Back when I was working downtown, I got to recognize this one old lady who always crossed the street at 6th and Clay. She’d get a jump on it, if you could call inching headlong a “jump,” poking her walker out just past the parked cars before her Walk light came on, to take some of the distance out. Then it was full speed ahead, a gritty, determined, thoroughly terrifying clank-and-shuffle in front of three lanes of temporarily halted cars, and anyone could calculate that she wasn’t going to make it to the sidewalk before the light went green again. Not even, really, close. We didn’t know who would be barreling down that last lane hoping to turn left and catch the next light before it turned. She bore down on those last few yards with a scowl that could stall out an Oldsmobile, and that alone gave her enough edge to live to see another day’s trudge. It was the stuff of nightmares.
Murrtle Forges On
Let’s call her Murrtle, because if she’s no longer with us, she probably came back as my blog.
Something must be done about my blog because there are only so many days left it’s going to be able to get all the way across the street without being creamed by the march of progress. Anyone can sense there’s a problem just because, well, look at it: it’s written on parchment and the wallpaper is clearly from an old-lady dress. It’s a cranky old template from the early days of Google blogging and I have to dust the screen with pounce and set my signet to the seal before I can post anything.
And when stuff gets old, it quits working as well. Things give out. I mentioned recently that Feedburner, the doodad in charge of my blog subscriptions, was about to quit visiting the Home because it can tell I don’t remember it anymore; and shoot, it’s old enough to retire, itself. The same year Feedburner came into being, a ton of babies were born who have now graduated from high school, bought up the company, and dropped enough on their houses to send a thousand people each to a homeless camp.
I don’t need a lot out of my blog. I used to think I could keep or gain an audience by keeping the quality of my (cough) content up. I don’t want it to depend on some gizmo somewhere that I use but don’t understand.
But I am terrified of starting a new blog site. What if all my archives disappear? And why do I care? I don’t know. I spent over fifty years of my life thinking of mysef as a writer, but not actually writing. Since I retired, I’ve been spraying words all over the place. I’ve scattered essays in legitimate publications that people have heard of. Right here at Murrmurrs, I’ve written over 1300 posts averaging about 600 words each. Even if you take out “flang” and “poop,” that’s a lot of words. I’m about to finish my sixth novel. I’ve got three other books written that aren’t novels. I. Am. Not. Blocked.
At the same time, I have no plans for the afterlife. I don’t expect any of the atoms I’ve been using to recognize each other after I’m done with them, and even if I merely live on in memory, it won’t be for long. In fact, I don’t think any of our kind will be around for too much longer. I’m finding it easy to give away my possessions. I’m not hanging onto things. So I don’t know why I care that the words I’ve hammered together live on.
But I do.