Monday, March 03, 2008

Happy Trails

One, I'm only doing this until I get another job or get bored with it, whichever comes first. And two, I'm not going to turn this into a bitchandwhineapalooza.”

–John Left, 4-12-05 (post #1)

Please forgive Brother John for quoting himself. The quote was taken from my very first posting for Ye Olde Blog, back on April 12, 2005. Wow, was it that long ago? Not such a long time, in numerical terms. In life terms, it seems like. . .well, a lifetime.

But the above quote serves a purpose. There’s no sense repeating what I’ve already said, and said in a more concise way than I could if I attempted to do so today.

Kindred Souls, this is the hardest post I’ve ever written. Why the hardest? Because it will be the last one.

I had every intention of continuing “John Left’s Field” into the future. But circumstances both beyond and within my control prevent me from doing so. First, it’s the quality of the writing. In case you didn’t notice, it’s kind of leveled off in the past couple of months. I’ve burdened you with slipshod, throwaway-types of pieces. That’s because I haven’t been devoting the time to this blog that I wanted to and should have. Lately, I’ve found that I either haven’t had that time to spend or needed to spend the time on other, equally worthwhile pursuits: family, friends, career and all the details that come with them. Should I apologize for that? Okay, consider it done.

Second, the subject matter. I had a definite conclusion for this tale. It hasn’t happened yet. I’m still working on it. But in the meantime, I feel I’ve mined this vein for all the treasure it’s worth. If you keep boiling the same soup bones over and over, eventually, all you get is a watery broth. That, I refuse to serve you. While I did intend to cast my net a bit farther than my main topic, I’ll admit I strayed pretty far off the page. In doing so, I hope I provided you with some good reading. It gave this blog a crazy-quilt kind of quality, but for the most part, I think it was worthwhile.

Last, the tone. At the beginning, I said I wanted to avoid a “bitchandwhineapalooza”. I’ve gone on record stating that I hate being preached at. I tried hard to avoid doing so. I didn’t always succeed. A forum like this lends itself to doing so. There is a time when spouting off is appropriate. Lately, though, I’ve been spending a little too much time in the pulpit. In order to be the writer I want to be, I need to wean myself off of that habit.

On the plus side, I am amazed that this project lasted as long as it did. I have a three-ring binder filled with my posts; the binder holds roughly 300 pages. The binder is practically full. I can’t believe I wrote that much. I mean, I'm not known for following through on stuff. But you know that already. I’m even more amazed that you read that much–congratulate yourselves on a task well done! It must not have been easy at times.

This endeavor has, if nothing else, widened my horizons. Through “John Left’s Field”, I’ve learned that blogging is a thriving forum (art form?) which has swept the world. Through, I’ve heard from readers as far-flung as India, England and everywhere between. 98% of my readers have been intelligent, sensitive and perceptive. Knowing that these people have, regularly, taken the time to read and respond to my posts leaves me thrilled and honored beyond words. Thank you, ALL of you, so very much for this privilege.

I won’t say I’m quitting blogging forever. I do have some plans for the writing I’ve done here. At this time, I can’t say more than that. And who knows? After some time off, I may change my mind. The blogging habit, I’ve been told, is a hard one to break.

My parting remarks? Keep blogging; the blogosphere needs intelligent, compassionate people like you. Read between the lines–in life, as well as in blogs. And the next time you’re in a long checkout line at Whatever Mart, be patient with the cashier. That person needs their job, and they’re probably being worked like a plow-horse for very little money. Or they’re a dumbass. This is one more reason to be patient. I mean, there’s no sense in watering a dead plant, right?

So, now it’s time for Cowboy John to ride off into the sunset. Like Roy Rogers once sang, Happy Trails to you, until we meet again.

(originally posted in October, 2007)


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