It’s been quite a while since the last post. There is a reason; it’s just not a very good one.
Part of the idea of this blog was to record my activities and thoughts without a great deal of wrestling with the prose and second-guessing. The combination of being an English professor, an aspiring writer, and an anal-retentive perfectionist has made this quite a difficult row to hoe.
In truth, it’s more that I’m an idealist perfectionist: in my planning and plotting, I aspire only to greatness, but because I cannot reach that lofty goal, I keep putting off the attempt until I feel “ready.” This readiness, I’ve found, will never arrive. That’s part of the impetus to hike the trail, really: it’s a project that must start at a particular date or I won’t make it through the window of opportunity. I can’t keep dithering or making excuses not to go. Add to that the weight of a sabbatical and my job riding on me at least attempting the journey and I’ve put myself into a position where I must simply leap and do my best.
This post, for example, was started weeks ago, meant to record some of the hiking I’d been doing in preparation for the trail. The longer it sat, the harder it was to get back to it. I’m doing so now just to get it out, clearing the decks for more frequent posting. It still won’t be what I’m hoping for, but—to grab the oft-quoted aphorism oft attributed to Voltaire—the best is the enemy of the good. Acceptable and concrete is far better than ideal and abstract, really. I want to be a deep philosopher, but I think I have to come to grips with the fact that I’m more of an amusing rambler. That’s good enough for now.
This also brings up the worry for me about how to post from the trail. Add in to these issues the fatigue from hiking all day and my natural laziness, combined with sitting in a tent somewhere in the wilderness (not the ideal workspace) and I am concerned about getting in here often enough. I know that the blogs I most enjoyed and which were the most helpful were ones updated with some regularity. It’s a project, and one of the many which I won’t really know how to tackled until the time comes. Pray for my flexibility and determination, won’t you? Thank you.
I’ll leave this here as a record, and go on to put the training hikes this was meant to be about in the next post. It will be full of excitement and adventure and burned bicycles! I promise. Here’s a picture of the old mug that no one asked for—taken during my last big hike—to keep you amused until then.