Monday, November 13, 2006

11:34 P.M.

I do have a few things percolating, on my usual themes. I don't really plan these little epics -- that should be apparent from their free-wheeling nature… thank you for not sneering and spitting out that I should say sloppy and undisciplined. But I'm kind of tired now. Rolled like an absolute madman on Friday -- put myself in vulnerable positions and just had to fight my way out, or not, about 50 times. Pretty guelling. But it's the only way I'll learn. Muscle memory. Anyway, gotta listen to my body ... my beautiful body, so I took it easy today. I rolled, but pretty light. Isn't that interesting?

My point is that there's no theme I really feel like writing on today. You have noticed that I write something pretty much every day. You've noticed that, right? And for all that my style is casual, my themes are substantial. And if my tone is light, they're still rather intense, sometimes. So I'm just tired today.

I've been thinking that I'll be shutting down FP in December. Mid December. That would make it a whole twelvemonth. I've already posted something over 320 of these informal essays. And that's only for this site -- I do have other things going on that require writing. That's a lot of writing. For just FP, something like a half million words.

It's feeling like a waste of time and effort. I limit myself to about an hour, but it adds up. As for effort, usually I could write two or three of these things. I just noticed that I wrote Ever Faithful, Shining, Loose Lips and Epiphany all in one day. And it's a discipline to keep them shorter, and a courtesy to any hypothetical reader. But that doesn't mean my limited energy isn't being used.

Why do I even do it? I've been given to understand, through comments, that I have a handful of semi-regular readers. This is gratifying to me, and I do feel a sort of loyalty and obligation to them. Silly, I know -- there's no debt, either way, and I don't know and will never get to know any of them. I've had personal reasons for this site, like venting here ideas that I don't want to have bottle up, to be vented in less appropriate venues. Nobody wants to hear my bloviations, unless they volunteer for it.

And sometimes I write things that move me. Things that I, for my part, think are beautiful. I like writing beautiful things. I'd like everyone to think they're beautiful. But I don't know that they do. I know I have people who drop in and presumably read something and then disappear. But something true like Ever Faithful, or something raw and vulnerable like Unspent, or something surreal and uncomfortable and hard like Fortress al-Islam -- did anyone even see these? I'd hardly be human if I didn't wonder. And I've been so out of step with most of the world most of my life that I have sometimes to wonder if what I think has worth, has worth in the eyes of anyone else. Because if not, then I should consider it pearls before swine. So I wonder.

Because I like to write something here everyday, I've written this. I haven't said anything I'd expect anyone to care about. But it's not always about you. If you're there. If there is a you. How like the world, isn't it. Is anyone in it? Is anyone real?



Anonymous said...


I for one, am reading. I discovered your blog less than a week ago in the comment section of a Jonah Goldberg article posted on I liked your writing in "Epiphany" and "Undiscovered Laws" so much that I forwarded the links to several of my friends. I was also truly moved by your Semper Fidelis post of Friday, which I also forwarded.

I assure you that I am real. Your temporary exile into solipsism notwithstanding, your clarity of thought and gift of expression are appreciated. Keep the faith and the blogging!

A fan in Richmond, VA

Brent said...

Wow! Where to start? How 'bout an attempt at humor then move to serious?

What is this? A little boy clamoring for attention? "If you don't give me attention I'll stop writing! Waaaah!" Oh pleease Jack H don't stop writing. Pleease, you're so good. You're the greatest writer of all time. I'll comment more, really. I have daily devotions with your writings; what will I do if you quit?

Or Maybe…I'll mask my caring by making noble platitudes how I don't care. I will beat upon my chest and make grand declarations.

Maybe it’s a hurt little boy needing connection. Ooh that was a little close. Sorry.

Seriously, I think I've read about every word and would miss to see you go. But you're not here for me anyway. This has been your process and I've felt voyeuristic in watching. Something I don't allow myself in real life. This has been my reality tv which I never watch. Don't watch tv much. Someone once called the internet their tv and I can relate, when I'm not working. I think why I've enjoyed watching is that you can articulate things I'm thinking in a way that I can't. I feel we agree on most things but that isn't really why I read. I'm not sure what draws me back. Anyway, thanks for writing and bearing your soul. That’s the kind of reality I need. It’s easy and necessary to hold back in social situations because that is what they require. As for comments, well, sometimes there is nothing that can be said. I usually do my saying to the Father. Your writing is a work of art – expressing your inner soul. The surface is good stuff. But the soul, that’s moving.

I think you’re wrong about knowing. We know each other through our writing which is an incredible window into each other’s essence. And isn’t that what we really want – a dropping of the mask, the veneer, the pretense to truly know someone else and be known, accepted?

President of your fan club,


Jack H said...

Greetings A -- but why the silence? See the lengths I have to go to, to weedle some words out of you?

I kid.

Thanks for the kind thoughts. Honestly, I wasn't fishing for compliments. Well, sort of honestly. A kind word never went astray. *No, really, Osama, your mother DOES love you -- and you are a GOOD little boy. C'mere, honey, and let me give you a hug. There's my special little man.* See?

Oh! OK ... how many solipsists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

And as for you, so-called "Brent", yeah yeah, I know all that about my being so wonderful. Sheesh, talk about obvious. Did you know that the sky is blue? And I give myself all the attention anyone could possibly want. Good attention, too. The best. Better than anybody else's attention. Don't need your crummy old attention any old way.

Oh, ooooh the pain of my emotions.

But even Jesus wept.

Ach, I'm doing it again.

But it's a new day, and I got some rest. I am still thinking about mid-December. As for the rest of it, how dare I be human. Teach me to question the worth of my hobby. Teach me to trust. Teach me to care and not to care.

But I'm doing it again.

Don't feel bad or creepy or slimy and weird, at all, really, about being a perverted voyeur. I have a beautiful mind, and I like to share it. I'm a mental nudist. Get an eyeful, buster. Hope it makes you happy. Psycho.

You have learned well, my student. Your mastery of sarcasm is almost complete.

But seriously (more or less), I knew I'd be opening myself up to a charge of self-pity. Think of it as a Gathsemani moment. We do not need to excuse ourselves from such moments. My own theory -- aside from the practical fact that I'm not Kos with a million readers, but J with a few visitors -- is in agreement with your statement. A lot of what I write simply requires no comment. They stand alone, and people agree or don't agree. Comments would be either "you're an idiot, fascist" or "right on, brother". Don't need either.

I am, for the most part, a fictional character. Fictionalized. Based on actual events, but edited for content. Remember when you were a kid and you pretended that people were watching you? No, it wasn't God. It was just you being a kid. For my part, I'm much more sophisticated (in the modern sense) nowadays, and I am my own audience. I post these things because it is the nature of a personality to reveal itself. I think I said that somewhere, about God. If it weren't for this universal principle, there wouldn't even be a universe. So no flies on me, mate.

"President"? You're fired. Next!

Enough. I'm boring myself.

But this post is one that I'll probably take down. We shall see. I'll brood about it.


Vandy said...

If for no other reason, keep writing so I can keep looking up new words (vichy) :)

Brent said...

I knew president would get you. I almost said dictator. After all, I'm the only one reading. I should be president. All these other names...yep you guessed it, they're all me.

Jack H said...

Oh dude, I'm so over that. It's so fifteen minutes ago.

Of course, what you haven't yet realized is that *you're* not even reading. I made you up. Dictate that.


Anonymous said...

Yes ,Jack H.,there are people out here.

I stumbled acrosss your blog about 3 months ago ,James Taranto ,of the Wall Street Journals best of the web ,used your post about another Viet -Nam.

I clicked on the link on the journals web site ,and havr been a regular ever since.

Keep up the good work as long as you can

Greensburg In.

Jack H said...

I've been cited? How gratifying. Can't wait for the royalty checks to start rolling in. Come to papa! That's how it works, right? Or am I heading for more crushing disappointment? Drat! My instant retirement plans ... ruined!

But thanks. Now I've decided to believe that every comment I get represents about a thousand readers who have not bothered to announce themselves. I find that pulling phony statistics out of my ear makes me happy. You wouldn't want me to be unhappy, right? Then it's agreed. A thousand. Or two thousand. Yes. Yessss.

Anyone else? I'm so lonely, you see.



Duchess Of Austin said...

Allow me to add myself to the list of your fans. I just discovered you today, via Town Hall.

Don't quit.

Jack H said...

Well thank you.

I have to throw a tantrum more often.

Ok, somebody better wire me 17 dollars, and I mean NOW, or I'm outta here! I mean it!! I'll do it!!

But honestly, no promises. Nothing personal. Maybe I'll just slow down.


Brent said...

Studies show that statistics are made up on the spot 47.8% of the time.

My, this has turned into a real hoot!

I woke up early this mourning. It's funny how things come to your mind when your mind is quiet. I was thinking of a client I had in group last night and several nights previously. Yesterday she was quite...ah...bitchy shall we say. I confronted her on this and she wasn't able or willing to process. The best I could get was that it was me. I get that a lot. Anyway, this a.m. it dawned on me that yesterday was the anniversary date she witnessed her parents being murdered. How could I have missed it? How could I stay so surface? So tonight I read "Mens sana" to start the group. You see she has difficulty, and understandably so, with connecting intellect and emotion. She processed more tonight than any group previously. Thanks for sharing. I said before that we have no idea of the lives that we touch.

May the blessings you birth come back to you.

Jack H said...

Your data are flawed. It's 47.76%. Sheesh.

But seriously, it's not at all "surface" of you to have missed it. Self-awareness is almost as difficult as other-awareness. That we even try stands to our credit. It pleases me to hear what you said for this poor woman. We don't know why we're bitchy, most of the time. Like when my son was very little, and crabby and crying for no reason. "I know a little boy who's very tired," I'd say. "I'm NOT tired," he'd shout. And two minutes later he was fast asleep in my arms. We love them all the more, for it.

I went back and looked at Mens Sana. I won't say I wept, but I was moved. Of course, greeting cards move me.

I'll take even adopted blessings. In fact, I did.


JR Striker said...


Here are some tools you can use to see how many people visit your blog:
This way, you don't have to give into thoughts of lonliness. We are here, we just aren't there.

Jack H said...

But if I know, how can I feel sorry for myself? Or worse, then I *must* feel sorry for my poor little old self. Of course, that does hold a certain attraction, but ... I'd rather curse the darkness than light a candle. It's one of my several endearing qualities. What's that? You want a list? You *demand* one? This is highly irregular. Well, I'm the guy in the back of the theater who shouts at the screen. People love that. And I sometimes don't finish my though