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Friday, July 17, 2020

A Variation

I'm trying a variation on my productivity method today. I am doing things for 20 minutes at a time, including blogging, so I will be meditating, playing piano, watching tv, and whatever else I want to do for 20 minutes at a time. So far I have done my "spelling bee" puzzle, studied Catalan, and wrote for 20 minutes on one of the chapters of my book. It is 9 a.m. here in central daylight time zone.  

This is not necessarily a method I would recommend, but just an experiment for the day, because yesterday I realized I didn't meditate or play piano and studied Romanian too much. 

I discovered a few days ago that someone is working on Lorca and music in a way quite different from me. He is basically collecting all the songs, of which there are reportedly 3,000! I guess this is ultimately good for me, not a competition, because the problem of scale comes in. On the one hand, it justifies my project, because quantity in itself becomes significant after a certain point, even if not all the music were interesting. On the other hand, if your goal is to look at everything, then you can't really look at anything in any depth. Imagine 3 pages on each song, that would be a 9,000 page book right there. 

Anyway, I've been blogging since 2002. Now blogging is not such a thing. When I started, everyone was doing it, and there was a network of people, with Ron Silliman, me, Jordan Davis, many people from the old Buffalo poetics list, etc... I got many poetry connections through blogging, and invited Silliman here, and several others. After the poetry blogging thing collapsed, then I started the SMT. At the beginning, it was a blog for professional mentorship, but then lost focus a bit and became a diary of my own life and work. There are only so many productivity tips I can give. 

But as a consequence of blogging since 2002, I now have diary of my life for the last 18 years. I sometimes look at my old posts, but not much. Still, I have all this material. I am happy that almost nobody reads the blog, because I can use it as a personal journal without too much fear. 

I am not a depressive, but something a bit different. The depression is rarely severe, not bad enough to be a disease, but persistent enough to bother me over the long term. When I go to a therapist, I tend to be cooperative and want to please them, and sometimes there is not a lot to do, because I am not depressed enough. Zen is not exactly therapeutic, but it does help to even out the worst of it. I can feel the depressive thought arise almost before they do, and recognize them as such. For all of this year I have been part of the zen center here, and done four retreats.  

I could be very fearful now of being "cancelled," but I am not. It is a strange moment because I am the same liberal democrat I have always been, but I feel the slightest political utterance on my part will have weird consequences. I just have to keep my mouth shut. I think part of it is just not being on social media much: that will insulate me from most of it. There, the timer went off, that's 20 minutes. 


Thomas Basbøll said...

Has anyone written about the rise and fall of poetry blogging? The place was really hopping back in 2005, as I recall. Does anyone have a theory about what happened?

Jonathan said...

I think it was the rise of facebook