I guess that's long enough. I've been away a long time, and I'm finding this "home" hasn't changed a bit.
My office has a biweekly newsletter, and it had a problem with readership, meaning no one was reading it, and there was a substantial lack of material. I decided to submit one of my essays from a blog entry from this site, slightly modified it for a different audience, and submitted it. It was well received, and I was encouraged by the editor to continue submitting stories, articles, essays, or whatever I wanted. It gave me a regular column in which to share my thoughts, get things off my chest, and generally say what was on my mind. It is highly unusual to be given that kind of freedom. I wrote the column for almost two years, 46 entries in all. I received nothing but positive feedback, which had a therapeutic effect on me. I mined a lot of material from this blog for that column.
A few weeks ago, the editor received a complaint from a colleague who threatened a grievance due to the assumption that there were too many straight white males writing articles for the newsletter. There were two of us writing regular columns, and it's true: we were both straight white males. Never mind the fact that we were writing voluntarily, and that the editor would accept just about anything that was either related in some way to the work that we do, or was entertaining and not offensive. Anyone could write and submit an article. But the complaint was legitimate, and the editor determined that she should cut back on the number of columns written by straight white males. All two of us. Her solution was to have us alternate columns, so instead of writing an article every two weeks, we would each write one article every four weeks, alternating every two weeks.
I was disappointed, but the arrangement was fine with me. However, the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted to be done with the whole thing. So I requested that I be given the opportunity to write one more article to basically say goodbye, and announce that the column was ending. I thanked everyone for their support, for the kind words sent to me as feedback, and for the extraordinary good fortune of being able to write something with such freedom. It published last week.
The feedback I received was immense, unanimously positive, and certainly a greater response to anything I've ever written. Readers were disappointed, but seemed to understand. One told me that I should collect all of the articles I had written and make sure to save and share them with my daughter, who might appreciate them more than anyone else.
That led me to remember that this blog, "Away From The Things of Man," was written for that very purpose. My audience has primarily always been for my daughter, and the writer of that particular piece of advice was a reminder that the blog would always be a place for me to scratch the writing itch. And here I am.
The purpose of this blog has never been about gaining readers. That was secondary to giving my daughter something to remember her father when I'm no longer around. She missed out on knowing her mother, who passed away when she was only five months old. My daughter needs to know how much I respect her, how proud of her I am, and how much I love her. She is my primary source of happiness. And while I tell her that all the time, I want her to be able to find these words in whatever format this blog is kept for the rest of time.
So, if there is anyone still out there who read this blog prior to this entry, welcome back. I won't be writing every day, but I hope it will be often enough to keep your entertained.
Have a great evening, everyone.