On March 29, this blog will be 10 years old.
Then, I had been in Canberra for a month, and just started my PhD on the framework of an artificial mythology examining William Blake’s Vala, or the Four Zoas. It was a cycle he ended up abandoning – but he wanted to create something for England, and this was to be it. It wasn’t a complete failure though, as one element from this cycle survived, and the English sing it as their unofficial anthem: Jerusalem (*note: this short piece began in the Zoas, and then was lifted to be the Preface of another of his epic poems, Milton. Blake was utterly obsessed with Milton and Paradise Lost). I even got to hold the Zoas manuscript in my hands – it was a set of roughly A2-sized pages where Blake had annotated and written a great deal in crayon – which didn’t digitise properly. It was jarring to see after how small and delicate his Songs of Innocence and Experience were… but that was a time long ago. It was turning into an MPhil in Art History, so the framework, theology, and social anthropology stayed, and the literature changed to another artificial myth: The Silmarillion. Tolkien, too, was preoccupied with Paradise Lost, and the concept of an Ur-mythology (which Guy Gavriel Kay, Christopher Tolkien’s PhD student and editing assistant, investigated in a very comprehensive way within the The Fionavar Tapestry).
I had only just met the people who would put me in touch with CAVAL, the company that would send me around Aussie for several years as a consultant, and I hadn’t met Kylie or Becky: two of my academic role models. That would come later. I had just finished and submitted my thesis for my MLIS – looking at content auditing, Zipf’s Principle of Least Effort, and shiny, glorious metadata.
What a decade it has been! I began this blog to chart and discuss with people far away from me. And for shameless knitting posts. Even my knitting has refined in leaps and bounds since then. It’s charted my fights against The Black Dog, moving countries, jobs, crushing disappointments, highs, lows, triumphs and tribulations. It is, as you are, dear reader, an old friend. And for the last few years, it has been a lament. A chronicle of fight and frustration. I never intended it to be that. Even in this age of self-censoring, I really never intended it to be that. So it won’t be. Not any more.
You see, I’ve missed talking to the chasm that is the internet. I’ve struggled to think about what to say – I’ve not wanted to be contrived or insolent. I’m not a mommy blogger or a travel blogger, or a political commentator. This used to be an academic-yarny blog. And it may become one again. With some cooking thrown in (I really haven’t spent enough time in the kitchen, and cooking for one can be boring, but to hell with it – there will be food this year), some books and music… French, and whatever PD or edX courses I end up taking. There may also be some Freediving or Apnea stuffs, and a little bit of social media management reflection here as well.
I’m going to start this next decade of Artificially Mythic with my original intent: this isn’t going anywhere, and it’s going to chart my personal and professional development. I may use Medium a little more when I get back into full PD mode, but I invite you, dear reader, to come along this adventure with me.
In the words of our beloved Starman, David Bowie:
I don’t know where I’m going from here,
But I promise it won’t be boring.
Until my next post (which, spoiler alert: will contain knitting. And possibly Google Analytics).