A vacation of sorts

Work continues apace on the first Weblogger Co-op server. We’re starting with a goodly mix of people in the test phase and I’ll post the weblogs who have moved with me to the new server when we’re up and running. I can tell you that we will be hosted on a dedicated server being managed by Rack Force, a Canadian ISP who has been extremely helpful in assisting me to configure a system that should work nicely for us. We should be fully moved and up and running by month end.

But that’s not the focus of this writing, which will be a rambling sort of posting, and I beg your indulgence and patience as it winds about like the River I walked by yesterday. Speaking of which, In my last posting, Euan wrote in a comment, I just love reading about your walks and seeing your photos, Shelley. I’m glad he said this because it forms a nice segue into this writing. Well, if you stretch it a bit. Maybe all I wanted was an excuse to note a nice comment.

Weblogging is, unfortunately, clannish, and taking on the clans is just not something I’m into right now. I was talking to a friend on the phone recently and he asked me if Anil Dash had ever responded to my Weblog Standards essay last week since I wrote it in response to a question he asked. I answered no, and said I didn’t expect Anil to post a comment on the response because the only reason he asked the original question is that I injected a note of what could be considered criticism of people in his clan, Six Apart, in the posting. (He did talk about Six Apart’s web standards compliance in an interview recently.) That’s okay, though, because I’m part of a clan of my own. Except my clan is this sorta hybrid poet, philosophy, technology, political, photography, social, humorous, artistic, academic, esoteric, and writing kind of clan — which can get a little weird at times, I can tell you.

(Come to think of it, my clan looks a lot like Anil’s. Fancy — we have something in common. Do you know that sometimes the greatest insult you can give another is to say to them, “We’re a lot alike, you and I.”)

Anyway, back to the subject. This last week with the intense disagreement with Sam Ruby about comment editing and the usual go-arounds about RSS made me realize that I’m immersing myself in discussions in which nothing positive is accomplished, and all I’m doing is letting other people control my space and my thoughts. No fault to them — this was my own doing.

I found that Sam’s comment annotation is the chastisement that keeps on giving, long after the original act, reminding me for all perpetuity that I did a Bad Thing, so I don’t look anymore. Beat, beat, beat at me with tiny fists of conformity, warnings of if one can’t say positive things, not to say anything at all; and kind words of helpful advice in how I would be so much better if I would just not be so quick-tempered and impulsive. But it’s the impulsive part of me that sends me out on the trails and helps me rediscover what a beautiful world I live in, anew, each time. My center of impulse is too close to my ability to act silly, like, love, rejoice, dance about, and believe to excise cleanly.

I was also reminded this week that life’s too short and I’m not getting any younger to spin my wheels on someone else’s track.

Unlike others in the neighborhood who are taking a break from weblogging, I’m taking a vacation, instead. I have one more weblog essay for the Corante Many-to-Many weblog, later today, and after that, I’m going to be ready for that vacation.

A beautiful vacation, indeed, though it might be boring for some of you who like to come to the Bird because you like to see me burn. But I’m sitting at my window and it’s a wonderful day, with blue skies, and a good breeze and birds singing. I’m watching a puffy white cloud roll past — which I realize sounds tritely sentimental and more than a bit sappy, “I saw a white cloud float past” — and I just don’t want to burn. I’m taking a vacation from the burn, the windmill tilting, and the business as usual.

I’m not going to discontinue my writing to the weblog, but I am focusing it on specific external experiences rather than internal weblogging matters. So, for a time, you’ll see less writing, perhaps a lot less writing; and the writing you will see will be of the nature in my last post — my experiences along the Katy Trail this summer, or other explorations, accompanied by bits and pieces of what are in my mind and hopefully a few edible photographs. Gentle, quiet writing.

Postcards.

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