I KNOW YOU MISSED ME 'CAUSE YOU TOLD ME SO.
I stopped writing WALKING IS TRANSPORTATION (WIT) in October, 2009 because I wanted to do other things. It really was gratifying to hear from so many people that they looked forward to reading my work; that they liked the look of WIT as much as what it and I had to say. And that they were sorry to hear I wasn't writing it anymore.
If memory serves, as it often doesn't, this is WIT's fourth incarnation. I'm retaining the title WALKING IS TRANSPORTATION as a kind of platform or backdrop, in the same way I might make a comfortable home for myself in the words, JAZZ IS (everything).
A VERY BRIEF HISTORY
Phase 1: WIT began life as a straightforward advocacy tool for, as the name suggests, walking as a practical, efficient and inexpensive means of transportation. It became clear to me, a few months into the game, that there was only so much I could say without repeating myself and boring others.
Phase 2: Either I took a break or simply transitioned into a kind of community-observer journal focused un-self-consciously on Staten Island, with occasional forays into visual art, jazz and electoral politics.
Phase 3: For a brief and intense period, WIT became a daily journal. The subjects varied; what mattered was to produce an issue a day. An impossible standard that I stopped trying to meet in October, 2009.
As I begin WIT's third return-to-life, it seems important not to make any promises or projections. That said, what's certain is that WIT will reflect my current interests.
ANOTHER JOURNAL OF A SOLITUDE ? MAYBE.
I first read May Sarton's journal in the mid-70s, less because of the word 'solitude' in its title than because of its profile of a writer's retreat to the country, which I and my wife were then contemplating.
Reading it again today, as I plan to, 35 years or so later, it's the word 'solitude,' not the words 'country retreat,' that interests me. That's because, for some time now, I've been grappling with what many, perhaps most people would consider my withdrawal--if not from society, then from certain aspects of my former life.
I can't deny the accuracy of the word 'withdrawal' when applied to what I do and, just as often, don't. But lately, for the first time in about five years, it's occurring to me that perhaps the wish for solitude, for the solitary, is an impulse I don't have to resist or reform or moderate or deny. It's a wish that feels--to use a word not so much used these days--authentic; and one that, for now, I intend to fulfill.
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