23 January 2010

300: It IS Madness, Not Just Sparta


That is the number for my post today. 300 posts in a little over 1 year of blogging. I was taken aback when I sat down to write, because I had lost track, and looked up at the dashboard to see '299'.


There is nothing inherently special about the number 300. It gains importance only in relation to the context in which it is applied. That, and the human tendency to attach significance to numbers big, round and/or even.

300 grains of sand? Not much. 300 pounds of platinum? Well, that there is something else!

I look back on all the posts I have created, and wonder: how many are grains of sand, and how many are a pound of platinum? It would be hard to quantify, again because of context. I have a deep attachment to the posts I have written about my children and their loss, for example. I also am quite fond of the ones that have a humorous take on life. The fiction pieces I am quite proud of, they are a catalog of that which I did not know was me. To borrow an analogy, if the house was on fire and I could only save one or two prized possessions, I cannot say which ones I would grab. Because...well...I cherish them all.

"The Sicilians would rather eat their children than part with money. And they are very fond of their children!" - that's Kathleen Turner in the movie Prizzi's Honor, and I hope I'm quoting that correctly. Even if not exact, it conveys what I mean*. I would not want to give up any of the things I have written, or retract them, or erase them. These words, these posts, they all represent bits and pieces of that which make the "Me" of me.

All that I have written, from the scared to the brave, from the fact to the fiction, from the hardheaded to the insightful...it's all me. I did not know this when I began writing everyday, long ago and far way in the galaxy that was October 2008. There was no mighty occurrence, no event in specific that got me started. At least, none that I was aware of at the time.

That came later.

What I didn't know then, but do know now, is that for most of my life I had a voice that was trapped in my head like a fly in amber. And like that fly in amber, for most of my life I felt paralyzed by the medium around me. I could see, feel and  hear...but could not effectively respond. Fear. Shyness. Anxiety. The feeling that everyone thought I was the biggest goober in the known Universe, and that if I opened my mouth all I would do is prove them right.

Consequently, I gradually became frozen, figuratively trapped in that hard matrix I called my life. For many years, I told myself it was okay, I could live like that because it was safe. Like many lies, if they get repeated often enough that assume the patina of Truth. My Truth became my amber, and the memory/desire to be more than I was faded under each succeeding layer added over the years. Emotional ossification set in and I learned to not struggle, because struggling just made it worse. The fossil record began to complete itself.

It is, as we all know, a dynamic universe. The general framework remains the same, but a lot of particulars change and mutate and evolve, and just do not stand still. So it was in my life. A lot of emotionally charged events have taken place in my life in the past six or so years. Some of them I have chronicled quite plainly here in this bowl of verbal gumbo, some of them have informed what I spill upon these electrons without showing their faces directly. Some I have not yet worked up the courage to write into being, I'm still sorting through the mental soil of my own private archaeological dig.

The bones are there, I can feel them. In my dreams, in my prayers, in the hot furnace of my heart...these things stoke the fire and force me to give voice to that which I always held in my mind, for fear of ridicule or condemnation.

No longer. No longer...there is more room out than there is in, and I'm hearing my voice for the first time in years. I'm more grateful than I can say that you have chosen to listen along with me.

*And before anyone gets their undies in a wad, I would never, ever want to really eat my child. Shame on you!


  1. good thing you put that little note down there, I was worried for a minute...

    Congrats on 300, I'm watching my posts go up to, although I have yet to reached 300 and have had this thing for awhile

  2. Goodness ya big goober, you're sooooooo unbelievably NOISEY!!! And in the immortal words of parents everywhere 'turn that crap down'!!!

    On a serious note though, as obviously that previous note was one of absolute facetiousness, I adore visiting your blog each day. It brings me through a range of emotions. I would even post a comment on each one, if only my PC didn't eff up so often!

    Keep on pluckin' out dem bones ... we'll be here to gnaw on them.


  3. I'm glad you decided to thaw your thoughts here. I've enjoyed reading them.

  4. I'm happy you chose to let your thoughts spill out onto the page. I have found them to be heartwrenching, endearing, funny and very, very real (and I'm pretty sure that was just this month).

    For whatever reason you've chosen to let them out I'm glad.

  5. That's some metablogging, IG. :-) Glad to read along.
    I'm at 333, and I have to say I like it when the numbers line up like that.
    Happy Saturday.

  6. Remote hard drive. Then you can just grab it and run.

  7. Bravo! happy 300. I think the big round numbers deserve some sort of recognition, at least a mental nod, since they are a sort of milestone. That you've come back to this place 300 times to create, purge, process, whatever. And I'm so glad I stumbled into the treasures you share. I'd be curious about reading the archives, but for some reason I feel like it's sort of invasive...kind of like peeking in someone else's medicine cabinet. wtf?

  8. we all need to listen to that tiny, small nagging voice deep in our souls. It tends to know what it is talking about.


  9. and may I just say...........sparta........

  10. I'm only speculating of course but, do you think 600 might have an altogether different face?
    Or maybe just more prominent?
    (Once we find It, it's hard to change.)

  11. I would not want to choose among your posts which to save and which to let burn either. I would save them all, whatever the risk.

    Just sucking up here...

    It ain't the quantity, it's the quality. And you have managed both.

  12. why not? kids are delicious with a little hot sauce.

  13. Blogging and/or chronicling life as we know it really has been so therapeutic for us in so many ways. 300 posts is a HUGE number in a little over a year, so kudos to you for both quantity and quality, a marker of a fine writer and human being indeed.

    Hugs, Irish.

  14. This..is...BLOGGA!

    Happy 300, old boy! Here's to the next 300...

  15. I'm surprised how much my writing has changed over the last 4 years. I'm not quite as angry anymore. I don't know if I'm all outraged out or if I am really mellowing with age.

  16. Happy 300. I'm somewhere in the 250's at the moment. I think we all evolve in our writing and it's a good thing too. I wouldn't want to write the way I did in High School, or in College. I rather like the way my writing has evolved.

    Hoping to see a lot of variety in the next 300.

  17. Its hard keeping up with this mind of yours these days Irish!
    I stay away from blogging for a few days and you've gotten loads of words out there!!

    You've got one of the best blogs going Irish, its one which I always look forward to and one which pushes this medium in ways which I adore.

    Its a strange old thing, I'm starting to think that the best blogs are the most honest ones and the ones we're the writer doesn't give a feck what people think...like yours.

    300 eh? Christ, I reckon I'll be pushing up daisy's before I reach that milestone and level of quality!!

    Keep it up.....no pressure!

  18. Congratulations on your 300th post. It is good to come by here and read your stories, poems, thoughts.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...