When I realize how long it’s been since I posted here, and look at the content of my last post, and calculate the quantity of time spent at my workstation coupled with the nature of my activity here, a few things become clear to me.
First, I have spent an inordinate amount of time deleting email announcements of Facebook group announcements, and that must end. Most of the announcements are about events I can’t possibly attend, publications I won’t purchase, awards and deadlines that either don’t apply to me, or I don’t care about them, and friends’ comments about other friends’ comments , posts and whatnot, that have nothing to do with me, and other drawbacks. Conversely, if I were to make a list describing in detail the various ways in which I might actually feel I was getting benefit from Facebook, it would turn out to resemble earlier permutations of the site, which seems to become less for me and more for somebody I don’t know every time changes are made.
I don’t want to be mistaken for a total crank here, because I’ve gotten a few benefits from dipping my toes in the FB pool, entirely related to making connections with people I had lost touch with, or people I know in common with my closest and dearest friends, and family, extended family and those with whom I share some sense of spiritual propinquity, especially those who write compulsively, to whatever end.
So look for me less in Facebook in the future. Twitter me not. I’m coming back to the blog. Almost nobody reads it, but I don’t mind. The day may be coming when I unplug completely.
The last time I was in Yakima, an extraordinary gentleman poet, Jim Bodeen, walked me around his premises. Outside, near the corner where sidewalks intersect, he spent some time pawing through the papers attached to the cedar post he’d planted there for the purpose a couple years previous. He calls it the Poetry Pole, and it collects the writings of his friends and neighbors, his former students and colleagues, and the occasional itinerant poet vagrant on a pilgrimage. I hope I’ll make it back there in the latter category before I drop off the twig myself.
Jim publishes books under the Blue Begonia imprimatur, and one of his titles consists of some of the harvest from his poetry pole. He and his wife Karen, and the poetry pole, and Blue Begonia, and everything he’s every written and/or published, are a thing of such surpassing beauty that it makes me feel a little arrogant trying to characterize it. The point is that neither Facebook nor any other online endeavor can ever bring the same exalted sense of one’s shared humanity with others. They can only reference it.