The Longest Day...

"Where have you been?" someone famous once asked of a servant gone overly long. The reply was, "Going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it."

So, we come to the fourteenth day – the decisive one – and the longest since the beginning of this experiment. Has it been worthwhile? Can any value be found in it? Or is it merely a wily distraction, meant to occupy the precious little time we have left to accomplish something of value. Let us weigh the odds…

It began first and foremost as a working tool: a literary blog, in which contemplations of plot, structure, research, and character might be mulled over and learned from. As such, it has also been a form of practice: to make a point or express a single thought in the most direct and connecting way. It has – above all else -- been a disciplinary tool: more than the mere physical exercise of showing up on a regular basis – the value here has been in the honing of an ability to organize the myriad of creative thoughts not only into some worthwhile order, but for a specific purpose.

Exactly what purpose?
  • To create characters well enough for them to become real.
  • To present thought-provoking scenarios which inspire others.
  • To establish a thoughtful place that is as real and productive as the physical home.
  • To become so skilled in the practice of these things that none of them show.
All worthwhile. The question put to the vote, then, is not whether we should or shouldn’t carry on, but rather if the outcome of all this is worth the opposition. Because there is always opposition to anything worthwhile. That said let us look at the dangers…

  • It has a tendency to use up one’s life forces in such consistent minute quantities, that it is possible to come up short when an all-out effort is needed for the big stuff.

  • Too much gazing at one’s own reflection tends toward Narcissism.

  • Enough input from small circles dulls the ability to maintain balanced judgments by impairing our view of the bigger picture: not only of what is going on around us, but what most people think of our work, and not just the selected few.

Yet, the enticements are still there to continue the adventure, if for no other reason than to see how close one can come to achieving the ultimate goals. Based on the foregoing fourteen days, we have not. The ship is on a lee shore, the tacklings are loose, and we have thrown some valuable cargo over the side in moments of haste. Nothing large is lost, but there has been no great gain, either. So – as is said in gambling circles – the winners all grin and the losers say, "Deal the cards, again."

All right. But it must be understood that the pull will be greater simply because we’ve been at it longer. The dangers will be increased, as well. Because should the one who "goes to and fro over the earth, and walks up and down in it" catch us not knowing the true value of things… the battles could get bloody this time. Thus we must also continue to do a bit of going to and fro, ourselves, and walking up and down, too – just to keep a safe enough perspective on things.

One more round, then.

And we’ll see what the new year brings.

What’s happening on the farm today: Warm winds coming up from the south preparing to do battle with the northern cold. So far the sky is only dark and blustery. But the animals are uneasy and the children running wild… the Peabody family seems to have decided conditions are entirely too dangerous to venture more than a few steps outside their door.

Habit status: Hooked. (But it will take one more round to determine whether it is a good thing or a bad one.)

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