Another Birthday

Another birthday this month–not mine, you silly (that was last month, 56 long trips about the sun, and the treads are definitely showing the wear…), but this blog: two years old. For a project started on something of a lark–writing for a non-existent audience, with nearly non-existent time to pursue yet another Bob Obsession–it has proven to be quite a journey in many ways. The odyssey has been one from within and without, both reflective and relational. Putting thoughts to paper, as it were, seems to plumb some inner space, revealing dark recesses and flashes of light in often surprising ways, as the discipline of writing seems to free the spirit in some mysterious way. Writing for this blog, and elsewhere, has released thoughts, insights, and words which are, more often than not, as startling to me as they seem to be pleasing, and at times helpful, to others. And the surprise of new relationships and friendships, many virtual and virtually anonymous, yet friends nevertheless, rich with oneness of spirit and mind, is a real treasure–and frankly as surprising as the words I sometimes find myself writing.

I don’t write with any desire to be famous, or have the most hits, to get links on Instapundit or interviews in the media or a book deal. And I am pleased to inform you that my lowly objectives have been achieved beyond my wildest dreams: no fame, no fortune, no Instalanche, no book deals–and that’s perfectly alright, thank you very much. My goal–my hope, really–is to touch others in some small way, to perhaps give them a glimpse inside a remarkable profession–or even more so, a glimmer of God through the cracks in my own broken vessel. If I have accomplished this, even for a few, the effort will have proven more than worthwhile.

I write about bridges, and cooking turkeys, and the joys, frustrations, and insanity of a noble profession, and things I find humorous, or tragic, or touching, or life-changing, because changing life is what life is about: mine, my family, my patients, my friends, my readers. We of all creatures are aware of our own mortality; we get, to a greater or lesser degree, much choice in life’s summation: in many ways, we get to write our own novels. To come to the end of life with great wealth, or fame, or success, is perhaps understandable–even desireable in some small way–but invariably bequeaths a hollowness of spirit, a pathos of lost opportunity–for such things endure but briefly, if at all, after we ourselves return to the minerals of which we are made. To have touched those those with whom we have walked; to have drawn them in some way toward the light; to have left a legacy of goodness and mercy and grace behind: these are the things which will endure, things at once quite small yet vast and eternal.

I have watched, in this short time, many bloggers–bright, energetic, insightful, often excellent writers–post their swan song and fade to black, burned out on the relentless demands of daily delivery of content and commentary. I have at times wondered when, and by what manner, my own minor nova might flare, posting some sad goodbye to a few polite claps as my words fade like falling embers of a party sparkler. But hopefully–when that time comes–those words will linger with at least a few retinal ghosts, varicolored streaks of light against a dark background, that a few lives will thereby have been touched and changed.

I am grateful above all for those of you who visit here regularly, or rarely; who read, and visit, and think, and comment–or perhaps just wonder who this self-important fool might be. Thank you for listening, for spending those precious minutes of our too-brief lives–and especially for being friends.

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8 thoughts on “Another Birthday

  1. But hopefully–when that time comes–those words will linger with at least a few retinal ghosts, varicolored streaks of light against a dark background, that a few lives will thereby have been touched and changed.

    … and more, in ways beyond my capacity to express.

    Happy Blog Birthday, Dr. Bob … and a happy Father’s Day. Thank you for all that you share of yourself. You touch people’s lives in manners which I think you’ve yet to fathom.

    Don’t leave us too soon, please …

  2. happy birthday! my blog just passed its 1st birthday so I have mucho respect for you guys who keep at it.

  3. Well, Happy BlogDay.

    I’ve finally realized the function blogs serve, this need to talk whether anyone is listening or not. We’ve arrived at the digital age’s version of talking to yourself. But if comments are enabled, you’re not necessarily talking to yourself, are you?
    (Was that perverse enough for you?)

  4. Happy Blogiversary! You ARE important (not self-important). I see you as a real Renaissance man. Not too often does one find a doctor-philosopher-photographer – writer (in the best sense of the word) all in one person.
    You fit the bill for me.

  5. Happy Anniversary –

    I find your variety very nice and a friend encouraged your site. As a happily married mother of one (Liv) – I find it ridiculous, what’s on television these days. Although Liv is young (8) it seems like kids these days grow up too fast. I’m worried about that. How do I keep her from mimicking what she sees on television…or worse…what she learns from friends. As a parent and doctor…any advice? Anyway, keep up the good work!

  6. Wow. I can’t believe I’ve been away from here long enough to have missed the big day! Congratulations on having survived two years and for having a following, however large or small.

    When I started my blog, I figured I would be posting several times a week, if not every day. I have opinions on so many things, you see, and I do love to talk! So I honestly thought blogging would give me more satisfaction than it has. It probably would, if my few readers would be so kind as to post their comments on the blog, instead of just sending me private e-mails. Sigh.

    But when I don’t even have much time to read my favorite blogs, I know I’ve been busy. And I still am, but I want you to know that I still love reading what you write. Your words, your phrasing, your insights and depth, your remarkable transparency in this virtual world, all create a kind of music that so often moves me. Thank you, and I hope you keep doing this for a few more years, anyway.

    And don’t talk to me about 56. At 65 and 60, Bruce and I have, as he recently remarked, moved appallingly soon into the old-age conversational pattern of focusing on our aches, pains, and increasing limitations. A bundle of laughs, we are!

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