"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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Reflections on a missed 10th birthday a month ago, alas

missed decade's birthday--I knew it was coming and meant to celebrate, and then simply forgot, until the middle  of this month.
That emphasizes to me something not about my memory, but about change in life, in evolution, or identity.
started this blog May 3, 2009, when I was ending a 19-year stint as department chair at UCO, changing to being "just" a professor, and going through the stress of identity change. But I was still a journalist, a journalism teacher, a writer, and that identity was the focus of the blog.
Why did I forget?  Because my life has again changed (that is so naive--our lives change every second) with retirement two years ago. I've steadily written less in the blog and switched it more to of a forum for my art. 
At  one time, it continued because I was still teaching the blogging class--a necessity for success. Then I considered trying to make the blog into a commercial effort, but art changes that, and besides, writing well takes lots of time and effort...which, as I have less time ahead, I'd rather spend doing art.
Most recently, including this month, I have a resistance to the keyboard--Not writer's block, because I see stories, and photos everywhere--but just repulsion to sitting down here.
I've  written several times that the blog has become almost comatose...in 10 years, there have been only two months, last year, when I didn't write at all--a far cry from earlier months when I'd post every day, sometimes in multiples.
So why now? Maybe the hunger is back. Maybe also as my art web page is almost ready to go, with a link to this blog, I see a purpose--telling the stories of the paintings and art. 
And there's still this obligation, this self-competition inside to keep it going, since most blogs don't last very long, as noted in the first post.
For the record, the blog has attracted readers in more than 150 countries, and with more than 280,000 page views. This post is number 2,117.
Most active year was the first, 339 posts in eight months. Most posts, 70 in August that year.
So as the blog continues--telling stories of art, nothing shows more how it, and I have changed in 10 years than that first article.
Here is is, typos and all:

May 3.

The death of journalism? Or new life? Who knows...having conducted my last faculty meeting Friday in 19 years as chair, I show a pix of me at with faculty in fall 1990...now I'm old "seasoned" as they say). We viewed Did you Know from You Tube, and a section from TED on creativity. Our meetings, curse them all, are always about red tape and paperwork and regulations and policies, and never about what we're supposed to do best...teaching. The highlights of my career...my students and friends. Great article about me in last issue of Vista by Kory Oswald....look it up at Vista online. His descirption of me is dead on. "Clark looks like he could be your grandfather, or drinking buddy, or both." I'll drink to that.

Sunday is church with the New York Times. sitting on a leather couch with Crystal the cat in my lap, reading, sipping coffee, eating oatmeal, watching the rain come down outside. and facebook with friends like Farsooth Razak in NYC, or listing to Richard Mize's redneck rantings.

Aug. 1 I will be out as chair, and heading for just teaching, and running Journalism Hall of Fame, and watercolor painting, and writing and research....long suppressed by the red tape of administrative duties.

I'm keeping a journal of "The last Time" of this year, the last time I'll do a schedule, I'll attend meetings, etc.

None of this may seem interesting, unless you're itnerested in the insides of higher education, yet, but I assure you it will.

I ceased my Coffee with Clark radio program years ago, but this is the successor....It'll be worth your reading please.

So this is all off the cuff...let me hear from you.

Ursa the professa

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