Not for sale(?) ~ Not for sale

In 1996, Papa launched his pioneering mathematics website, and, from the very beginning, he refused to put any advertisements on it that he did not explicitly approve of. He also refused to sell his massive site and cede control of its direction, even though he received lucrative offers to do so.

Not only was Papa not in it for the money, but he also took pride in his own vision for mathematics education. He believed profoundly in the inherent beauty of mathematics and self-confidently trusted in his personal ability to convey it. Simply put, ‘Cut The Knot’ was Papa’s identity to those who did not know him in person; and it was the deeply personal culmination of his life’s work. ~ Not for sale?

As I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion, WordPress strongly pushes its bloggers towards monetizing their blogs. The following link is featured centrally on every WordPress blogger’s backend:

Hooray, money!

Clicking on this link provides bloggers with a list of ways to profit from their websites (depending upon their payment plans):

  • Collect payments
    • Accept one-time and recurring credit card payments for physical products, services, memberships, subscriptions, and donations.
  • Collect payments for content
    • Create paid subscription options to share premium content like text, images, video, and any other content on your website.
  • Collect PayPal payments
    • Accept credit card payments via PayPal for physical products, services, donations, or support of your creative work.
  • Accept donations & tips
    • Collect donations, tips, and contributions for your creative pursuits, organization, or whatever your website is about.
  • Send paid email newsletters
    • Share premium content with paying subscribers automatically through email.
  • Earn ad revenue
    • Make money each time someone visits your site by displaying advertisements on all your posts and pages.

But, really, none of these appeal to me, which is why I’ve been thinking back to Papa and his website recently. Ad revenue, tips, payments for content… I feel that any of these would fundamentally change the nature of the Skeptic’s Kaddish in ways that would detract from this organic outlet of mine. The notion of my poetry becoming the basis for transactional exchanges discomfits me.

It’s not that I’m an idealist… it’s just that I’ve come to value my relationships and exchanges with other writers to the point that I can’t imagine monetizing them. I love receiving your feedback and getting to know you – that is a most precious reward.

‘Skeptic’s Kaddish’ ~ The book?

When I established this blog more than one year ago, I had no intention of launching a poetry blog.

At the time, which was not long after I had completed my year of mourning of Papa, I was considering the possibility of writing a book about that most traditional of Jewish experiences, but I did not know how to go about it.

Many people [have] suggested that I publish the ‘Skeptic’s kaddish’ as a book, and while I’ve been giving this serious consideration, it… I feel…


Firstly, I don’t feel done with this journey, even with the close of the first chapter. Secondly, my personal kaddish odyssey assumed the format of a blog rather naturally, with all the advantages and disadvantages that offers. How would one include embedded YouTube videos and lists of hypertext in a bound volume, I wonder?

Lastly, my vision for a book includes a section that I’ve only begun working on – an ethical will.

-Me, ‘Chapter next’, Apr. 30, 2020

Today, I still fantasize about writing a book, but I am less certain than ever before about its direction and substance. In addition to all of my earlier considerations, I am now drawn to writing poetry more than I could ever have expected… and how does one tie that into a book about the mourner’s kaddish?

In truth, I know the answer to that question – writing poetry has actually become a central component of my grieving process; maintaining this very website with Papa’s photo at its top has become part of my grieving process; my reflections upon my faith, identity, and parenting experiences have become part of my grieving process.

But the problem, you see, is that one has to read my blog regularly in order to follow the developments of my grief journey. It evolves every day – from poem to poem – from thought to thought – from experience to experience… Anything that I could write about it in a book would become irrelevant as soon as it was penned; and most of it is subtly tucked away between the lines of my blog posts. Essentially, it’s actually my creative process itself that continues to heal me, more so than my content. How could I even begin to describe that?

In theory, this blog would be the perfect platform for me to launch and promote a book… but I remain too awash in abstract, entangled emotions… healing but ever lost… with nothing but mirages of a horizon before me.

41 thoughts on “Not for sale(?)”

  1. A wonderful ethic your father lived into and inspired you. I feel the same way about WP. there are those who intentionally run a business and that’s fine by me but it’s not where I’m drawn to.

  2. I love your sharing of your Dad, his imprint he had on you and I too agree with everything you have said David❣️

    With that said, I’m sooooo busy and seeing lots of clients juggling many balls so I am getting the help from a friend of my friend who is helping but please do let me know if it starts seeming like something is steering away from my intent which is sharing and caring❣️💓

    Thanks much 🙏🙏🙏🌷

    1. so I am getting the help from a friend of my friend who is helping

      Cindy, sorry, I don’t quite follow… what is your friend of a friend helping you with?


      1. My site…. Not sure you have noticed tweaks on my site etc. I HATE technology but have learned lots this year. I am just asking as a friend to lmk if you see glitches etc if you see them or things that you see are off when reading etc. I create all of my own posts etc but getting technical and SEO help.
        Does that clarify things?

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