It Was Twenty Years Ago Today

That I wrote my first entry on this blog.

Blogging was new. Very new. Back then it was more like an emerging art form. There were ‘rules’. “In order to have a successful blog, you must write OFTEN, every day would be best!” I took those words seriously as when I just looked at the month of November in my archives, I DID blog every single day in November 2002.

Evidently, I thought I had a lot to say. And evidently, I did, because 20 years is like the age of the Parthenon on the internet.

However, I am here to say farewell.

But it won’t be a brief farewell, because I want to try to explain to you, my faithful readers… and to myself, why I don’t think this is an appropriate place for me anymore.

You know I think I have mentioned on a few occasions… though come to think of it, that may have been Dr. Rubber Duckie, that Carl Jung would be positively appalled at how we have opened our psyches up to the WWW. It’s interesting that it’s called (or used to be) the World Wide Web. If you read that literally, spiders come to mind. And figuratively too. For we ARE caught up in a spider’s web now. Only thing is, I’m not sure who the spider represents, and I don’t know how long it will take for it to consume us.

(This is turning very dark. You are making me uncomfortable.)

Wow. I didn’t think that was possible.

Anyway, Jung used to say there was a reason people had a Parlor in their houses. It was the room you invited people off the street into your house. It wasn’t a room that you yourself used unless you had company. You only received your closest friends into the inner sanctum of your home.

“Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.”

(You couldn’t resist, could you?)


Anyway, over the last few years, as my postings became more and more sporadic, I tried to figure out why it was more of an effort to write. And I’m going to take a stab at a few explanations.

For one, our society has become hyper political. I mean seriously, in my state, even plastic straws are political. Every year, then every month, then every DAY, new phrases or words were put on the list of ‘unacceptable speech’. And as someone who was not prone to writing offensive things in the first place, that usually didn’t come up as a problem. But it was so pernicious that soon I realized that I was censoring myself over what used to be completely benign literary expressions.

This resulted in fewer and fewer things that I could write about comfortably, because I don’t want to be an ass just to prove I can say whatever I want. But it also made me feel disingenuous.

But my dear friends, this makes for very dull writing. Very dull indeed. Dull for me, and dull for you.

And because I am not clever enough, nor do I have the emotional energy to go deep into the analysis of the many ways this is messing up our lives, I am choosing to bow out now, so as not to become the yard and garden report, or the farmer’s almanac. Other people have that base covered quite well.

And as proof, my last entry was about peas. Seriously.

(She rests her case.)

Additionally, even though I was doing it back in 2002, over the years it has increased to the point that now I spend virtually all of my time with my nose in some kind of Torah book. I realized that writing about the esoteric subjects I’m pursuing might not be of interest and might even annoy. And I NEVER want to annoy a reader. I resent it bitterly myself and respect you too much to do that to you.

I have been privileged to learn deep Torah from a great scholar, and I now teach classes of my own. This is what occupies the majority of my time.

(When you aren’t digging potatoes or mowing the lawn or stacking wood that is.)

Some things, alas, never change.

As the Zen kōan says: Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.

So, my dear friends, I am signing off. It was a blessing to spar with you in the comments, and I thank you for lightening my load during difficult times in my life. I hope more than anything I was able to make you smile and maybe laugh out loud from time to time. That was my greatest wish.

You have my email address. Do not hesitate to write once in a while. I’d love to stay in touch, because we have been travelling companions for a long time, and I won’t soon forget you.

Much love and gratitude for your forbearance.

(Umm…. I guess I should say goodbye too. I’m not sure what I will do with myself now. I’ve been doing this job for twenty years.)

Ever chop wood, or carry water?