Wednesday, May 13, 2020



I took a look at The Buddha Diaries' "stats" yesterday. This is my 2,743rd entry since this blog morphed from the political The Bush Diaries some 13 years ago. I started The Bush Diaries on Tuesday, November 9, 2004, immediately following the re-election of George W. Bush. The blog started as my incredulous response to the re-election of a man whose first term I considered (in my wisdom!) a disaster--after 9/11, the US invasion of Afghanistan, and the lies that led us into the needless war in Iraq. There were a total of 801 entries in The Bush Diaries. Every one of them took the form of a slightly irreverent, but I hoped not unkind letter to the then president, whom I addressed cheekily as "Bush"--no "Mr.", no "President", just "Bush."

I have had a few other blogs along the way, mostly short-lived, but they have all entertained me--and a few other people--and have given me the opportunity that every writer craves: to put some words out into the world almost every day, and to be able to reach at least a handful of readers who respond to what he has to say. Over the years I have come to recognize and appreciate the genre that most suits what I consider to be my talents: the essay form. Or the mini-essay, since many of my entries are quite short. I think, admiringly and without pretensions to scale the heights of their achievements, of forebears like Guy de Montaigne and Blaise Pascal, both masters of the art... The innumerable reviews--of art, literature, movies...--I have written professionally over the years fall into the same category, of course. I like brevity. I am, perhaps, short-winded!

I value the fact that I have readers. The Bush Diaries totaled 60,001 "page views" by the time it came to its natural conclusion (I joke that I got fed up waking up with Bush in bed with me every morning...) I'm not sure, quite honestly, what "page views" means, but I have a total of 871,929 of them as of this morning on The Buddha Diaries. Small potatoes, I know, beside the thousands, even millions who "follow" writers more famous (or "successful"?) than myself. But it's still gratifying to me to know that my words are not scattered entirely to the winds. I insist, to anyone who might wonder, that I don't "write for myself." I write because I want what I have written to be read. That's a part of the bargain. Writing, like every other art, is a form of communication and would, in my view, make no sense without that other part of the deal, the reader.

So if you happen to be reading this 2,743rd post, thank you. Please know that you are appreciated. That you're needed. And always welcome here. As to the next post, I have no idea what it will be or even when, but I do know that it will be my 2,744th in The Buddha Diaries. That's the stat.

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