“What do you do with all that info?”

My wife, Lois, had never asked me that question, so I was non-plused when she posed it: “What do you do with all that information?” Do with it? I thought. It was embarrassing. I had no answer.

Lois was referring to my ongoing rants about politics and politicians, the news media, wars and military spending, etc. Worse yet, I was always explaining stuff to her, trying to “enrich” her worldview, so to speak. Maybe her memory had dug up the waiter’s line from The Shining: “But when my wife tried to prevent me from doing my duty, I ‘corrected’ her.” I was never THAT bad (I don’t think). Still, my “lessons” must have been pretty insufferable. They quickly earned me the nickname Mr. Negativity.

Do with it? Frankly, I stewed over it, I harped on it, I ground my teeth in my sleep dreaming about it. But actually “do”? What a poser!

Of course, what her question prompted, motivated, and pricked me to do was to start this blog. Which presented me with another dilemma. Now that I had the space (thank you very much, wordpress), what was I going to DO with it. Argh! That word again. I thought that in retirement, I didn’t have to DO anything if I didn’t want to. But it turns out freedom isn’t free, that retirement and terminal maturity (aka old age) do not stop consequencies from occurring. Preach to Lois, get a reaction. My personal interpetation of Newton’s Third Law.

I had first come to wordpress.com in 2014 at the suggestion/urging of my friend David Eason, who writes the blog Longing For A Song on WordPress. (If you haven’t already, check it out. There’s poetry in every entry.) I’m not at all sure this reaction (i.e., my blog writing) is exactly “equal and opposite,” as Newton would have it. It almost surely is commensurate with my abilities as a thinker and writer. I’ll leave that statement where it lies (or lays, if you’re not hung up on the old grammar).

What I really, really, really wanted to do was get the world on the right track. For a change. Finally. At last. (Someone has to do it, right?) As someone who grew up without computers and the internet (or cellphones, cable/satellite TV, 4-stroke lawnmower engines, or the slightest hint that I might be living in The Matrix), I probably over-estimated this new power of the word. Sure, you could broadcast without need of a press, a TV station operating license, or even a good PA system (for the kids: that’s a Public Address system; aka, a big loudspeaker). But on the downside, in the flood of words, mine were almost guaranteed to get lost in the interference.

In a way, however, that’s actually kind of reassuring. I mean, do I really want to be responsible for shaping or disfiguring the impressionable minds of the next generation? Besides that. While I could cite facts gleaned from my latest reading, I would only be passing along someone else’s facts and wisdom, or their fabrications and warped ideologies. Who likes chewing someone else’s cud? Not even cows, I’m guessing.

So, where exactly does this put Wide Margins, the Blog?

I guess we’ll all find out together. Did I say “all”? That sounds awfully optimistic. Still, Wide Margins is what I’m calling this space, so I suppose there’s ample room for optimism. Stay tuned.

That last is only a suggestion, by the way.

Published by: DeanHove

Married, children, grands and great-grands. I have 3 sisters, all living in different states from each other and me. A couple of college degrees. Jobs all involved writing. I've counted them all up, the jobs I've held since I first bussed tables at 15: there were three in my teen years. Since then, I have held 8 full-time jobs, plus one long-term part-time job teaching college writing classes post-retirement. Haved lived in 8 states--I know, it does seem excessive. The relationship between jobs held and states lived in pretty much explains itself. If my cv seems vague/sketchy, it's because my blog is very much a creation of my critical faculties and my imagination--such as they are. If my writing seems "old-fashioned," it's because I learned . . . well, I'm in my 70s, a fact that pretty much explains everything. Except, perhaps, my progressive views. I'm with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who wrote: "I will not grow conservative with age." I also believe you shouldn't grow stupid with age. I think I live in the past mostly in my dreams, where I'm always late for class or with a work assignment. Which is odd, because I am punctual to a fault and cannot even imagine how people can procrastinate. Those two things aside, I have few virtues.

4 Comments

4 thoughts on ““What do you do with all that info?””

  1. Hi Dean, nice to meet you. I haven’t posted a thing on my blog in a long time. I think I am suffering from writer’s block. I am in no way claiming to be a writer. All of my attempts, after reading them seem to me to be quite sophomoric. I am not in any way claiming to know what I am doing. Thanks for liking, I need all the confidence and criticism I can get. I am a follower of David’s, saw him in Nashville at Steve Young memorial, but was to shy to introduce myself.

    Like

    1. For future reference, David is one of the most approachable guys I’ve ever met. And as a follower of Longingforasong, you have the best introduction possible. As for writing, what can I say? It’s one damn word after another! Definitely not the kind of activity the elite go in for–which, I suppose, makes us a different kind of elite (that is, the good kind). My writing always embarrasses me at some point, either before or after I’ve let it out in the open. But you just have to keep writing, get feedback (NOT the “oh, that’s so good!” kind, either). Take what you can from each reader: some comments won’t be helpful or won’t give you anyplace to move your writing toward; but others can give you real insight. However, I’m really saying more than I know, which is one of my weaknesses. Keep on keepin’ on, as we said in the Sixties.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the long message and sage advice. I’ve been having a hard time lately. I would like to try something different, writing wise. I have to confess, I get embarrassed by mine.
        I’m pretty shy by nature, there were a lot of people talking and I think I lost him in the crowd. I also wanted to talk to Kim, who is the one who invited me, but David’s reminiscences and genuineness, really struck a chord in me, I thought his story was very intensely moving, and was deeply affected by it.
        I need to get pen to paper and start writing. I actually prefer the criticism than the praise. I will keep on keeping on. Thanks and nice to talk to you. Let me know if you hear a freighter.
        I probably lived closer to the lake than you do.

        Like

  2. “Sage advice”? That’s awfully generous of you. Thanks.

    “Genuineness” is the perfect word for David. I’ll try to remember it the next time I have the chance to sing his praises. Thanks, again.

    Like

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