Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Who lives, who dies, who tells your story


But when you’re gone, who remembers your name?
Who keeps your flame, who tells your story?  
Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your StoryLin-Manuel Miranda
Good question. I suppose I do. Oh, not after I'm gone. But now, through this blog, in bits and pieces. My story is woven in and out of the posts. You can find little tidbits of my life and thoughts.

Not that that is why I started blogging. It just started evolving that way. Because, if nothing else, I think I am a pretty good storyteller. And since I am not famous and not constantly shadowed by the press looking for trivia about my life, it falls to me to tell my story. But for the life of me though, I don't know why anyone cares about the lives of famous people anyway.

I've written before about wishing that I had more of my parent's stories. My father died before I thought to ask him what his story was. And I waited too long to ask my mother. By the time I did, much of it had faded from her mind.

My children will at least have my blog. For what that is worth. They may not care. I occasionally try and tell them what it was like for me growing up or at various stages in my life. But I think it is the nature of youth not to hear such stories. At least when I'm gone, and if they want to know, this blog will be there...or somewhere...for them to find out.

On my recent trip to Boise, I pointed out the landmarks of my youth to the people traveling with me. But since it was a business trip, there was no more than polite interest in my stories. I can't blame them. They are my stories. There is no reason for people you work with to care about where I went to high school or why I left Boise.

And on the same trip I became painfully self-conscious of my sense of humor, or more precisely, my "dad jokes." Again, the people I was travelling with and the people in the production company laughed politely at my jokes. But I sensed that was largely because I was the client and they needed to humor me. So I have this sense of self-loathing for becoming one of those old guys who tries too hard to be funny.

All of this leads me to confine all of my stories, and my humor,  to my blog. Then I am spared the patronizing, though polite responses. Though Dan Zarella pointed out in his book, Hierarchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas  that people will be more likely to read your blog if you present yourself as an authority and don't write about yourself. Because, he states, no one wants to read about you.

Ironically the post I wrote about Zarella's book is the most popular one I've ever written. I wrote it seven years ago and it still gets traffic. Not sure what draws people to it. Maybe it is because it is a post that isn't about me.

It's not that I write about the mundane details of my life like the fact I spent a good portion of my weekend weed whacking the endless supply of weeds on my backyard slope and then using my new electric chain saw to dissect the carcass of a tree that fell in the wilder portions of the slope and almost took out another section of fence that is ready to fall down anyway.

I also don't generally write about my aches and pains (though lately my hands have been stiff and painful, especially after hours working in the yard). Because although I bluster about writing about anything I damn well choose to in my blog, I have established informal parameters that I won't keep repeating myself about being invisible due to my age, not understanding why I have lost contact with most of my friends, wondering why few people read my blog, or marveling at the stupidity of people who still think the buffoon in the White House is making America great again. Talking about aches and pains and what I had for breakfast is also generally taboo (though I did have half a breakfast sandwich and a can of V-8).

.I am glad I got that off my chest. And at least my children will get the sense that I sort of had a healthy diet...well that's my story anyway.




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