back at it

A couple of years ago, I was treated for cancer on the base of my tongue.  Thankfully, it’s gone and I am doing well.

When I was diagnosed, I found that the communication demands of the job at hand were greater than I had expected.  So, I decided to send out a newsletter now and again to keep everyone informed.

I’ve probably written close to a million words for publication in my time, but almost all of them have been for “work.”  Most have appeared on my own sites, but at times I have written for other organizations, newspapers, magazines, and websites.  So, writing was not new to me when I started my cancer chronicles but the topics were — and, for the most part, the readers following along were new as well.

In truth, it didn’t take long for those newsletters, billed as “Tom’s health updates,” to become dominated by “Tom’s ruminations on life.”  (“Surprise, surprise,” said a former co-worker months later when I told her that.  Apparently I had a reputation.)

Based upon the replies that I received, it was clear that the dispatches struck a chord for many people.  And, since then, I have had more than one person (somewhat sheepishly) tell me that they wished I was still writing.  “Don’t take this wrong,” they’d say, “I don’t want you to get sick again, but I miss your updates.”

So this blog is a return of sorts.  I’m under no illusion that it will generate the same level of interest as my earlier efforts.  The new narrative – aging man seeks to send his thoughts out to the world – isn’t very compelling when compared to the previous one.  But if I’m able to be as open about this human’s condition as I was the last time around, maybe something will resonate with you.  It’s surprising what can happen when we share our thoughts with each other.

“I’m curious about a lot of things,” someone wrote recently.  Me too.  There will be a little bit of everything in the postings to come.  If you stick around and read a few (sign up here to get the postings delivered to your inbox), maybe you’ll find something of interest.  Please forgive my clunkers along the way.

No doubt the aging-man perspective will color some of the postings; it’s just where I am.  The poet George Oppen once said, “What a strange thing to happen to a little boy.”  I feel the same way.

But hopefully that sentiment won’t dominate the stories ahead.  There’s too much life to live and too many important things to write about to dwell too heavily on the passage of time.

In January, a bottle was found on an Australian beach.  It had a message inside, in German, from 1886.  There were thousands of such bottles tossed into the ocean over the course of more than sixty years, in an effort by Germany to study ocean currents.  None of the bottles had been reported found since 1934.

Perhaps someone will find my writing, hereby dropped into the ocean of cyberspace, more than a hundred years from now.  In the meantime, the messages are for you.  Let me know what you think.



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