I have been blogging now since May 2012, almost 9 years. Nothing we do is worthless or a waste of time but, I guess, the real test of whether the things we do are actually worthwhile would be – do they stand the test of time? Do they bear repetition?
I have also reached a point, both in life and in my blogging, where I can sit back and take stock of such thoughts. This is not the first time of course that I have done such personal reflection. It is in fact good practice to reflect on where we are and where we might be going at various points in our lives or in any long term plan or commitment.
So, what I have realised is that I am not the blogger I used to be. I rarely do pieces on general or even personal interest these days, spending much of the time I dedicate to writing by carping (I’m pretty sure that is the word I want to use here) about everything that is wrong with the world today. Not that there is any shortage of things going on in the world on which to carp about. But does it do any good to do so? And, valid carping or not, does anybody listen or take note – apart from other potential carpers?
And so, in between when I find something I really want to carp about, I am going to reprise one of my (carefully selected) older posts, to test the waters. Here is an example from my original blog, ‘Meanderings’, on the Blogger platform…
Link to the original: http://me-and-er-ings.blogspot.com/2012/08/there-will-come-soft-rains.html
TUESDAY, 14 AUGUST 2012
There will come soft rains…
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;
Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself when she woke at dawnA poem by Sara Teasdale, first published 1920.
Would scarcely know that we were gone.
Thirty years later, in 1950, a short story was published, by Ray Bradbury science fiction author. The story was loosely based on the Sara Teasdale poem of the same title but of course she, in her time (she took her own life in 1933), would have had no knowledge of the intimated cause of the situation depicted in the Bradbury story. Interestingly, or perhaps I should say sadly, Ray Bradbury passed on on 5 June 2012 at age 91, only around ten weeks before I write this. There are other links in this chain of related works…Four years ago, in 2008, a young Scot, Peter Cotter [link no longer available], produced an animated video based on the Ray Bradbury story, based in turn on the Sara Teasdale poem. Cotter is a young photographer and animator who from 2006-2008 studied at the Glasgow School of Art. According to his resume of 2008 he was awarded The Motion Graphics Award for outstanding achievement in animation and time-based media, presumably for this dramatic, poignant and beautiful animated video.
[Note: the original Peter Cotter video in my Blogger post will not transfer here. A clearer version can be seen on this link: https://vk.com/video812588_161113065 ]
This chain of links goes one step further in that, although the poem on which all of this is based is a very well known work, I first read of it today in a blog post by Damien Perrotin. Here is an article that explores our reluctance to accept the likely fate of our civilisation, as all civilisations do in time pass away, yet we are fascinated with the idea of joyfully continuing to trash the biosphere on which we depend for life.
Of course, though I claim no artistic merit or input into the process, this, my own post, is the final link in this current web of connections on the subject. Or is it?
It is interesting to note that the Sara Teasdale short poem, published now 100 years ago, has generated so much interest in today’s world – search for the title and see what comes up. Even when written (1918), just after the end of the First World War and perhaps during or following the Spanish Flu pandemic, people were able to contemplate a world without people.
The 1950 Ray Bradbury story, based on the poem and written during the intense nuclear weapon testing period of the post WW2 era, would of course have to focus on such fearful prospects which then, as now, face humanity from that particular cause. Is the fact that his story was set in the future year of 2026 to be taken as somehow prophetic? That year lies within the timeframe I myself recently predicted the demise of mankind to eventuate – though I had more natural though equally pressing causes in mind. The possible imminence of such an ending to all our stories I think is why I cannot, at least for the moment, concentrate much on the lesser importance of everyday events – of whatever perceived importance to the world of today. Perhaps I will get over that – perhaps I won’t.
A couple of other videos featuring the poem and also a full reading by Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek’s Mr Spock) of the Bradbury story which I think worth sharing, are shown below.