Tuesday, April 17, 2007

One Year of Blogging

We're making enemies faster
than we can kill them.
--bumper sticker reported in NCR

Happy Anniversary to me!

I've been slogging away at the blogs now for exactly one year. And this is my 145th entry. Can't say as they've all been readable, but I have enjoyed putting pen to paper (metaphorically speaking) and expressing my thoughts in this cyberspace. And even a few people have told me they appreciated what I had to say.

If you want to read the first blog I wrote, click here. It kind of sets the tone for what followed.

Politically, little seems to have changed in the last year. The war in Iraq goes on, Bush remains in office unimpeached, the protests against his imperial reign continue. Sure, Democrats now control both houses of Congress after the November elections. But their efforts to stop the Bush-Cheney debacle seem somewhat feeble so far.

Spiritually, I feel more estranged than ever from the institutional Church. For me, all dogma is up for grabs. Friends wonder why I still identify as a Catholic while quarreling with almost all core beliefs. But for me the church is "the people of God," as Vatican II worded it, and "God" is just a word for the mystery of the divine within us all and in all of creation. I am less and less interested in the fingers that point to the moon and more drawn to the moon itself.

Sexually, my time in Thailand in January and February was a revelation, helping me to confront my aloneliness and loneliness, and to recognize that age has not diminished my capacity to love and be loved in return. Sex is the most difficult of my topics to write about, and I lost at least two readers when they realized I was sleeping with my guide and translator on Koh Samui. The challenge in the second year of blogging is to explore the interconnections for me between spirituality, sexuality and aging in some depth, truthfully and honestly. And sex, as we know, is always political.

I am most happy with the blogs I wrote on my journeys -- to Madison, Wisconsin, in the spring, Argentina and Chile in the summer, to New England in the fall, and to India and Thailand at the end of the year. Almost every day while traveling I wrote about my experiences, and included photos from my digital camera to illustrate each entry. Being on the road in some new place, suspended between before and next, is always a joy and a delight.

Throughout the year I wrote about other passions as well, movies and music and the occasional book (just finished the short but moving Milk by Darcy Steinke) that crossed my path. Netflix provided me with over 40 movies from Argentina to watch before I traveled south, and lately I've been seeing interesting films by directors from Thailand (who seem mostly obsessed with ghosts and gangsters), Japan and South Korea. Along with the vast collection of tangos on the iPod, I've added folk music from Isan in the north of Thailand, as well as older material by Julio Iglesias and the Cubans, Silvio and Pablo, and new songs by Bright Eyes and Andrew Bird.

Now, as I look forward to the future, or at least the next year, I am faced with some momentous decisions. Do I travel to southeast Asia for an extended stay in the fall (which means I should probably give up my apartment in Santa Cruz)? Do I turn my back on America and its corrupted political process and corrosive consumer culture, for a simpler life in a third world country? Do I explore the opportunities for May-December romance with partners who speak little English and whose cultural values are so different from my own? There are no easy answers.

I will turn 68 this summer and the body makes its age known in many ways. I had my sore right knee checked for arthritis and will soon have an MRI to see if surgery is needed for a torn meniscus. This week I get a crown on a tooth to keep it from cracking; there are so few left now that I can only chew on one side. I've decided to stop watching my prostate since I've ruled out any intervention in advance, but feel miraculously free of symptoms at the moment. (Just yesterday another friend told me of his diagnosis for the same disease that killed Peter and that threatens my lifespan.) But my mind is good and leaps with agility from one object of curiosity to another. Life is endlessly fascinating. In the last day two people, one online and another in person, have marveled at the freedom I have in the life I have constructed after the divorce six years ago. I feel humble and very grateful.

Dear reader, those few of you who are out there, thank you for your cards, letters, emails, phone calls and conversation (there are at least three of you I am thinking about). And if it occurs to you, please leave a comment here now and then to let me know I have an audience for these musings and ravings on the topics so dear to our heart.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What? No GRINDHOUSE review? Sheesh. All sarcasm aside - happy 1-year.

C & S.