Of blogging and living

As I said in the comments in the previous post, I really appreciate all those that stopped by and commented. I’ve not posted since then and had not posted for many days before that post. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I have a blog and I’m just feeling kind of stuck. I suppose it mirror’s my life at the moment. I’m not really feeling stuck just somewhat sad and content at the same time.

Sad and content is a strange combination. Of course that’s a bit simplistic and there are layers of other emotions within that. I’m not just sad but seething with anger and frustration as well. I’m content in the sense that I find happiness in a very simple life. I’ve withdrawn from life… dropped out to use a phrase from the 60s. I guess in many ways I’ve given up hope that we humans will figure it out. To be exact I’ve given up hope that the U.S. will figure it out.

So I’m content in the sense that I have spent the past two years getting to know my family again and am participating in their lives in a more meaningful way. I’m content in knowing that I’m not driving and not consuming much of anything at all. I’m happy to be gardening and reintroducing (at least a wee little bit) the native plants of this particular Missouri hillside. This life that I’m now living is very different from the 15 years I spent in Memphis and it is that difference that I’m trying to work through.

My life in Memphis was centered on the role of activist. My time there reads like the scrolling credits of a movie… one project after another. Generally they were not “successful” but the point is that they were attempts and I usually learned something from them. I wish I had tried harder. Looking back I see certain mistakes that seem obvious today. I would do it all again but I’m not sure why. That brings me back to my previous post in which I mentioned my dissatisfaction with the number of visitors to my blog and questions about why I blog.

Back in 1997 I started my first website which was a site for Free Radio Memphis. I became an internet junkie and started building other websites. Somehow that evolved into a general computer geekness and ultimately a role as tech support for a small segment of my particular community in Memphis. Tech work became a part of my activism. I bring this up because these days, as mentioned above, I’ve dropped out. My only activism, if it can be called that at all, is this blog. This is my only little voice to the world. I suppose this post is a post about blogs as citizen media. I don’t blog for personal reasons. I certainly don’t mind sharing many personal things in my blog but I don’t view it as my online journal. My primary interest in blogs is their potential as a medium for citizens to communicate about the problems we as citizens need to deal with.

I suppose I’m dealing with certain contradictions within my life. I’m no longer participating, no longer active as a citizen in a community and yet on a certain level I still desire that participation. As an anarchist I’ve long thought such participation a fundamental responsibility of freedom. What kind of anarchist stops participating in times like these? So I tell myself that it is enough to read and write… that it is only a temporary stay of activism. I tell myself that I am contributing via this blog which sets up a certain expectation. See where I’m heading with this? I see the numbers which I view to be (at some level) an indicator of effectiveness and I realize that the blog is not enough. Of course I know the blog is not enough and yet I fail to move on to any further action.

Which brings me me back to the question of life… living… life and how to live it. Where is the movement? Have we all quit? Have I quit? Collectively… we’ve screwed up in so many different ways… it is overwhelming. I look at what little I have done and I’m not happy with it. I’m not sure I know where to go from here, not sure where we go from here. How do we change course, is it an impossible task? I tell myself I’m just one little person and that I can be content with what I’ve done. I tell myself that it’s okay to just live like squirrel: eat, sleep, poop, and every now and then goof a little. I may not be contributing to the building of a movement but at least I have minimized the damage I do. But it’s not enough… or maybe it is… I end up where I started.

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