Wednesday, December 31, 2014
inspired and ablaze
"It is not revolutions and upheavals
That clear the road to new and better days,
But revelations, lavishness and torments
of someone's soul, inspired and ablaze."
- Boris Pasternak
You might think the fact that this, my 1000th post, has ended up on the last day of the year, was a result of careful planning. I knew it was coming up. I'd mentally noted the nearness to the number a few weeks ago. Yesterday though, I was quite surprised to see 999. In all honesty, I was tempted to just let it happen, unremarked. The blog has always been about sharing poetry, but evolved from my initial plan to share a painting with a poem, to being plastered with my own photographs. Comments on the blog are usually sparse and though I've been tempted to turn them off from time to time, there have been about 2500 comments, including my own responses. There are perhaps close to 3000 visits to the site each month, and 4000-5000 page views. Which in the world of blogging means the blog is practically non-existent. Most advertisers won't consider placing an ad on a blog with less than 1000 visitors a day. Which is really fine because ads are generally speaking, ugly, distracting, and less than calm. I do advertise my books on the site and while I assume that many of my regular readers have purchased them, I don't sell them in any great numbers because of CT. I'm often asked how much money I make through this blog and you can see the answer that's coming: zero. (Though it might be truer to say I lose money.....since I now pay google $3.50 a month as I've exceeded the storage capacity because of all the photos posted).
I've written most of a book which is based on this blog and which needs adding, subtracting and revising. That's one of the projects on my back burner for next year, while I'm also continuing to write another book of poem-essays, not unlike and extending the thinking in my book Asking. You might have read the opening to the blog-inspired book, which I posted above. (Transactions with Beauty). But I don't honestly have high hopes that I'll find a publisher for it. Still, I'm compelled to see it through.
So maybe that all sounds a bit lame. Numbers, I think, often do.
What this blog has given me over the last many years, is a place for creative overflow. A place to investigate and toss out loosely connected and random ideas and quotes and poems about beauty and about how to live calmly and creatively in this messy and often confusing world. I've wanted it to be a place to breathe, for myself and anyone who happened to find themselves here. It's quite clearly a selfish enterprise but one that seems to have been useful for the occasional reader from time to time. Because of this blog, I began to seek out writers that I might not otherwise have found. And I take photographs I might not otherwise take. Best of all, I've received countless lovely notes and messages from my readers which have encouraged me in myriad ways and made me feel a little less crazy for continuing in this, my by now obsessive daily practice.
I don't really have a plan for Calm Things in 2015. Just my usual flying by the seat of my pants posting.
The photo, taken last week, seems appropriate for today's post. The heart was only noticed when I uploaded the photo onto the computer. If nothing else, this is a labour of love. The Pasternak quotation was found last night, working at the library, flipping through a book I'd come across while looking for another book entirely.
My wish for 2015 is for my own soul to be inspired and ablaze with revelations. And for yours too. Wishing you a year of calm things, as always.