Five Years On, The Times They Are a-Changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

–Bob Dylan

I recently passed my fifth blogiversary without so much as a blink. I completely forgot about it until someone else who started blogging about the same time as I did mentioned theirs.

I marked the first one with a post in which I basically interviewed myself (Hubris alert!). Interestingly, the reason that I gave for why I blog (“It’s cheaper than therapy”) still holds true today.

When I started blogging, Hurricane Katrina had just blown through, altering the shape and mood of our region for years to come. Today, through the soul-withering heat of day and into long, bourbon-soaked nights, The Big Easy once more vibrates 24/7, oscillating between all its myriad contradictions and mysteries as black as midnight. Speaking of which, the Saints,  the apparent plaintives in some suit of grand cosmic justice, are now reigning Super Bowl Champions. Who could have possibly imagined dat?

In the fall of 2005, my sons were adolescents, scattered between 7th and 11th grades, piling into our already well-traveled “Swagger Wagon” smelling of sweaty shinguards and muddy cleats for weekend trips to soccer tournaments throughout the Southeast and church three times a week. Today, they are young men, retired veterans of “The Beautiful Game,” working out their own faith and seeking God in some most unusual and unexpected places. The “Swagger Wagon” has been replaced with a smaller crossover vehicle, an “empty nest-mobile” with no 3rd seat.

I’ve administered last rites to my motherdelivered her eulogy and buried her. I’ve executed her estate and sold her house and land. In death, I did for her the things that she could no longer do for herself.

But when I saw the old home place recently, it looked very much the same–kempt–just like my mother. The man who is renting and living there has grandsons, and he recently put up a basketball goal in the driveway. Once again, the metronomic thump of a bouncing ball echoes against the tall pines and cedars which ring the asphalt arena where a young boy once played out his Blue Devilish fantasies beneath the soft, dreamy glow of an automatic, dust-to-dawn light.

Eyegal and I are still together after 25 years–unlike many of our friends. The scourge of divorce in our circle has left us all scarred, battered and bruised. We’ve both agreed that no matter what differences we may ever have, that divorce is simply too much trouble. It is a suicide explosion, spraying clouds of spiritual shrapnel onto innocent onlookers and passersby.

Sometimes, when there are no words, we simply sit on the couch, watching NCIS or old MI-5 episodes on Netflix, holding on tight to each other’s hand–just in case one of us is starting to get any ideas about leaving (Oh no you don’t, you’re not getting off that easy!). We speculate on the origin of Don Draper’s various neuroses and the destination of this week’s particular manifestations. Then we rise, lock the doors, check to see where Number Three Son is and what time he will be in, and put the dog to bed. We read for a while, and then we fall asleep. The next morning, we get up and start all over again.

Somewhere there in the middle of all this, I was a real writer with a picture and a byline and everything, including a pittance of a salary. Frankly, I became very spoiled, and I haven’t been able to recapture that kind of lightning-in-a-bottle since. I still cast about, angling the murky depths of today’s publishing world for more freelance writing jobs. Unlike the old days when you submitted on paper and received rejection letters that you could post like trophies on your refrigerator, now it’s all done online. You receive a “thank you for your submission” automated reply, and then–nothing. “Much dreaming and many words” dissolve without so much as a trace into internet ether–vain and wearisome, indeed.

All this writing, and the resultant collisions with the ideas, rants and musings of my online community, have molded me into shapes I never dreamt possible. I’ve changed, and regular readers have only glimpsed the surface, the tip of the proverbial iceberg. But given the tumultuous tenor of the times and the potency of words, their potential to build up and to tear down, there are some alterations and mutations whose names I dare not speak. But who knows what the future holds? Perhaps someday soon that will change, too.

There is only one constant in life, only one thing that’s for sure–the times they are a-changin’. So am I. So are you.

  1. Hal

    Happy Anniversary!  I still enjoy reading your posts.

  2. ME

    I think the average life expectancy of a blog is about three weeks. Most die of neglect.It’s nice to be growing older with you. Maybe our blogs will go to college together someday.

  3. cg

    Yes, congrats on the 5-year milestone.  I appreciate your thoughts and musings, and I’m glad you’re still here.

  4. Greg England

    Call it what you want, but I keep coming back to read your offerings and hope you’ll continue to feed us for years to come. I know blogging is supposed to be antique and on the way out, if not already out, but I’ve enjoyed our “friendship” and am glad you’re still blogging after all these years!

  5. CarolinaGirl

    ME:  I think I’ve been reading your blog for 3-4 years.  Sad that I can’t remember for sure.  Your words are always inspiring.

  6. David U

    Eye Guy,  I want to suggest that you write a book.   Keith Brenton has finally succumb to my prodings, so now I have to work on you!!  🙂     Thanks for blessing us these past 5 years.   I always walk away from your posts a richer man.   KEEP BRINGIN EM!!   :)And oh yeah……ROLL TIDE ROLL !!!DU

  7. Kristi

    I’m late to the party, but congratulations on five years of regular blogging. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read here, even the posts about eyes that turned my stomach. Thanks for being an excellent reminder of truth on more than one occasion, and for having blog posts that cause me to tear up, thus reminding my fiance that I am a real girl.

  8. Donna

    I too still enjoy reading.  I do more and more through blog-lines where I read quick and seldom comment, but I do read.  I think the great irony of blogging is that it may not be what changes you, but you realize how you have changed when you go back and read where you were….and I too NEED the therapy that I otherwise would not afford!!!Keep on bloggin’ my brother by another mother…and RTR!!!

  9. Mike the Eyeguy

    Y’all are too kind. It still amazes me that you’re still around. But I’m glad you are.

  10. mmlace

    Dr. Eyeguy!I realize I’m more than a month late in commenting on this post.  But I’ve been having trouble leaving comments on here via my iPhone, and I wanted to actually comment on the blog itself, not just on the FB link to the blog!  And since I don’t have internet at the house anymore, it’s not very often that I actually sit down at a computer w/internet access where I can view your blog and post a real comment.I’m proud to say that of these past five years, I’ve been a Fusioneer for the last three-and-a-half or so of them!I think you should know that of the approximately 30 or so blogs in my reader, you are a must-read.  Definitely in my top 3, hands-down.You are also probably the most eclectic.  As I’ve read your thoughts that you’ve shared here, I’ve laughed with you, cried with you, prayed for you, learned from you, been challenged by you.     Maybe that’s why your blog is one of my favorites.  To borrow a metaphor, it’s kinda like a box of chocolates…I never know what I’m gonna get…But I know it’s gonna be good!Thank you for sharing your life with us here.  Much love and prayers!

  11. Mike the Eyeguy

    “a box of chocolates…I never know what I’m gonna get…”

    Why, thank you. I like that.

  12. mmlace

    Somehow, I thought you might appreciate that particular metaphor…  🙂

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