Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I'm Blogging Again
It's been over two years since I "unofficially" retired my film blog Windmills of My Mind. It was the first independent blog I had ever possessed and I very much enjoyed using it to be an active participant in the film-blogging community. During that period of time I had the privilege of corresponding with a lot of great people, becoming more and more educated in a subject about which I had foolishly already considered myself an expert and even having the chance to make some of my own thoughts and ideas heard by others. Thus, my decision to abandon it indefinitely was a painful one, but for reasons that I will not go into here, maintaining it was also quite painful. There was no big announcement. No farewell. No final posting. I just quietly and unceremoniously let it fade away. And yet, while doing so I wondered if I would ever have the opportunity and/or courage to return to the blogosphere someday and if so, whether it would even still want me. Though I was prepared for these things to not be the case, deep down I hoped they would.
In the relatively short time that has elapsed since then, a lot has changed in my life. My 15-year-long career in the video business came to an abrupt end when my father's store--where I had worked as an assistant manager for six years--closed, I got married to a wonderful woman and moved from Oregon (where my entire immediate family lives) to a suburb of Dallas, Texas called Mesquite. A few of my friends and distant family members have passed on and my sister and brother-in-law welcomed a new baby girl into the world (which made me, for the first time in my life, somebody's uncle). In addition to these significant events, the ordinary, gradual changes that the march of time brings about on all of us affected me as well: namely, I grew older, fatter and more bald. I don't know if these occurrences have helped me to mature at all or made me a wiser, humbler human being, because it's hard for one to be objective about his own personal growth (or lack thereof), but I must say that I do at least "feel" somewhat different. Things that were incredibly meaningful to me before don't seem so now while other things that were more or less irrelevant to me have now become much higher priorities.
A lot has also changed in the world at large. The bottom dropped out of the American economy, our country got a new president (it's first African-American one), 3-D once again became the latest craze in theatre-going experiences and Twitter took off as the newest mode of communication. Naturally I had opinions about all of these events, but I largely kept them to myself, partially because I was engaged in other activities (such as searching for a new job) and partially because I had no real forum with which to express them... which, truly, I was fine with. Making sure I was heard may have been overwhelmingly meaningful in my earlier blogging days, but I had now come to regard it as a luxury. Everyone may have something to say, but not necessarily everyone should say it. The internet is teeming with blogs on any and every subject known to man and cinema is no exception. Just about anything I or anyone else could possibly want to say about movies is probably already being said, and more articulately, by the likes of Roger Ebert, Jim Emerson, Matt Zoller Seitz, Dennis Cozzalio, Kim Morgan, David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Jeffrey Overstreet, et al. These are the "big fishes in the little pond" of online film criticism. Still, I found that the further I got away from my old blog, the more I missed it. I missed the challenging interactions with smart people from all walks of life. I missed the sense of community felt with others who loved film as much as I did. I missed it all. My wish to return to blogging may have always been there in some small capacity, but it became harder and harder to ignore the more time passed.
Then, like a child who doesn't want to just jump impetuously into the cold water, I cautiously dipped my toe back in the virtual swimming pool.* Hoping to establish some kind of an online presence once more, I posted some writings on Facebook and with the occasional contribution for my friend Ed Copeland's blog, I slowly inched my way back into the blogging community. Despite my earlier acceptance of the possibility of never blogging again, I really didn't want my online identity to be defined by one of the stupidest things I had ever done. So, as we kick off a new year (a time when we tend to look back with reflection and contemplation but also look ahead with both eagerness and apprehension), I am likewise kicking off my new film blog CINEMEMORIES--the most original title I think of--with this inaugural post. I have no idea what the future holds in store for me here, but I am at last ready and willing to find out what it may be and I invite others who are so inclined to join me.
In preparation for this "maiden voyage," I looked back at the first piece I ever posted on my previous blog. It's always an interesting and surreal experience reading one's own words from years earlier, because they can feel like they were written by a completely different person. One finds himself thinking "Oh, how naive/foolish you were." Nonetheless, I saw that I had written something about "not taking lightly the responsibility that comes with possessing a means of self-expression that has the potential to reach the masses."
Even if I fail to live up to them, those are still words I believe in.
*Incidentally, I have no idea where I am getting all these water metaphors from, but they go well with image I've chosen to use as my header for the time being.