Monday, March 13, 2017

If a blog falls in the forest and there is no one there to read it, does it make a sound?

Dizgraceland ko·an: a paradoxical blog, used in cyberspace to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment. Or not.
I suppose I could have titled this post, "What is the sound of one blog clapping?" but that wouldn't make any sense. Nor would "Show me the blog you wrote before you were born." I think I'm fine with wondering if a blog falling in the forest with no one to read it makes a sound.

I remember having to write an essay in an 8th-grade creative writing class about whether a tree falling in the forest with no one there to hear it would make a sound. I blathered on for a page or two about there always being something to hear it (animals, insects, plants) so yes, it made a sound. It wasn't a very creative essay.

Yet here I am, 44 or so years later blathering on about the proverbial koan and its proverbial sounds. I have to admit I was feeling a bit maudlin about blogging today. Every now and then I check my stats and reread some of my posts from the early days of my blogging career that have been getting hits recently and marvel at the number of comments. The comments were from a group of regulars that I grew to think of as my virtual entourage.
Those were the days my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way.
La la la la, Those were the days, oh yes those were the days
Oh my god, I'm breaking into maudlin songs mid blog post which is worse than my normal digressions or lugubrious howls.

But yes, those were the days, and they've passed. Losing blogging buddies is another inevitable thing you learn about life as you age. Real friends used to come and go through various stages of my life. Now virtual friends echo that cycle. It's inevitable as your children growing up before you know it and pets aging and dying.

I sat at a choir concert of my daughter the other night and watched the grade schoolers and high schoolers engaged in the concert filled with energy and hope and excitement. One of the songs was from Matilda called, "When I grow up."
When I grow up
I will be tall enough to reach the branches
that I need to reach to climb the trees
you get to climb when you're grown up.
And when I grow up
I will be smart enough to answer all the questions
 that you need to know the answers to
before you're grown up. 
 And for some reason while I listened to them sing, I felt sad. I remembered all of the concerts I'd performed in and how long ago it was. I thought about how weary I'd become and didn't feel full of energy and hope and excitement. Because I'm grown up. And it isn't anything like you imagine it would be.

It is true that when you are young you think you have all the time in the world. And it is with a great deal of righteous indignation when you discover you don't. But in your youth, nothing can convince you otherwise, especially not older people warning you that time is fleeting.

Which is why this blog falling slowing in the forest falls on deaf ears. But if you listen closely you can hear a very faint but steady lugubrious howl.

Or maybe it's that one hand clapping. I always get the two mixed up.

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