Why blog? I think the bigger question is why post thoughts and opinions on the Web?
For 16 years I wrote op-ed columns for the MetroWest Daily News, a daily that covers the suburban towns west of Boston. My first column was written from a little cabin way north in Maine where I could get only one radio station on my car radio and that was from Canada, and the only newspaper was the Bangor Daily News from the previous day. The U.S was about to invade Iraq for the first time, and I wrote about forming an opinion without the aid of television commentators and analysts, the way Americans used to do it back when the front porch rocking chair, the barber shop, and the wood stove in the general store were our society’s CNN.
Since then I wrote about everything from politics to bird feeders. But I hit a point where I just felt I wasn’t doing a good enough job, where I wasn’t able to talk about exactly what was slowly eating me up inside. There was a point, right around the Clinton administration, where I started to notice that it was getting harder and harder to tell the difference between a Democrat and a Republican. I was getting older, crankier, and a bit morose, to tell the truth. I realized Clinton was someone I wouldn’t have hung out with in high school, and since then I felt myself moving farther and farther to the fringe of American politics, so today I can’t think of a single elected official who I feel stands for me and what I value.
Who am I? I’m a middle-aged man who has won and lost at love, had it easier than some and harder than others, been lucky at times, been successful at work and hit bottom and had to start all over. I’ve had dreams come true and some just fizzle. I’ve experienced the joys of my two daughters, and the grief of burying both my parents within the span of three years. Because of my Catholic upbringing, the practice of which I’ve since discarded, I stubbornly insist on the inherent good in all people despite what my eyes tell me almost daily. I believe in a Creator, simply because I see no proof otherwise. Those are the highlights, but frankly it’s the grey area in which I revel.
And, obviously, I’m a writer. I believe in sharing the experiences that we all have in this reality that we call life, feeling that we’re not alone in any of this, that we truly all are linked together somehow, and for the most part we’re all doing the very best we can, considering the circumstances. I believe we can learn from one another.
And being a writer, despite a growing cynicism that I think is simply a logical reaction to the world, I have this burning desire to write and get out what’s inside me. What eats me up. What gives me joy. What makes me smile, laugh, cry, and yell. It’s in the bible: Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket.
So that’s the reason for Action Bob Markle. Got a comment, compliment, gripe, or just feeling like shining your light a bit, leave a comment.