Reading Between the Lines
I read your eloquent post today, the one explaining your recent hiatus. I’ve always admired your site and how you kept it fresh for so many years. It has been a continued inspiration. I can’t count the number of posts I’ve made emulating the style and content of yours. Your other work—your short stories and your novel—have inspired me even further. They were the nudge which turned the Flippist ‘key’ enough to open the door to my own long-form writing; something I’ve been meaning to do since I was a child.
When you stopped posting last fall, I knew there were reasons behind it. I’m beginning to think that there are infinite reasons for stopping a blog but not many rational ones for continuing one. That said, emotions and the longings of the heart are never rational. It’s the ‘real-life’ storyteller's dilemma: always trying to relate a narrative which one only sees a small part of, with ever-changing plot lines, told to a world of indifference and incomprehension. In your post you crystallized the only real reason to continue: it is a calling.
“ …sometimes you are called to do something that you may not even enjoy all the time, but that compels you in both internal and external ways to take part in… ”I couldn’t have said it any better myself. You mentioned that you had receded from all forms of social media, that I can understand. The ‘noise’ you referred to is the flip side of being interconnected. Not a malevolent force but, rather, a dumb colossus that roams the web, crushing subtlety and beauty under its mass of inanity and commerce.
Of course, it is different now, different than it was at the time you started you endeavor. I can’t imagine living the way you must, among a throng of strangers, in great numbers, overwhelming what is basically just a small city. My early visits to your town, in the off-season, were to a place that has now changed in many ways. But the moments I remember and cherish most were those of quiet and gentle interactions with the people, the people who have always made your city such a special place. I may not return, but those days and nights I spent there will never leave me, as long as my memory persists.