The Third Third

From the Mountains: Promises. But no Apologies.

This summer I’ve read a huge number of Blogger apologies: *\"So sorry. I was on vacation and just got back. I sent a few postcards from Wherever, but that’s all. . . .\" \"My Apologies. I promised to write every day, but the time just flew by. . . .\" \"Please excuse the absence of entries these past 10 days.\"* While I haven’t been exactly steadfast in contributing new perspectives to *The Third Third* from my mountain retreat in Idaho, I tend to think that Blogging means – to borrow from *The Love Story* -- **not** having to say you’re sorry. It isn’t like Blogging is a fulltime job with relentless deadlines, professional pay, and/or benefits. Bloggers can take a day off. Anytime. In fact, one of the very finest editorial decisions a blogger could make, it seems to me, might be that there wasn’t much worth blogging about. She might write that the cool mountain air had cleared her mind, as she had hoped – but completely; she didn’t have a cogent thought to write down and zap out; she was Away to refuel. She had living to do; and then she could start thinking about that living and writing about that living again. The Experiences and the Thinking had to come first, though. Why blog a grocery list? Or a sticky note about tee times? I have, however, been kicking myself for not being more productive as a writer and a blogger. Here, in the mountains, I have this well-wired third floor office – all my own and completely uncluttered -- with glorious views of the hillsides, the rustle of aspens through open windows, and no daily newspapers or scheduled obligations. The least I should be inspired to do is re-write one of the two novels I consider in the works. (“In the works,” roughly translated, includes the last 10 years.) But I am inspired instead to take a hike, play a round of golf with my son and his wife, cook up a feast of local vegetables and lamb, make a dessert with delicious Idaho-grown peaches, or hop on a bike and ride to town and back. I could write in the evening, too, but I’m weak: when my grown kids invite me to hit Grumpy’s for a beer with them, or offer to help put together a dinner after we watch the sunset from our patio, wine glasses in hand, I rationalize (correctly, I might add) that these are rare, serendipitous times with some of the people I love most in the world and I would be a fool to miss them. I also give myself permission to rip into the stack of books I brought with me and read – anytime of the day, and not just when I go to bed. I could call this research – all good writers read – but I actually consider it pure, hedonistic decadence to read when I feel like it, especially when I might otherwise be folding laundry. My brain is not entirely empty, though. I’m simply not quite ready to articulate the thinking going on. So stay tuned, my friends. There is writing to be done and there’s material in the supply line. The main topic: What is my husband’s retirement going to look like? And what will it do to us? (He failed yet another Retirement Experiment this summer. How can a man who cannot get through a single day without a phone call to or from the office permanently extract himself from the Only Routine He Knows, even when he says he wants to? I need to refer him -- and all others like him to this story: Among others: What is the nation’s economy doing to the careers of our adult children? What is the nature of Grandchild Lust? What’s the difference between Journalism and News – and is the former obsolete or extinct? Why are so many of the things we who came of age in the 1960’s set out to change still in need of change – and why is it so hard for many of us to get traction in these causes again? (See, for example, this piece on the \"next\" Women\'s Movement: How was I ever so naïve as to think politics was about philosophies and principles without understanding the corroding force of power -- and what do I do with all my cynicism (and disgust) now? See? No apologies. Just promises. And if you would join in the conversation. . . . Just imagine what we might be able to say!
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