Begin again

I find multitasking and code-switching a tad challenging. For this reason, three years ago, when I launched into a non-communications/ non-social media-ish job, I found myself essentially hanging up my bloggy spurs.

I did not, however, melt them down and make lawn art out of them. Fortunately for my neighbors.

Fig. A.

And  yet! I now find myself, much to my delight, in the position of directing communications at this selfsame organization. This job is not only in the right ballpark (I was there already) but at the right position therein.

Hosana and not a moment too soon!  Because in a scant few weeks we’re due for quite a political sea-change, something that – for me, and 65,844,953 others like me – looks to be more challenging than rivers being turned into blood, the dust of the land becoming lice, being strafed by swarms of flies, watching helplessly as livestock fall grievously ill, gaping in horror as festering boils break out on all of us everywhere, fruitlessly seeking shelter from thunderstorms of hail and fire, swatting back boatloads of locusts, enduring three days of darkness, or the tenth – which I can’t even speak of.

Yep, I’m talking the Eleventh plague, totally overlooked by biblical historians and prognosticators, whom I don’t blame for not calling this Trump thing because it took a lot of other people by surprise too.

I hope to make my way back here as a means of orientation amidst what promises to be, to say least, interesting times.  About that – the Eleventh Plague – there’s much to say, but the short version is: we got this. Activists remain active and are activating yet more; movement continues to move and with renewed vigor; we know what to do, because we’ve done this very recently; and we’re fired up and ready to go. See you on January 21, folks, and at Solidarity Sundays in the meanwhile.

Now to the quotidian and local: much has shifted in the two or three years I’ve spent away from this blog in particular and social media in general (leastwise as a visible consumer and content creator). Several such are worth noting:

  • I was so deeply asleep at the blog-tending wheel that I lost access to the core URL for this thing (the .net version) one measly day after the dang thing came due and went up for grabs. Yikes! I wrangled back .com, but am still knocking at the door of that other URL, where the bulk of my various inbound links head to. So. This is like a coffee enema-caliber clean start. Ahem.
  • Many of the functions of blogs – collecting a community of like-minded folks, enabling multi-directional dialog, sharing images and words, and so on – have been captured, if piecemeal, by multiple other tools: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus also (depending on your age and inclinations) LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Kik, Snapchat, Wickr, YikYak, or Whisper, and whatever spiffy product rolls out thereafter. Blogs and bloggery are not quaint or moribund, but they seem to me to represent a more self-selective portion of online readership than they once may have. I may be wrong. Either way, I see this as a good thing anyhow.
  • In the quiet of my online self-representational hiatus, I have become appreciative of the spaciousness gained from life examined but not filtered, edited, and then represented, and shared. But I’ve also missed the joys of authentic engagement with an incredible online community of people I met through this vehicle.
  • My kids have grown older; they now engage with content and communities online; they have a fairly well-informed opinion about their representation online, and take to heart my incessant finger-wagging about how the Internet Never Forgets and Once It’s Online You Can’t Take It Back and so on and so forth. So everything I publish here about them will have met their exacting editorial standards and passed muster.  Words of a wide range seem to be okay: so far, I’ve not broken trust. In fact, I’ll take a moment here to note that I am phenomenally grateful that for over ten years I have written every word with the image of my future tween-aged kids hunched over laptops with either best friends or worst enemies in mind as readers. Because now I have a tween-aged kid hunched over a laptop on my couch, and so far, she has not felt unduly exposed or betrayed, and I’m going to keep it that way, for her and for her brother. However! Images of Actual Persons in the present time will rarely, if ever appear. This will explain the odd cropped image of just my face, as in Figure A. above.

All of these items set my chatter here in quite a different context than that time, a bajillion years ago, when I launched this thing.   I am relieved, though, to finally, haltingly unite what I’ve been doing offline lately – community-building and social justice work on behalf of LGBTQ families in all their intersectional glory – with what I used to like to do online – which basically amounted to the same thing!  Chocolate: meet peanut butter! peanut butter: chocolate! (And if that makes no sense, you must be under 45 years old).

Try as I might, I have found it difficult to keep posts to the standard 500-800 words max. that predominate online media. (I was slack-jawed when I learned at a talk at Fenton years ago that anything above this is considered “long form.”)  I will do my best to help a reader out, as an exercise in attention span muscle-building, by brazenly prattling on in multiple paragraphs whenever I damn well have something multiple paragraph-worthy. I’ll also just knock around and figure out by trial and error just what niche something like this might occupy, cheek by jowl as it is amongst everything else on this noisy noisy web.

(What do all the OG bloggers do nowadays anyhow?  I can’t believe it’s like the end of Lonely Are the Brave, where Kirk Douglas as the last cowboy, on the lamb from the law and from modern society, gets lost in a mountain escape on his way to Mexico, finally riding his horse onto Route 66 at night, only to be blinded and felled by the oncoming, speedy, violent future. Someone’s persevering somewhere with their online equivalent of an Underwood Noiseless and a drippy fountain pen, damn the torpedoes, damn the ever-splintered attention span!)

At any rate. Thank you, whoever you are, for taking the time to read this. Over a decade after my first post, I’m just as appreciative it’s not just me talking to myself. Thanks to the loooong hiatus, it may in fact just may be me, plus a few other Usual Suspects (howdy, friend!), and some hapless souls who backed into here after misspelling “Lebanese duds” on a Google search.

May we all venture into the coming year with courage, imagination, and, most of all, each other.

 

 

42 Responses to Begin again

  1. Laurie January 4, 2017 at #

    Lebanese duds. HA. Missed you so much, Polly. I appreciate you back here as part of the orientation, as you say, that I believe will help us all as this thing jumps off.

  2. Liza January 4, 2017 at #

    I’m so very happy that you are back!

    • LD January 4, 2017 at #

      And I’m so very happy that you’re so very happy! All this encouragement and I will be hanging around this water cooler all the time! XOXO

  3. LD January 4, 2017 at #

    Missed you too, Miss Laurie. Though I’ve been eyeing your flowers and your imagery (quietly) all along. If there’s any jumping off, let’s all do it holding hands, á la Butch and Sundance. Only triumphantly and just beginning-like.

  4. Clare January 4, 2017 at #

    Welcome back! We missed you.

    • LD January 4, 2017 at #

      Clare, the feeling’s mutual (pronounced á la Madeline Kahn in Blazing Saddles). Thank you so much for the warm welcome. I’m heartened and enthused at the same time. Also your daughter cannot possibly be so big as she looks in the pictures I am seeing online. Got to be a stand-in. (!)

      • Clare January 5, 2017 at #

        Crazy! Isn’t it. And we are moving to Ghana.

        • LD January 10, 2017 at #

          Wow. Albania, Ghana. Kind of takes the allure out of my subway commute to San Francisco. Thank you for blogging it all!

  5. Genie January 5, 2017 at #

    THRILLED to see you writing again. Welcome back and thank you for bringing your words to the cause!

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Thank you thank you, neighbor! Glad to be back to work.

  6. alexandra January 5, 2017 at #

    I’m glad I googled Lebanese Duds.

    Good to see you, friend, so good.

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      So good to be in back-and-forth with you, too. All good for the mental health. XO

  7. Elan January 5, 2017 at #

    I’ve been keeping tabs on you lo these three years, and here you are! I just exclaimed in bed after 2am POLLY’S GOT A BLOG POST!

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Elan you’re a beacon. Thank you for keeping the light on as it were. And yes: I might as soon have given birth to a puppy (not easy to do: I’m 10 years into menopause!) as a blog post. Hoping it’s the beginning of litter upon litter.

  8. Old Ain't Dead January 5, 2017 at #

    Welcome back! I missed your perspective and you long form way of talking us through it.

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Thank you so much for the encouragement, Virginia! And I take your authority as very good, so your pro-long form position holds a lot of sway with me. And thank you for remaining online and in bella voce all these years.

  9. Average Jane January 5, 2017 at #

    Welcome back!

  10. Maya January 5, 2017 at #

    Happy to see you back in the blogosphere Polly- we need Lesbian Dads and so many more as we engage the Eleventh Plague… onward!!!

  11. Frelle January 5, 2017 at #

    welcome back!!!! I met you in person a few years ago, having followed your blog, and had been wondering whatever happened to you. I love your writing voice and am very glad to hear from you again. Glad all is well 🙂

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Hello, Frelle, and I was wondering whatever happened to me, too! Thank you for the encouragement.

  12. Jenny Lauck January 5, 2017 at #

    Hooray! I’ve missed your words!

  13. Cecily January 5, 2017 at #

    OMG SO MUCH YES. So glad you’re back.

    What do OG bloggers do now? Well, this one stopped in 2014 but keeps buying up domain names and may start again, and also, has a book she’s working on with mad interest. 🙂

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      OMG so much I love you Cecily. Also thank you for the news flashes re: what up with the OG bloggers. And OMG so much you go with the book, sister! Huzzah! Count me in as another guaranteed reader thereof!

  14. Jane Gassner January 5, 2017 at #

    Another OG blogger here welcoming you back and thinking maybe it’s time for all of us to get back in the saddle. The times they are a-changing, etc etc etc.

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Jane, yes, get back in the saddle, sister! I think you have something. I have been giving it a whole lot of thought (as have we all), regarding just what enabled all these factors to line up. Yes, Russian intervention and redistricting and stumbles on strategy and a willing lapdog/ $$-grubbing media, etc. etc. But also, our increasing self-siloing/ echo chambering, and our capitulation to thought beginning & ending in a few sentences. Blogs and the dialogs in them are the opposite of a few sentences, and I think we could all use more of that. What say we work up a syndicate of sorts? I’m keeping that one burbling on the back burner…

  15. Dana January 5, 2017 at #

    Welcome back! So glad to hear your voice again. If nothing else, we can reminisce about the good old days in the blogosphere together!

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Ah, Dana, my first blog crush! 🙂 So much has changed, right? And yet the value of human connection perseveres. I thank you for maintaining a conduit for us all for so many years. You’re as vital as, well, electricity or something. Warmest regards sister.

  16. Julie Ross Godar January 5, 2017 at #

    Hurray hurray! Welcome back!

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Thank you thank you! You pace car of erudition, you middle-C of etymology, grammaticist par excellence, and the only person I know (or will ever know) who can claim the mantle of Jeopardy *champion*. My writerly spine is just a bit stiffer with the thought you may be reading from time to time!

  17. Faiqa January 6, 2017 at #

    I’m so happy to read your words. Welcome back.

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Thank you, Faiqa, kindred spirit. I appreciate the encouragement and fellowship.

  18. Julie January 6, 2017 at #

    So glad you are back!

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Thank you, Julie! Can’t tell you what a pleasant surprise it is that y’all are still out there in the ether. I miss this dialog, and appreciate the care and thoughtfulness of those of us engaging in it here. Here’s to 2017 exceeding our expectations in many good ways.

  19. Bryna January 8, 2017 at #

    I’m glad to see you here again! I’ve missed reading your posts… Good wishes to you and your family!

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Thank you, Bryna! What a gift, for folks so far afield to be able to send tendrils of support and insight to one another via electricity and hardware and a riot of 0s and 1s. Warm wishes to you and yours as well!

  20. marty January 9, 2017 at #

    Welcome back! I’ve missed your voice and am happy to see a blog post – and actual comments!!! It’s just like 2008 all over again.

    • LD January 10, 2017 at #

      Ahoy, Marty! I know, right? It’s like I’m Dorothy, blurry from my dream, looking up and going all “But it wasn’t a dream. It was a place! And you, and you, and you… and you were there!” Actual comments are the kicker. Lots of us are so strewn about online, and can only afford to chit chat in a very few concentrated spots. To the extent any of us collect here and help each other out, I will be internally indebted. 🙂 Thank you and hail fellow well met.

  21. Cardamom January 12, 2017 at #

    Just returned to my feed reader after the winter holidays – and there you are! How lovely. I never really made it to all the new forms of social media so I’ve been missing the old blogosphere – and especially your voice. Even though I’m on another continent (the Old World) I’ve enjoyed following your and your family’s story immensely. I always hoped that everything was okay, that it was just that life had gotten in the way. I’m so glad that you’re planning to step forward again – and yes, the political situation needs us and our community.

  22. LD January 12, 2017 at #

    Cardamom! Hello again, and thank you. And I think a lot lately about the impact of the speediness/ abbreviation of communication that other media make so easy. Hoping a few of us who are inclined toward reflection and this sort of community may be able to continue to offer each other an oxygenating alternative. Glad to see your name again after such a long while.

  23. Mary Thomas February 2, 2017 at #

    So happy to “hear” your voice. It comes at the right time, as always.

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