Saturday, July 16, 2011

Meditations About Quitting, and then An Act Of Kindness From a Fellow Blogger and Dog-Lover

Lately I have thought about bringing my blog to a close.  Life has become much more complex since I began in September of 2009.  So many things have occurred, things that I have chosen not to write about here. Just so many competing responsibilities.

I love writing here, and I try to do it well.  It takes a lot of energy.  It's harder to honor my readers with my best writing at 11pm, which seems to be my only chance to produce this web-journal.

And yet there would be a huge hole in my creative life if I stopped now. I have a lot I want to share here, like the upcoming Italian Odyssey, my new adventures with dogs, and of course my fist love, articles and essays about the movies.

It has been a dilemma, trying to turn out good work on topics that interest people, without taking short-cuts, or letting errors go by unnoticed due to simple exhaustion.

Reading my favorite bloggers, and commenting on their work and ideas, has always been a pleasure, one that I am sure I would easily continue.

And then, I received an overwhelming surprise, one that made me reconsider the idea of quitting.

Tom, who writes sharp and witty Short-Short stories on his blog, Sophisticated Lunacy, was the very first "visitor" to my blog, and wrote the first comment.  In the months that followed we have established a fun and mutually encouraging friendship through our sites.  We have never met. We know about each others' lives solely through the blog, and occasional e-mail messages.

Tom and his wife Teresa love dogs, like I do, and have reacted especially emotionally to my stories about our departed Bassett Hound, Maggie. Even though she has been gone for a few years, she still manages to establish a spot squarely in my heart, the way she would establish her place on the bed some nights, while I fought to keep from falling off the edge!

An e-mail from Tom alerted me to a package that they sent in care of The Buddy Foundation, where I volunteer occasionally to walk and feed the homeless dogs.   

When I finally retrieved it, after a comedy of errors in which it was moved around the shelter, I was overwhelmed to find a beautiful letter with a home-made tapestry.

The tapestry included the entire poem called The Rainbow Bridge, which was written as a comfort to pet owners whose beloved animals had passed away.. (You can read more about The Rainbow Bridge here).  Also on the tapestry was an image of a Bassett Hound with the name Maggie stitched underneath.

Mark and I were overwhelmed, and appreciative, of the thought and the beautiful keepsake, which Teresa made herself.

I have received so much from my followers and friends on this blog; from many of you I get kind words and praise about my work; from others I get a friendly challenge to go deeper into my thoughts and improve my persuasive skills. I have received a chocolate treat as a contest prize from my friend Ben in England, who loyally follows my reviews.  I have bonded with Walter over our love of "Nashville" and other movies. Stan and David still check in to pleasantly surprise me with appreciation for my animal stories.  Luke is always complimentary of my lengthy movie essays, even when we don't agree.  So too, is Andrew.

To everyone else who drops by occasionally, to read, even to comment, once again, I do appreciate it!

And Tom still checks once in a while to boost my writer's confidence.  And now he and Teresa have acknowledged the importance to them of what I have written by sending us this surprising and wonderful gift. We can't thank you enough.

I leave for Rome mid-week.  I'll have a few more posts before then.  In Italy, I won't have a laptop, nor a computer or i-Pad, and no way to connect to the web, or the blog.... I will continue with the journal with good old-fashioned pen and paper, take pictures, and post the highlights upon my return to the States.

This was a personal choice, to disconnect for two weeks, and let the experience of being in a different part of the world transform me. 

I hope it will help me find new reserves of creative strength. 


  1. Tom,

    Teresa and I are both very pleased that you liked your gift and so appreciative for such a lovely thank you! This was so unexpected and delightful. Thanks for your kind words and also for your continued encouragement in my blogging efforts. I hope that I have returned that favor as well.

    Enjoy your vacation in Italy and bring back loads of wonderful adventures and photos to share with us all! Ciao!

  2. Tom and Teresa keeping you from quitting makes them my new heroes. It wouldn't be the same without you! I look forward to your Rome stories and photos, which I'm sure will be beautiful as always.

  3. I'm sorry to hear you've been considering quitting, and am much relieved when you say Tom and Teresa and their very kind gift have kept you going.

    It's a lonely business blogging, often like shouting in an empty canyon, but please know that all of us who come by here thoroughly enjoy reading your posts and hearing your thoughts and like Walter I look forward to hearing about Rome on your return.

    Have a great time. Ben x

  4. I would not be here without the support of all of you.

    Tom, have displayed the tapestry prominently in our home.

    Walter, I will give my new camera a workout all over the italian countryside!

    Ben, you state well the oft-times isolated feeling one has sending another post into the blogosphere...

    All of you inspire me...Thank you!