing if you stopped. Could you at least continue movie and book reviews? I am learning so much from you. I respect your decision.

  3. admin says:

    OK guys, you got it! Thanks!

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