I wrote my first Perspectives (“Haiti”) on January 2, 2012. (You can read them all at https://www.jamesgblaine.me). Initially, the blogs were limited to 250 words and published five (sometimes six) times a week. Their intent was to present a modest thought, one that sought to connect the personal world to the public world, in the hope of stimulating us (you and me) to think a little differently – to consider something, if you will, from a new perspective. I had no grand design, although I took as my model Robert Frost’s description of a poem as something that “begins in delight . . . and ends in a clarification of life – not necessarily a great clarification – but in a momentary stay against confusion.”
Over the ensuing six-and-a-half years I have remained committed to brevity, even as I have made the blogs somewhat longer (about 5-600 words) and less frequent (twice a week) in an effort to develop a thought more fully – but still believing that each post carries an ephemeral idea whose goal is as much to raise a question as to deliver an answer. The reason, of course, is that I don’t really have any answers, and so I came to see Perspectives, not just a collection of individual blogs, but as a cumulative journey on which I hoped to gain a little better understanding of both the world and myself – and to convey to others whatever it is I may have learned.
In the last few weeks I’ve hit a bit of a wall, as I have confronted my growing inability to understand, let alone write about, the world around me. Oh, I still have plenty of opinions, but lately they have come to seem increasingly trite, repetitive and uninspired. I don’t aspire to be one more strident voice vying to be heard above the clamor. And so I have decided to take some time off, to refresh myself and see if there are other ways and venues where I can make some small contribution – to gain new perspectives and engage more deeply in thinking and living than this blog and its self-imposed deadlines allow.
Many of you have been reading these posts for years, and some have shared your thoughts. Perspectiveshas always felt to me more like a conversation than a monologue, even if I did most of the talking, and I look forward to picking up the thread in the fall. In the meantime, the words “thank you” do not begin to convey the gratitude I feel. But they’re the best I have, so . . .