"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Birthday road

"Blogging block" wrote Jessica Miller-Merrill  today, she a guru of blogging and making a living with it in Oklahoma.

I haven't had so much block, though perhaps it is so, as I have just not wanted to sit down and write, at the end of the year after an emotionally exhausting fall, and a Capricorn birthday to start the new one off.

But my blogging friend Ronald Rabenold from Pennsylvania (Cultured Carbon County... http://culturedcarboncounty.blogspot.com )asked last night on Facebook if there might be a painting to go with the day. I hadn't stirred there either, but at least he got me out of the chair reading the many great congratulatory and sarcastic remarks from my friends, family, ex-students, and journalists who weighed in to wish me well. His is one of three blogs I check eagerly. Blog friend K. Lawson Gilbert--also from Pennsylvania, and her blog Old Mossy Moon most recently wrote about my watercolor card to her...High Lonesome. http://oldmossymoon.com. And there's Alan Bates of Tulsa, a fellow sojourner from New Mexico, an oil and gas guy, who writes Yogi's Den, http://crustygasguy.blogspot.com/

They put pressure on me just because they're so good. So up I got last night and painted something from within- It ain't great, but it's something, just like this post.

As I wrote yesterday, it's easy to feel marginal in this world at this age, especially in business or higher ed--as Larry McMurtry wrote in The Rhino Ranch, the concluding novel of five that started decades ago in The Last Picture show. http://www.bookreporter.com/authors/au-mcmurtry-larry.asp. After all, when you think about it, yesterday was just the completion of my insiginficant 67th
The pressure is on too, because I start teaching a class on blogging next Tuesday. I don't believe you should teach something if you can't do it, if you aren't doing it--the bane of many academics who have never done anything else and can't.

So here is "Birthday Road," a traveler heading toward sunrise or sunset (you choose), because the past is behind him/her. We all travel that road alone, but with help from those we've met and known. Facebook has become a friend for this, with so many comments from friends, family, ex-students (also friends), students, bloggers, et. al. as I've completed another circumnavigation of the sun.

More coming soon, on the pages--so much poetry--of 1010, and the start of 2011, from a traveler on the birthday road.


  1. Happy belated Birthday. Only the lucky have birthdays.

    I love your painting.

    You'll get back in the blogging groove.

    I think that everybody but the unaware feels the marginalization thing.

  2. Happy Birthday, dear Terry! And many more to come! The painting is beautiful. It reminds me of those sunny slopes of long ago, as McMurtry would put it. It makes me wax nostalgia.

  3. Happy Belated Birthday, found you via Alan. I love your painting. It reminds me of the countryside around me here in NW OK where abandoned homesteads are prolific.

  4. Wow Terry, a real winner...I like the light...I like the anticipation of the walker home...thanks


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