Here's a happy song - reminiscent of what the Allman Brothers used to do - about moving forward.
A few months ago, a friend of ours called and invited us to go with him and his mom to see his cousin performing in a two-man show. His cousin and a friend had flown in from Chicago to perform in a festival of plays being put on in a bunch of L.A. theaters. Since we had not done anything like this for a while, we decided to drop off the kids at the grandparents and check it out. After fighting the traffic, locating the theater, and figuring out where the heck to park, we walked in a little late. The theater, it turns out, was about the size of one of my classrooms, and upon our arrival, we doubled the size of the audience.
Immediately after sitting down, I wondered what the two performers were thinking. First of all, our friend’s cousin must have wondered who the heck these people were with his relatives. Second, it must have been a little strange and disheartening to travel across the country and be performing in front of almost no one. But still they pressed on, obviously pouring their hearts out in performing this series of skits that they had clearly worked very hard to create. I couldn’t help but be impressed, and not just because it was a pretty good show. In my mind, anyone who is willing to pour out that kind of an effort in front of any sized audience deserves some respect. And the small size of the audience, rather than diminishing their efforts, made the performance all that more impressive. Whether performed in front of eight or eight thousand, there is intrinsic value in the act of performing. There is definitely something to be said for creating art for art’s sake.
This is my one-hundredth post on this blog. Some have been viewed well over one hundred times and others have been read far less. And if anything, the number of views has by and large been decreasing lately. Whatever dreams I had of building a big audience and generating a little extra revenue may be impractical, and there have been times where I have asked myself if this whole enterprise is worth the time. But then I think back to those guys in L.A., and it reminds me of something very simple. Writing in itself is a worthwhile activity, even if only a relatively small number of people get anything out of what I post here. If nothing else, this blog has helped me to exercise a part of my mind that was somewhat dormant for several years, and I have been compelled to ask myself repeatedly what I actually believe about some very complicated political, historical, educational, and philosophic issues. Hopefully, a few readers have been nudged toward reevaluating and putting into words their own beliefs as well.
So the plan is to start working toward my next one hundred posts. We shall see if I run out of ideas before then, burn out, or get distracted by the oncoming basketball season. Whatever happens, I will not base my choices regarding future writing on the apparent size of my electronic audience, and if this blog, like most blogs, never makes anything approaching real money, oh well. I will think of it as an electronic journal, sitting on a virtual outdoor desk, open to anyone on the planet who comes by through cyberspace and takes a look.