It was on such a grey February day back in 2010 that Nikhil first got me started on Tell Me Another, and ever since, I’ve been on an adventure that has connected the disparate, widely scattered people and places in my life, past and present, re-connected me with long-lost family and friends, sparked unexpected global conversations, and been a source of deep pleasure and solace. Now that it’s coming up on the three-year anniversary of this blog, I’m wondering whether I ought to continue in more-or-less the same vein or whether, after 175 stories, it’s time for a change. But if so, to what? Publishing a selection of the best of Tell Me Another, beginning a novel, working more concertedly on my research and scholarly writing, taking up the study of Russian or the Cape Breton fiddle, or simply trying to get my messy life in order? Is TMA a net loss or a net gain of energy, a means to an end or an end in itself?
Looking back at the last few months of entries, I’m wondering whether they’re shifting from stories to reflections, from sharply observed, lightly humorous sketches to nostalgia-tinged, sentimental, even rather maudlin pieces. Perhaps they are no longer evocations of a particular time and place or affirmations of a particular sensibility, but more frequently, escapes into a past that is simply over and done with. What about Ram Dass’ maxim, Be Here Now? Something tells me it’s not yet time to withdraw from the world of action and write my memoirs; there’s still too much work to be done. Am I becoming one of the innumerable victims of that emergent pathology, Internet Use Disorder?
Just thinking out loud. For those of you who are my small group of loyal readers, I’d welcome your honest thoughts, and I’m not fishing for compliments. For those who have just started reading and following TMA, I’d be curious as to which types of stories you are most enjoying. This has been a very personal project, with the only common thread in the widely varying stories being my life; and yet I find that I do want—and have even come to crave—feedback. Is this, too, a pathology, or simply a natural human impulse?
Spring is not quite here, although the sap buckets are out on the old maples around town. Sitting here in limbo at the dining-room table with a snowstorm of unknown intensity about to begin, simultaneously feeling the stirrings of the future, the persistence of the past, and the demands of the present. Shall I sit here a little longer and write another story for Tell Me Another, or shall I turn my attention to something new that is waiting to be born?