Friday, January 1, 2016

Well, I'm Back

After an absence of almost half a year, I'm finally able to open the old place up and let a little fresh air in through the windows. It's been a rough half-year, what with my computer going flooey, and half the electricity in my little house blowing out, and facing complicated health problems that demanded much of my attention, and so on, and on. It certainly didn't help that those people who I most love and are most concerned with were undergoing similar trials. But as things seem to be settling into a kind of equilibrium (if not complete peace), I thought that, now a new year is here, I would try a return to Power of Babel.

I must admit I have a few qualms about a return. After this unintentional vacation I feel a little rusticated, having been forced to rely on input merely from television and the limitations of the local bookstore. I missed ranging the internet, and having access to Amazon to buy the more obscure volumes I wanted (I was in the middle of chewing through G. K. Chesterton's collected essays for The Illustrated London News, and had only got up to Volume V). I couldn't even access my music from iTunes. Lacking these pleasant distractions while going through a rather grim period made it even grimmer, and reminded me of the fragility of the bracing web of culture in the face of howling chaos.

Then again, I found it a kind of relief not to have to think about posting. I found that I could go without telling the universe my opinions, and the universe was perfectly happy to go along without them. And, as a matter of fact, my posts had devolved into simply putting out batches of images without any context, simply because I liked them, and mostly (I am a terrible re-blogger) without proper credit. An image dump is not a bad thing, but if that was all that I do I should just get a Tumblr. My best efforts, I think, are when I am either exploring an unconsidered nook of popular culture, or talking about a new book on a subject with which I have some familiarity. These opportunities are by nature few and far between, but in the meantime one feels the need to supply some sort of content to feed the interest of one's visitors (if any).

But it is the mosaic nature of what one chooses that builds up the tone and character of a blog, and reveals who you are for everyone to see. I don't really want to talk about my life (a desperately dull affair mingled with moments of joy and terror), and I don't like to express an opinion without some reasoning to back it up. Even now I am a little uncomfortable talking about my circumstances, instead of some subject that anyone would find even remotely interesting. But, lest any should think I'm talking from some comfortable throne on high, I only have a place to live because of the kindness and charity of my relations, I have a despised occupation (the much-denigrated job of burger flipping), and indeed am so poor as to be on the local county indigent health care.

Don't get me wrong. I feel blessed to have so much. But every book I buy, every little pleasure I obtain, is scrimped and salvaged from limited resources. And they are much-needed necessities to get me through much that is cold and savage, as needed as some people in my circumstances feel they need alcohol or drugs. They want to deaden their feelings (and who can blame them), but I want to keep my mind as alive and as hopeful as possible.

And this blog is, in effect, the little candle I light against that darkness.

So, as I have said, I open up the shutters of this blog and put that little candle in the window. I cannot promise that things will be entirely different, but I hope that they will at least improve a little. Expect to see more pictures, and quotes, and other people's poetry. But I hope to get more original content going again, and follow my interests where they take me, and maybe spark somebody else's interest as well. And so, a Happy New Year!

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