Part of the “rules” of this blogging exercise each year is that there are no themes, no structure, no preset topics. Each day’s topic (with the exception of the two carry-over posts) was thought up on the day. I don’t keep a notebook of possible subjects ahead of time (though that might be a great idea). The only two days for which I have a yearly agenda are the 23rd and 24th. Today is the day of reckoning, looking back and trying to make some sense of the previous twenty-two entries. Tomorrow is my Christmas wish for anyone who has patiently slouched toward Bethelehem with me.
So what do I make of the “24 Days of Blogging” 2016 version on this penultimate day? Like past years, it certainly is a mixed bag. There have been a couple of ed-tech pieces, a few pieces about weird Christmas traditions, a couple of rants, a few cheats, and several unclassifyable rambles. I wrote much less about Christmas carols than in previous years, and I didn’t mention. A Christmas Carol once. I found it harder to discover odd traditions from our history and from other countries and I’m wondering if that vein is getting tapped out.
Though it’s a bit risky to judge the quality of the pieces so soon after writing (I often appreciate one year’s work a year later) my general feeling about this exercise as a whole is that it has matched much of my life during this past year, “muddling through.” This has been a hard year in many ways for me and for many others, and that has been reflected in my life, in my work, and in my writing. So few of the pieces had real passion or enthusiasm, many of them lack a clear defining idea, much of the writing lacked the cleverness or spark of previous years. On several days I wanted to simply say, “No mas!” and retire from the venture. I was also much less enthusiastic about promoting posts after they were completed. I didn’t put links in twitter, and missed many days in Facebook. I know far fewer read these than in past years.
But I wrote (something) and I posted (something) every day, because this is what you do, you muddle through. Sometimes ideas are plenty and the writing flows through the fingers to the touch screen like electricity, but sometimes it doesn’t.
There is a beautiful winter song called “The Fallow Way,”
I’ll learn to love the fallow way
And gather in the patient fruits
And after autumns blaze and burn
I’ll know the full still, deep roots
That nothing seem to know or need
That crack the ice in frozen ponds
And slumbering in winter’s folds
Have dreams of green and blue and gold
I’ll learn to love the fallow way
And listening for blossoming
Of my own heart once more in spring
As sure as time, as sure as snow
As sure as moonlight, wind and stars
The fallow time will fall away
The sun will bring an April day
And I will yield to Summer’s way
So maybe this has been a fallow year, but I hope that by muddling through, there might be a springtime not too far behind.
Will I do this again next year? I don’t know. I suppose in part it depends on if there is a next year, which I mean only somewhat facetiously. I enter 2017 with the same fear as most, the dread that perhaps we in our narcissism and recklessness have passed the tipping point, and we and our old world will not be able to correct the path we have “chosen.” I pray that we and our good old world will be stronger than that, and I will leave it there for now.
Thanks to any who have read these posts. You are a miracle. I have repeatedly said that I would write if no one read this, but I am blessed that people do.
So I’ll end here, because I have to think up one hell of a Christmas wish for tomorrow.