mots du jour

by Lorin Michel Thursday, January 29, 2015 8:57 PM

I started this blog four years ago this month. I did it as a respite from the drowning news of the day, of every day. It occurred to me then, just as it has every day since including today, that the news was always bad, mean. Horrible things happening to people all over the world. People doing horrible things to other people. Politics. Animal cruelty. Natural disasters. I suppose the news channels and the Internet sites get more clicks for horror than sunshine and daisies. I understand that. I click on some of the stories, too, as if to convince myself that yes, people really can be that despicable.

I have posted everyday since February 29, 2011. Some of my posts are contemplative, some are stupid, some are (hopefully) funny, some are commemorative. Some posts have featured guest authors, namely Maguire, Cooper and Squire Squirrel. I’ve had fun and I continue to do so.

I read other blogs, some daily, others only occasionally. I think the Internet has become a powerful tool for finding new and exciting voices. It has also become a place for the lowest, vilest trolls to take up residence. If you’ve ever read the comments on just about anything you know what I mean. I am forever amazed at how nasty people can be. I wonder if they’re like that in real life or if the Internet gives them cover, allows them to troll in complete anonymity. On one hand I am forever appalled that people can and do think and write such things, and usually write them badly. I’m not sure why trolls have such bad grammar and sentence structure. Perhaps it’s because they were raised under a wet rock.

On the other hand, I am forever in awe. People are writing and interacting. While I think a great deal of that interaction is counterproductive, it is still interactive. The Internet has made us all more isolated while also bringing us together with people from all over the world. I suppose in a way, we’ve all become a bit troll like, since my definition of troll is a small, horrid creature that exists on the periphery of civilization.

One of the blogs that I have read several times each day is the Daily Dish by Andrew Sullivan. He’s quite a prolific writer, a British ex-Pat who is conservative by nature. I don’t agree with a lot that he writes but I love reading his point of view. He has brought style and grace into the vitriol of politics and religion and I have often turned to the Dish first after any type of big event, especially one that involves politics or religion. He announced yesterday that he’s done. After 15 years of blogging daily, he is hanging up his website, taking his ideas and going home to be with his husband. I respect that. I will miss him and his insights greatly as so many others will.

His blog has nearly countless posts each day. I don’t know how he has done it, and the truth is, it has obviously taken a toll. My little blog doesn’t take a toll at all. Whereas his became a chore, I still look to mine as a refuge. After writing all day for others, these short blurbs about my life and observations give me an outlet. There are days when I say, grudgingly “Shit. I haven’t even started my blog” and then I think, maybe I won’t do it today. After all, there aren’t that many people who read me. Maybe no one will notice.

But I would notice. It is a commitment I made to myself, an opportunity every day to write about nothing and everything and whatever. It’s a bit like the 1980s and 90s when I kept a journal. I loved writing in my journal. Small story ideas, lists of things about other things, observations, musings, confessions. I filled up I don’t know how many volumes. I kept every one. Maybe someday I’ll go back and revisit. Maybe there’s a novel lurking in those pages. More likely though, there is nothing but the scribbled words of the day.

Words of the day are what each post is. Words that find their way into sentences that wrap into paragraphs to eventually become a post. It starts with a title. It ends with something to celebrate.

Today I’m celebrating the idea of words of the day. Mots du jour. Somehow when you put it into French it seems loftier, pretty. Commémoratif.

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