Sunday, January 1, 2012

State of the Unfocused Blog: Random Spew No. 222

A motorcycle rider on a road near Rio Vista, March 2009
On this, the arbitrary first day of a cyclical series of phenomena, I make (for a legion of imaginary subscribers) my 3rd Annual State of the Unfocused Blog address. Bear with me, please. It’s brief.

Trying to constrain myself to topics and styles of expression that might provoke the interest of large numbers of people has produced no tangible results. Instead, I’ve spent several months posting stuff I’ve already written, much of it nothing more than episodic thought convulsions that sound much better inside my head than on a page. For some reason, my need to have others read the stuff  I spew randomly on this blog continues unabated, which should probably tell me something about myself I don’t really want to know.

Cobra slash-cuts on my old bike
My  ex-fish Bob, eaten by a heron
Locke, California
I could go pseudo-scientific and try to apply some kind of ridiculous Freudian model to this perplexing need, but to what end? I’d just end up making excuses for myself. No, the simplest model is generally the best place to start.
I can write and take photographs just well enough to know how deficient I am in both skill sets. I can look at a photo and describe the characteristics of technical proficiency, compositional artistry, and subject matter context that make it work (or not work) for me as a viewer, and I can occasionally produce something better than a snapshot myself, but there’s a wall separating me from excellence that is every bit as robust as the one that divides decent little league players from Hall of Fame big leaguers. I’m generally able to write a sentence that’s more grammatically correct than not, and I can occasionally turn a phrase that describes or expresses something in a unique, effective, or meaningful way, but that’s it. No cohesive whole has ever emerged and it never will. My need for public approval is probably a result of finally realizing that truth. 

That way
Read this stuff if you want – it’s a good experience to have others pay attention to what I say (and I do appreciate those who have done so already). But if there’s just too much chaff to sift through for the two or three tiny seeds you might find, feel free to skip it. From now on, I post for the audience of me, which is probably the way it’s supposed to be anyway.

Hood, California.   38.368302, -121.519232
Leaving Hood

Click for larger images.


  1. You are a brilliant writer. Less is more. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Anonymous. I will state for the record that you are not me, nor are you acting at my direction. I think I know who you are, though. Thanks for the gesture. I'm not a brilliant writer, but thank you for your comment.;-)