Robert (gurdonark) wrote,


"Watcher of the skies, watcher of all
His is a world alone--no world is his own,
He whom life can no longer surprise,
Raising his eyes, beholds a planet unknown"
--old Genesis song (mellotron omitted)

The fellow who sits in the fire tower always interests me. The places I grew up had fire towers, which was odd, because the wet bottomland climactic conditions rarely, if ever, permitted a wildfire to spread enough to be worth building a tower over.

It's different in, say, the Angeles National Forest, where wildfires can rage. At the same time, I was just reading something that pointed out the problems which interfering with the normal natural forest fire regime. I love the creosote bush, which requires fire to propagate, and thus emits fire accelerants when a fire is nearby. Its name derives from the fact that it smells like newly-mixed creosote, or newly poured asphalt.

I don't propose, though, to discuss my own theories on the "burn, baby, burn" argument about wilderness fires. I'm instead focused on that image of the watcher.

Weblogs can involve a great deal of interaction and a great deal of extension of oneself, rather than merely passive absorption or passive posting self-absorption. But it's important to me that my weblog not replace the other things in my life, but instead serve as a device to help me focus on the other things in my life. I want to be like those Puritans, who kept extensive paper journals to figure out if they were on track to be saved.

I notice that since I've been on LiveJournal, I am much better about going from "gee, I wish I could do xyz thing I've always wanted to do" to actually planning things and doing them. There's something about the thinking "out loud" which makes things more real.

It's not a "yes, I did" or "no, I did not" kind of thing, though. It's not a catalog of "hey, I'm cool" or "hey, I failed". It's instead a kind of process of reminder. I want to remind myself through this posting process to not only talk about poetry, but to write and submit poems. I want to not only daydream about my future, but actually make it happen.

I've evolved my thinking a bit as time goes on. I no longer see LJ as a "lesser" thing than "real life". I see LJ as one more part of real life. The interactions often have substance and dignity. But when I sign off the computer, I want to be doing the things I mean to do a bit more. LJ as the ultimate Mitty experience does not appeal to me.

I went yesterday and took off my friends' lists a number of folks who have not posted in years, just because I was self-conscious about having 200+ people on my list. It's all silly, though, because I don't post "friends only", so that anyone can see my posts. Why make internal rules on things like this? Why worry about things like "my list is too long"? I feel a bit silly that I cared about how I "look" to others. It's so easy to create all sorts of internal rules, when the key rules--love, faith and hope--are trouble enough to follow.

I think today I will not resolve to solve all the problems of the world, nor to acquire a charm or grace that I have not exhibited in 44 years. But perhaps I can resolve to travel to the stars a bit, and not merely watch them from afar.

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