Strange things happen to those who wait.
This morning, while sorting through my e.mail account I came across one from my first born, now fully grown and long ago on her own. For some reason, at present beyond my understanding, she has presented me with this blog--set it up on her own, e.mailed me the access codes, gave me no instructions on how to make it look like I don't know what I am doing. Just said "Here. Go for it.".... only she didn't even say that... just e.mailed the cryptic codes.
I know I didn't ask for a blog. I never thought I needed a blog. This is totally unexpected. Certainly, there must be a proper and correct response to such a gift. Certainly this is not the first time a blog has been given. Still, I am somewhat at a loss. What rights and responsibilities do I have? Neophtyic bloggers are so easily lead astray I fear. What ethics apply?Is one obligated to accept and become the guardian of an unsolicited blog? Is the obligation here similar to that one incurs when one is asked, "Would you like to say grace?" while sitting at mere acquaintance's table for a first meal? There one cannot decline without incurring a greater need for grace for not giving it. My sense is that declining to blog in one that is given constitutes a faux paux. Still, from a simple practical standpoint, how many blogs are already out there, and how many more are needed and who reads a blog anyway besides the person writing the blog and perhaps someone stumbling through cyberspace on their way from one place to another on a url'd tour.
What could my first-born be thinking? Perhaps she is so embedded in cyberspace that she thinks we should all be there together, sitting around the cyber-table cyber-sharing the events of the day just like the Cleavers.... only in cyberform. Or, perhaps she has found the perfect cyberpresent to replace the traditional physically bound neck-tie of pre-cyber father's days. If so, I would certainly grant you that a blog is much better than a neck-tie, especially since if you don't like the color of your blog you (not me as of yet) can exchange at will for one's more to your liking. Still, as father's day presents go, nothing beats the little hand-prints on clay and paper that you get when your kids are so young that pocket change still seems like a world of money.
Perhaps she is telling me that she doesn't know enough about me and my life anymore and that if only I could/would blog then perhaps we could regain some of the closeness we had when I used to pack her on my back and ride the bus to graduate school with my lunch sack tucked in between her diapers, desitine, and pins that stuck me many more times than they did her just to plop her in the corner of my office while I would try to get one of the early versions of SPSS to run from a set of control cards that had a mind of their own. Or, perhaps she misses the days when I would place her on my shoulders for a field trip to National Lumber on a Saturday just to smell cut lumber or McDonald's on a Sunday for a breakfast of orange juice and french-fries that we would take down to Huntington Beach Pier to share with seagulls who would eat from your hands whether you liked it or not while her mother lay sleeping without the faintest of ideas as to what morning or morning people were all about or why anyone would want to see the sun dance off surfer crested waves five hours before a it would cast no shadows, marking, she was sure, a proper time for rising. Perhaps she is thinking that... or perhaps that thinking is my own.
She is my first-born, the one who revealed creation to me in the moment of her coming into being. She is the one who in leaving her mother's womb to enter my world, did so with skin so squeezed by the narrow passage that she looked fish-dead white only to become deep blue/black/purple with no hint of any color I had expected a newborn child to be, scaring me so that my first words to her were, instead of the intended "Welcome little one," "Breathe damn you, breathe." Breathe she did and breathe she does and that, that has made all the difference. Still, I am not sure that one of the rights of the first born is to bestow upon the father a blog... especially a father such as I who is as social as an agoraphobic hermit on retreat.
Cyberspace and I are not friends. Technology and I are at odds. Indeed, in my Ludite enlightened world, there is a general sense that once clay tablets were supplanted by papyrus, parchment, and vellum and the stiles used to mark the clay were made obsolete by the quill pen, enough was enough. Indeed, were there a font that gave a sense of said quilled pen, I would use it, but the script offered is so without splotched ink as to make it appear more as the calligraphy on a wedding invitation rather than the writings of one who in his mind's eye sits at gnarled desk with sight granted solely by the undulations of a flame teased by the vespers of an evening come.
Still, were a blog a tie, I would, out of love alone, put it on, try it, wear it for a day.
And so, with the same courage I called upon to set down the ball-point pen in favor of the gell-pen, I post to the billions who will not come and the one, my first-born, who will, this, the beginning blog of bob