Thursday, March 28, 2013

Random thoughts, or It must be the medicine talking

You have no idea how bummed out (for British readers, the expression has absolutely nothing to do with one’s bum being out; it means depressed) I become when a post of mine receives no comments.

On some days, trying to blog is very much like whistling in the dark, spitting into the wind, casting one’s bread upon the waters (a reference to Ecclesiastes 11:1), shouting into the abyss (pick metaphor -- or rather, simile -- of choice).

Our grandparents said, “between Scylla and Charybdis,” our parents said, “between the Devil and the deep blue sea” and we say, “between a rock and a hard place.”

Our grandparents said, “the Sabbath,” our parents said, “Sunday” and we say, “the weekend."

The decline and fall of Western civilization is almost complete.

In this post I have decided to stick with American punctuation and forego the British. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, join the club.

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.

When you're down at the sea and an eel bites your knee, that’s a moray.

(Photo used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

The moon is full tonight.

I am reminded of Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach”:

“The sea is calm to-night.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand;
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

“Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Aegean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

“The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

“Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.”

If anyone knows about naked shingles, it’s me.

According to Wikipedia, William Butler Yeats responds directly to Arnold’s pessimism in his four-line poem, “The Nineteenth Century and After” (1929):

“Though the great song return no more
There’s keen delight in what we have:
The rattle of pebbles on the shore
Under the receding wave.”

I think Yeats has described exactly how I feel when a post of mine receives no comments.

I doubt that I shall be blogging much in the next few days, as I have a funeral to play for this afternoon, and a rehearsal tonight with the women’s ensemble, and a Good Friday service tomorrow, and an Easter Sunrise service, and the regular Sunday morning service to boot. Well, not to boot, but you know what I mean.

So I’ll see ya when I see ya.

If anyone cares.


klahanie said...

Greetings, my human friend,

Actually a number of your British readers are bilingual. I do understand what a bummer it can be to not get comments. In the early days of our blog, we got little response. We did realise that through being proactive, that we would increase awareness.

Warning, this will be a rambling comment. In the blogging world, there are some superficial, bordering on cynical aspects. For instance, I know of a number of sites that have over 1000 "followers", we hate that word and zero comments. That tells us something. You see, there are bloggers out there who just link in to blogs, never to return. They get reciprocated by having that person link into their blog. And yes, there's those blogging challenges, blogfests and blog hops. That brings further attention. Personally, we find them a cynical exercise and a sad ego trip for those who host them.

Okay, enough of that. I know you will understand that blogging can be a cathartic and therapeutic resource. Just verbalising, getting it out there, can be cleansing.

I have read your posting in full. And nothing has been lost in translation. My human is fluent in North American, notably west coast Canadian, eh.

And, my human friend, we care.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

Helsie said...

there have been quite a few posts at the moment about comments and the lack of them. I think we are all getting a bit lazy. We just tend to read and go thinking we won't be missed and anyhow we haven't got much to contribute. I know I'm guilty of this but also know how eagerly I look each morning and how disappointed I am if there are no comments. I can see there have been lots of visitors though. I need an ap that shows me who's been visiting instead of just a number. Perhaps then at least I'll know if they are regulars or random accidents.
I visit you every day Robert.

Katherine said...

Well, I have been away and that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it (a saying of my mother's)
So, to catch up:
1. Nothing wrong with a post that is about random thoughts. They are fun!

2. I'm sorry to hear you have / are being ill with the dreaded shingles. I've heard it is very painful. I wish you a speedy recovery.

3. You know, of course, that you if you judge your worth by the number of comments, you will inevitably have problems. Sometimes things just happen in people's lives (like my own) and the computer stays off for a while. You are still a wonderful, charming, kind and thoughtful person!

4. Although I don't always comment when your post is about things American, (simply because I don't always relate to that country), I still usually read, and almost always learn something.

5. From now on, I promise I will leave a comment, even if it's only 'Good morning!'

rhymeswithplague said...

Well, klahanie (or rather, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar) in the U.K., helsie in Brisbane, Australia, and Katherine DeChevalle in Bay of Plenty, New Zealant, are my new favorite three people in the whole world!

I do apologize if you felt any pressure from me to comment, as that was not my intention (but "How could you have felt otherwise?" he asked).

You have renewed my faith, such as it was, in humankind.

I'm easy.

Snowbrush said...

"I have a funeral to play for"

What do you get if you win?

I used to go to loads of funerals, what with working for three funeral homes over the years. I don't remember being touched by much of anything about those funerals except for one where nobody came but the gravediggers and funeral directors. I also remember being touched by individual corpses, some whose faces I liked, thinking as I did that we might have been friends, and other who I pitied because they died so young and so needlessly, like the young newlyweds who burned to death cleaning their gas oven with gasoline.

I don't recall getting no comments, but I often get very few, and sometimes, I remember that I probably put in 10-20 hours on that post (not that I ever count) and for what? Why do I bother? I wrote today's post about gay marriage in about more than 3 hours, and then Deb left that response, and blogging seemed worthwhile.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Of course we care! And stop being so flaming maudlin! Bummed out? Bummed out? Yes we English could read things in to that expression that would astonish you but I can't speak for the Scots, Welsh or Irish who inhabit entirely different countries and may interpret the term "bummed out" very differently as far as I know. In Wales I believe it may have something to do with sheep farmers' sons and their animal husbandry.

rhymeswithplague said...

I already thanked klahanie (Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar) and Helsie and Katherine (God bless them all), and now I add good old Snowbrush and good old Yorkshire Pudding to the mix, as well as to the list of my favorite people in the whole world.

I must say, even though all of you are regular commenters here, my grumbling seems to have produced lengthier comments from you and ones of higher quality. I guess the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

I do thank YP for that info about Welsh sheep farmers' sons. I didn't know.

And to answer Snowbrush's question ("What do you get if you win?" [after I said I had a funeral to play for]): If I win, given that our church is composed mostly of old people, I get to do it again in a couple of months. Reminds me of my sex life, back when I had a sex life.

You guys bring out the worst in me.

I love it.

Snowbrush said...

"If I win, given that our church is composed mostly of old people, I get to do it again in a couple of months."

Until you die in harness and they sing A capella at your funeral? Remember Ecclesiastes, the part about a house of mourning being preferable to a house of mirth.