Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stage Fright

Hi. I have a few defunct blogs under my belt, and am wary of blogging in general for reasons of existential import. But also, get this --- I waste time online. I read too many newspapers, I troll around Facebook, I get slogged deeply in message boards on topics that interest me. These pursuits usually dead end without bearing much fruit. My computer's default screen is set to edifying homepages that I quickly run from, like a teenager ducking out of the library to smoke with the rough crowd.

I've had my share of tech burnout and usually step away for at least a month. My experience with taking a break from electronica has been blissful rejuvenation. I make lots of (lame) jokes about having no interest in moderation, anything worth doing is worth overdoing, etc. That isn't true. I admire people with an inherent balance, and I do think it's a goal worth pursuing. What is that principle in physics, where you keep walking halfway to the wall but never arrive? Ironically, without metered progress over time, my Thoreau-styled declarations end up being in vain.

Part of the problem with being of a somewhat extreme mindset is that I tend to be rash. If I sense creeping disaster, I will fast forward to the end in order to be in control. When I've been frustrated by the intrusion of cell phones and computers in the past, my solution has been to trash them rather than changing my habits or looking at things in a different vein. But it's becoming more difficult to live without my Google calendar, people! And I've grown from the tangible benefits of having an online presence. A beloved acquaintance whose life would be otherwise unknown to me has given me more to think about in the past two years than most people I see from day to day. Thank you, Emily and John.

So, with the idea of writing more comes the demand for focus. There aren't any big ideas at the moment. I'll try not to be too navel-gazy and I promise not to bore you with baby stories. I named my blog Lox Populi because the Latin is bouncy and salmon is the best food on earth. And people do like bagels, universally. Wait, does it read like I'm comparing people to bagels?


  1. You have nicely mirrored my own deep desire to achieve the holistic balance that I so admire in the best people I know. I took it up a notch this year by becoming a novice Benedictine oblate (and, yes, I do clearly see the irony of taking such extreme measures). I do think, though, that the tendency to immerse in one activity or one pursuit for long periods of time does indicate something positive: the inordinate ability to concentrate fully on one thing; a dogged persistence (wrestle that "whatever it is" to the ground); or just plain fascination with something worth pursuing. I think balance is a worthy goal and at least keeps us mindful of the competing demands on our beings: we are mind, body, spirit.

  2. Tell me more, SFox! I have a lot to thank St. Benedict for, and have just been revisiting A Mother's Rule of Life, which is based on his Rule. I like your points about balance.