Nearing my blogoversary
Two days ago, I got together with a friend of mine, whom I hadn’t seen in many months because of the multiple COVID-19 lockdowns that we’ve gone through here in Israel. He and I became particularly close the year before last when we took a Talmud class together in the evenings. Last autumn, he decided to continue studying Talmud, and I decided to forgo it.
During our conversation, I reflected upon the fact that I would never have had as much time for writing poetry and blogging if I’d continued studying Talmud this year. In fact, I wouldn’t have had time for this blog in the 2½ years previous to our Talmud class either – that’s back when I was studying spoken Arabic in the evenings. It seems that I cannot deeply engage myself in more than one extracurricular commitment at a time, on top of my work and parenting responsibilities.
Given this, especially as I near my 1st blogoversary this month, it’s fair to ask whether my blogging journey has been worth it. I could have been doing many other things with my time, but instead I chose to write – so does this seem to have been a good decision?
I have probably written more poetry over the course of this last year than I had in the previous ~40 years of my life; and this has been wonderfully fulfilling. Writing poetry makes me happy in a way that I had never expected. I feel myself a playful child in the virtual playground of the blogosphere, among fellow poets from all over the world.
My joy at writing poetry has even spilled over into my parenting over the last year, as I’ve noted on this blog. Over the course of this last year, my six-year-old daughter has started writing and reading poetry, and she has asked me to write poems about her to post on my blog. She walks around the apartment rhyming various words aloud and playing with spoonerisms and rhythm. She too has come to appreciate and enjoy poetry!
Just last night, I wrote a limerick about her, which she enjoyed hearing me read to her this morning. My wife, ever the responsible one, finally stopped us after several readings, reminding us that we had to get ready to go to preschool.
Emotional outlet for my grief
When I first created ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’ website, especially given its title and the first poem that I wrote, my Mama asked me whether I planned to only write about my Papa, who had died in the summer of 2018. I responded that no, I didn’t. This is definitely what some would call a ‘grief blog’, but it was never intended to be exclusively about my grief.
That said, I often think about Papa, and my grieving for him has been gradually evolving. Often, I reflect upon how to commemorate him, and this blog allows me a forum for my grief-related thoughts. Many mourner feels that they are imposing upon or making others uncomfortable when they share their feelings of grief; I have definitely felt that way on more than one occasion. Thankfully, throughout the last year, ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’ has been here for me whenever I have needed a space to process my feelings. Having such an outlet has been truly cathartic.
Also, even when I am not writing about Papa, I see him at the top of this website whenever I browse through my blog. In a small way, seeing him there every day makes me feel more connected to him… not metaphysically, but rather by stirring my love. I may not always write about my grief, but every poem on this blog was written, in part, as an expression of my love for him.
I have already written about how much I appreciate and enjoy the interactions I have with other writers and poets here on WordPress, and I won’t rehash that now, except to say that I have come to feel a very strong sense of warmth and community in our shared online space. Thinking about this brings a smile to my face.
So… yes. It has been much more than worth it to blog every day at ‘The Skeptic’s Kaddish’.
I certainly never thought that I would be dedicating so much time to this website, nor to writing poetry (among other things) – but I am so glad that I did so; and I am so glad that you have joined me on my journey. Thank you!