I'd like to be able to come up with a good excuse as to why I've been so lax here. Or if not a good excuse, a dramatic excuse. Intense depression and offline time soul-searching. Travelling up and down the coast trying to find myself. Time spend at a hidden Buddhist monastery. Something.
But, there really isn't anything like that.
It's possible that I'm suffering a bit of "public journalling burnout"; I've been doing this reasonably consistently for about four years, it looks like. The first journal entry I made (in my homebrew journal system) was July 6, 2000. I'd actually tried it in 1998 with more of a "columnist" approach -- a thousand words on a given topic -- but after only managing to do a half-dozen of those, I decided journal snippets were an easier target. On the one hand it doesn't feel like it's been all that long; on the other hand, it means I've been doing this longer than a whole lot of folks.
I see looking back that in the first couple of years I was posting two or three entries a month. Here on LiveJournal, I ramped that up; I've never been a daily journalist but, doing a quick calendar scan, I've usually managed 10-15 entries a month.
So what happened in June, 2004? Has my life stopped being interesting enough for me to write about? I had the road trip with my mom a couple weeks ago, which went pretty well, all told; I'm still working on a journal entry about that, but haven't had the motivation to finish it. We've got an artist for Why Coyotes Howl who I'm pretty excited about. I have a couple other projects I'm trying to either kickstart or to move from pipedream to, at the very least, on-paper notes. I've been thinking about a few different "personal essay" topics I want to journal on, most recently the distinction between rural and urban living as seen by people like myself whose life experience is almost entirely comprised of suburbia.
Part of it might be my old bugaboo of time organization coming to bite me again. I'm letting myself spend too much time online roleplaying (and not enough of that on Bandari, where I really should be putting my time if I'm going to be engaging in such a time sink). I'm spending too much time wandering without buckling down and paying attention to important personal projects. This, I can attend to, as long as I force myself to do so. I'm also in a restless and mildly depressed phase, which never helps matters.
And a lot of it is that I've been feeling more political lately. My posting in Barking at the Moon is still relatively light, but it's more active than this journal is.
The truth, of course, is that politics can and do entwine with the personal; keeping politics mostly out of this journal leaves me somewhat muted. And it doesn't keep political controversy out of the picture anyway. I've had my church's fight with a Texas bureaucracy blithely dismissed (with a completely unrelated court ruling dragged into the discussion solely for extra controversy bits). And when I agreed that it was offensive for liberals to cruelly mock conservatives, my assertion that the "cruelly mock" aspect was where the offense lay was met with a impassioned response that carried an uncomfortable undercurrent of you clearly don't understand that Liberals hate America, and cruelly mocking them is just fine. (In fact, it was about the time I got this that I stopped writing in LiveJournal, and I suspect that this isn't coincidental.)
I've been working on ways to conclude this for far too many idle minutes at work between real documents, so I'm just going to say this. I read things I disagree with from friends; there are times where I have to grit my teeth to get past what amounts as pretty vicious attacks on my beliefs. I try not to write things here that will make them grit their teeth, and I try to understand why they believe the way they do. This is a hallmark of basic respect. And respect is the one thing I expect to be reciprocated.
More later -- on other topics. I think part of getting going on this journal is clearing the air a little on this one, though.