Friday, January 01, 2010


The problem with blogging, as I see it, is that it can soon become this kind of masturbatory exercise in diary-writing, in which everything one says is exposed to the world to see and ponder over just because, well, we can. The technology allows us to. It's easier to write about whatever is bopping around in our brains at the moment than it is to actually sit down and think about something that people might actually want to read, something that has depths, something that alters the way you see and think about the universe.

Which is probably why I haven't been blogging very much in the past few months.

Writing itself is a particularly selfish form of vanity, and perhaps it's even more vain to suggest that one won't write until one has 'deep, deep, deep' thoughts, because then the moment you post something that you think is somewhat dense, it will be read by somebody who will inevitably, probably properly think: "That's what you think is a 'deep thought', Spencer? I prefer daily drivel."

The odd thing is that I quite like snooping in and around other people's blogs when they simply write about their daily lives, as it gives me a glimpse into how others see the world, or at least their world(s).

But I fear that the whole purpose of writing -- namely communicating to others -- can be lost if writing turns into a way to communicate with only onself, and then parade it off for the world to see.

That's a problem I have with Twitter. Many witty thoughts, expressed, um, wittily, but after awhile all of those random quips seldom seem to add up to much of anything at all.

The larger point being, for anyone out there who still occasionally reads this blog: I will try to post a bit more in the coming few weeks and months. I will try to make them somewhat substantial. I will try to make them fairly consistent. I will probably fail in both regards. So be it.

Where I am, it's already 2010. Where most of you are, it's just about to be.

Best wishes for the coming twelve months.


A few days ago, while running early one morning across the bridge near Noborito station that stretches across the Tama River, I noticed a middle-aged lady patiently setting up her camera near the railing, adjusting the lens, fidgeting with the stand, waiting for the sun to rise.

She was getting ready to take its picture, obviously. Every day the sun rose in the exact same spot, lookingly mostly the same, dull and orange and then red and full. I don't see her there every day. I've only seen her once, come to think of it. There was something about that sun that she wanted. On that day. And that day only. Perhaps it was a sudden whim, that wish of hers. She got up early, and drank her coffee, and suddenly decided that she wanted to see the sun rise over the Tama River, and take its picture, and see what sense she could make from such a simple act.

That's what I'm thinking.

It made me feel hopeful. The sun rising on a cold, frosty, late December morning. Something so simple and extraordinary about it. Most people were sleeping, lost in dreams, tucked between sheets. She was there, bundled up, on that bridge, taking notice of the most ordinary thing in the world. Preserving it, even. Some day, years from now, when middle age gave way to the ghastly dubbed 'golden years', she would look through an album and point at that picture and even though she might not be able to remember exactly when it was taken, or even why, within that frame the sun would still rising, constantly, moving upward, getting ready to shine.