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Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Blog Reaches Around the World

This blog is viewed by people in the following countries (by page views, most to least): United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, France, South Africa.

The fact that the blog is viewed in these particular countries is neither surprising nor remarkable. The stats are collected every day and freely distributed to me. They represent cold numbers to which I pay little attention. This does not mean I do not love my audience. It simply means that tracking statistics is not my forte.

I seldom consider the nationalities of my small audience. I am a citizen of the United States who tries to keep abreast of local and national news. I must confess I don't know enough about the internal affairs and the real concerns of those in the UK, India, or South Africa. When a story set in another land hits the U.S. media, I pay attention and try to digest its importance, but I am largely ignorant of what is "really going on" in distant places. I surely am not alone in this lack of knowledge. Most of us tend most to matters close at hand.

I was thinking about the subjects and themes of my writing as they impact (or don't impact) readers in other countries. I have passionately written about topics that affect my tiny community. Yet, shouldn't I better understand the concerns of the world community? Person to person, up close understandings - I would love to develop a better comprehension of the human being on planet Earth in the 21st century. I am the first to admit I think that my home represents the universe. How silly?

History, customs, traditions aside, I wonder what humans all around the globe feel when they get up in the morning and plunge into a new day. Do they have the same notions I have? I am a college graduate with a master's degree, so I have attended school with those from many nations; however, I have never traveled abroad or never really experienced life first-hand elsewhere.

I can tell you that being 60 years-old and living in a rural Appalachian community is not indicative of what many people associate with being a modern American. I have addressed that in many blog entries, so I won't go into detail. Suffice it to say I am retired; I live in a small home; I am on a fixed income; and my wife and I both have automobiles. No yacht, no summer home, no dreams of large attainment. And, guess what. I do like my simple life.

The words on this page represent my spiritual and physical presence to strangers. Spilling words into the blog, I reveal my personal makeup. I never believe my words satisfy my soul, but they do certainly help heal it. When I write something, I feel as if I have bared a small piece of myself from beneath my exterior covering. Writing makes me feel better even when no one reads a post. I understand this is cliche, but writing is cathartic. It is strong medicine for me.

So here is the state of one American citizen on Saturday, May 7, 2011. I long for the days when friends and lovers were less critical. In fact, I long for days when I was less critical. Although reality presents familiar challenges each day, I meet them with less exuberance and receive less satisfaction when achieving a simple accomplishment. I am sorry for my sins and my intrusions into spaces I had no business wandering. With this regret, I try to remain hopeful. Still, at 60, time is not exactly "on my side." I now take small steps.

I sometimes feel as if I push the boundaries of loneliness. Those close to me will say that is entirely my fault. And, they may be correct. I am not the great family man by any means. I do enjoy sitting alone with my computer and keyboard. I relish time to myself. Still, I have always had friends that I felt understood me well and with whom I made allowances for certain abrasive personal behaviors. Today, close contacts are pretty distant. Such detriments to continuing old ties come with the territory of aging, I guess.

I believe in love. I really do. I miss days when a more loving spirit seemed to be present in my own life. I really am not talking about the "posting Facebook photos" love or the "acting gaga over every little thing" love. I miss mutual love -- tolerance -- understanding that we all are flawed and that we all make mistakes, but we can all believe that our needy human condition plays a part in our struggle for love. We are needy, earthly beings. Maybe it's my perception, but many things do seem to "fall apart" as time accelerates. Love itself becomes more illusive.

Back to the topic, I wonder what your true condition may be whether you live in the United States, France, or Australia. As temporary fixtures on this planet together, maybe we should share what really counts. I believe that diversity is the strength of any union, no matter how distant or how loose. If you're out there and want to express a few words, try forming them into a piece of writing. You are welcome to express yourself here.

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