Wednesday, May 6, 2015

About this blog and shifting the conversation elsewhere online...

Oh right, I have a blog. This one. The one I haven't posted any written content to since January 4th. And the only reason I know that is because I just looked it up. 

I looked for the last post with text, read it, and saw that I wrote about "being present one day at a time...each hour or moment-to-moment, if that's all I can muster." Clearly, all that being present did not include blogging. Now on my mind, this question: When will it?

At this juncture I'm not sure when I'll get back to this social media platform. If ever. So much has changed since I started blogging in 2007. Blogging platforms have died (e.g., Typepad) and others have emerged (e.g., Tumblr). Blogging itself has gone through some changes. 

Years ago, long form posts, sometimes pushing 2,000 words were acceptable if not normative. By 2010-ish, micro-blogging platforms like Facebook and Twitter, plus changes in hardware, eventually rendered massive word counts as intolerable as they were unreadable on certain digital devices. 

I was fine with all these changes, including the ascendency of visual social media like Pinterest and Instagram. Having started out as a visual artist, I became a very happy camper indeed when it became perfectly acceptable to have blog posts dominated by images rather than text. Tumblr is the blogging platform responsible for that shift. I set up a Tumblr blog and then did exactly nothing with it because I had this one.

There's more to this transition from blogging, including but not limited to these current realities:
  • Twitter allows swift access to and the possibility of conversation with more people than my blog could ever generate.
  • Facebook provides a platform for sharing thoughts, insights, and ridiculousness with even more space than allowed via Twitter, plus see first point above.
  • Both Twitter and Facebook allow me to choose when and how to share my Instagram pics with a slightly different group of connections.
  • Books are my long form, a revelation I've finally arrived at as I begin my tenth and another with Liturgical Press. 
  • Public blogging no longer functions well, for me, as the place to futz around with book content.
  • Any future quasi-long form writing I might want to do online would probably be better launched from Medium.
Still, I'm loathe to completely shut down this online diary (the original point of blogging) of my interior and exterior meanderings over the years, so I won't. Instead, here's where you'll find me:
  • I'm sticking with Twitter as my personal comedy club and go-to place for marketing communications intel in the worlds of healthcare and church. Follow me on Twitter (@meredithgould) to find curated content about #chsocm (Church Social Media), #hlthsp (Health and Spirituality), and lively exchanges with tweeps from my overlapping worlds of interest.
  • I've set up a Facebook Author Page to update readers about book releases and events, with occasional whining about the process of book writing and the world of publishing. Please "Like" me there.
  • For all other longer-than-Twitter observations plus other stuff (but rarely links to articles because those I post on Twitter), "Friend/Follow" my Meredith Gould profile.
  • To see what the "eye" cultivated by decades of formal art training zooms in on, follow me on my Instagram account.
Next Advent (November 29-December 24, 2015), Schlep of the Magi will show up on FB and possibly on Instagram.

So there you have it, dear readers. I do hope you'll connect with me via other social networking platforms. Your comments and support over the years have been a blessing that, not to be greedy, I'd love to continue receiving.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Magi Arrive at Long Last

The Magi didn't expect the Holy Family to be so much
larger than life. Quite the Epiphany!
And the trip was such a schlep, they decided 
to head home another way.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year's Resolutions? Why Bother?

By the time January 1st rolls around I've already celebrated Rosh Hashonah (Jewish New Year) and Advent (beginning the Christian liturgical year). Plus, it doesn't matter for how long I've been away from academia, its rhythms thrum deep, so I always welcome September as yet another new year.

Add my sloppy but well-intentioned practice of a daily Examen and nightly 10th Step, and creating new or strengthening ongoing resolutions on January 1st seems redundant. Still, as a chronic maker-of-lists and begin-again-er, I do exactly that on the first of January, knowing full well the absurdity of characterizing these intentions as resolutions.

In reality, such as it ever is, I create a list of hopes and wishes. Some come to pass and most don't, which has finally got me asking, "Whose will is it anyway?" And so during morning (written) prayers on the first day of 2015, I found myself scrawling, "Why bother?"

Turns out I'm not alone, something I know enough to assume but was happy to discover empirically while reading Fran Rossi Szpylczyn's first post for 2015, "#Why not? A New Year's reflection." Four paragraphs into her post, "So why bother setting up some unrealistic expectations that will only send me swooshing down some giant slide o' shame by January 10th anyway? Why bother?" Please read the entire post to see how she's embracing the spiritual practice of curiosity in 2015.

As for me, enough with the grandiose plans. I'm inviting myself to be present one day at a time...each hour or moment-to-moment, if that's all I can muster. Amen to that and, while I'm at it, dayenu.

Take a page from my book...

Saturday, January 3, 2015