It’s a lot harder to start my first blog post than I thought. Since a lot of you might be wondering why I decided to join the ranks of such future blog-of-famers like Katie Couric, Curt Schilling, Scott Pearce, Greg Gentry (though his recent postings of nothing but absolutely adorable baby pictures and videos might hurt voters), and countless other reporters, celebrities, and Joe-Schmos, I’ll go ahead and explain why I am doing this and what I hope to accomplish.
First, the title of my blog (Token Lines Suggesting Rhythm) was penned by Robert Hunter, long-time lyricist of the Grateful Dead. The song (“Terrapin Station”) is an epic eight-minute plus story of a story being told. The song opens with the words:
“Let my inspiration flow
In token lines suggesting rhythm
That will not forsake me
Till my tale is told and done”
It is with undertaking this effort of a blog that I keep these words in mind. Not necessarily the rhythm part, but more the part of inspiration flowing until my tale is done. Who knows, I may decide to can this idea and this could be my one and only post. Later in the song, the storyteller reflects on his role in the story:
“His job is to shed light
And not to master”
I hope I can stay true to this thought. There are myriad blogs in cyberspace on topics ranging from describing what happened to the author during a given day; rants and raves of the author; cool things the author came across; stirring, emotional thoughts the author might be having; or just useless information. I don’t want to be the be-all, end-all of opinions with this blog.
My purpose is not to tell you what happened to me today. Nor is it to go off on how bad the media is for our society or how the world is degenerating even further into sin – though both are true. Opinions are often unsound and mainly just hot-air. Neil Postman (a favourite author of mine who you will inevitably see quoted here often), sums my point up quite nicely in his list of advice on how to live the rest of your life:
“It is not necessary for you to have an opinion on every public issue. Although you may be entitled to have an opinion, you probably are not qualified to have an opinion on most matters. Although middle-class America seems to require an opinion on everything, you will find it liberating to say the phrase, ‘I don’t know enough about it to form an opinion.'”
Not only do I agree with Postman on this issue (seems like everyone has an opinion on the war, taxes, religion, global warming, sports, drugs, etc.), but I also am quick to point out that I am ill-suited to voice a knowledgeable opinion on most, if not all things.
Also, I do not wish to merely add to the glut of useless information available to Americans just because the means to share such information are available to me. Postman also touches on this problem of information oversaturation:
“Too little information is dangerous, but so is too much…You need protection from the relentless flow of information in modern American culture.”
I guess I’ve only explained what I don’t want this blog to become. I decided to start this blog because something inside me yearned to write. With a full-time job, part-time graduate classes, a wonderful marriage, and many other things going on, my writing (and reading for that matter) has taken a backseat. Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I complaining about my life – God has graciously and abundantly blessed me more than I could ever deserve. I am just looking for an outlet to improve what I enjoy doing. I have never been a creative writer, but I have always enjoyed putting words together. That’s one of the main reasons of doing this – to help me think critically and to hone my writing.
By making such writings public and encouraging interaction with them, I hope to learn more about myself, my family, my friends, life, God, etc. Kind of cliche and cheesy, but it’s true. If it wasn’t, I would be writing this in a word processing program instead and filing it away.
I apologize for violating the oversaturation principle I mentioned above. I close with the end of “Terrapin Station” in light of my purpose and future of this blog:
“Inspiration, move me brightly
Light the song with sense and color,
Hold away despair,
More than this I will not ask”