Before The Revolution

My sweetheart—well, you’ll get to know her, but maybe not yet, so for now I’ll call her Apollonia. That is, my sweetheart says I shouldn’t be modest. There’s no reason for me to stare at a blank page for two hours trying to write the perfect introduction to a site that doesn’t exist yet. After all, introductions get written after the fact, and usually by someone else, someone scholarly or famous.

I should just dive in, she says. Just start writing. Do what you set out to do.

But then, that’s just it. I don’t know what I’ve set out to do. I was kind of hoping that was going to become clear in the introduction. But there’s not going to be an introduction. Not yet, anyway. Maybe after someone reads this—that is, someone scholarly or famous—they’ll condescend to do a little introduction for me. Nothing too fancy. Maybe it would start with some quote in Latin juxtaposed with some modern soundbite. Then it could go into a description of my milieu, a little bit of my personal story, and then the cultural impact of this journal. Finish it all up with a clever and sincere statement about how important all of this was to some people. That’s it. The first-time visitor is hooked, I’m hot to trot, and some scholar/celebrity gets one more Google hit for themselves.

So, understand that it’s not going to happen for a little while. Here in the beginning, things are going to be a bit nebulous. You know how the Bible starts off with a large canvas: many characters, lands, subplots, prophets, and all that? And then it kind of picks one character and sticks with him, because it found its voice? Things are going to be like that around here.

I completely understand that there are plenty of other web journals for you to choose. I know that, because all the catchy names I thought of were already taken (nevermind that mundane ones like The Innocents Abroad and A Certain Slant of Light already exist as blogs; did you know there’s a site called Morning Napalm?). The hardest thing about creating a web journal is asking yourself who on Earth would be interested in reading what you have to write. But if there’s one thing I know about the web, it’s that it’s a vortex like TV, and a body will sit there and read for hours and hours, with no reason or even fascination involved, simply because they don’t want to get up right now, and, anyway, that download is almost finished or that email is sure to come in a minute.

I can’t tell you what this blog is going to be, but I can say what it might be. It might be about movies. It might be about an American abroad. It might be about France. Or food or music or books or television or family or fantasy. It might be a place to read some great short stories. Or some humorous essays. I don’t know. I know I’m all of those things and I have words to say on any of them.

I don’t know what I’m going to write, only that I have to write. And I have that right. Which makes it tough, because I’m late in the game, and you guys are all writing. But I’ve started now. I’ve even spruced up some of the HTML around here (which I just don’t do). I have the creative impulse, which Freud says is motivated by the “desires to win honor, power, wealth, fame, and the love of women.” And that all sounds true to me. So, I’ll do my part here and now, and you folks handle the rest.

Here’s to my debut.



We are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams, Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities.
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion art empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample in empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth.
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

by Arthur O’Shaughnessy
Jarrod said…
Alright, well now that I know where your coming from, I want something thats gonna make me feel. A few quick questions, did you take those pictures, and if so who is the red head?and do all the woman dress like that out there? cuz if so, i'm bookin my ticket today. How do I get to Bob Dylans radio show on line, and what time is he on?

Thats all for now, thanks
your pal.
Sen said…
I will never ever not read your new blog ever again.

- Sean
LoveMy2Guys said…
ahhhh...congrats! Your words being sent out to the masses. Sounds like your sweetheart is quite the support system...She is the push my husband needed to want to purchase beachfront propert in Nova Scotia.

You know what your blog is missing? Yes, that's right, a picture of Josh.
Coleen said…
i have been checking all day, but there is nothing new...come on man!
fun fact: i was watching when the levees broke while reading that you watched it
LeoO said…
I applauded you, I envy you, I wish you good fortune in this thorny endeavor.
May providence forever lead you to the milieu that may rouse the deluge of lexis which lies deep within the cavernous reaches of your being.
Although your path may seem nebulous at present, I trust your destination, or the rather, that of your words is inexorably luminous.

I really do amuse myself.
Reilly Owens said…
Thanks, everyone, for leaving comments. I appreciate it.

Leo, thanks for the kind words, a few of which I had to look up. You made me feel the lack of a higher education.
Cathy said…
Hi Reilly,
Thanks for including my prodigy in your discourse. It certainly sounded like her...just get on with it! With your enthusism I am sure this will be an interesting adventure for the two of you, Cathy

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