For years, I've planned to use this song as my farewell. I even had a parody half-written in which I said "I don't believe in Slifkin... I don't believe in Mis-nagid...." It doesn't mean I've stopped believing in God - I haven't - or that I now worship Yoko - I don't - but it does mean a new phase has begun.
For most of the last ten years my head has been exploding with ideas for posts. During the first year, I put them onto the blog at a rate of seven or eight per day. I probably started slowing down as early as 2006, but I still had plenty of content. Days with more than one post didn't become unusual until rather recently. Now suddenly, unexpectedly, it feels like the well is dry.
Am I done? Have I really run out of posts? Only time will tell. It's very possible that I'll be right back here tomorrow, pounding out a new post just like I've done nearly every day for ten years. I like blogging. I like talking and arguing and interacting with all, ...erm most of you and I like the intellectual development those conversations have generated. I like the fact that so many of my old bad ideas about virtually everything have been corrected thanks to this blog.
Also, habits die hard. Quitting this blog may prove as difficult as quitting finger-nail biting. Or, I may get back on Facebook and, reconnected with the amazing blog energy I've feasted on for the last ten years, I may embark on a new golden era, a new Summer of Love, as we called that small stretch of 2006 when it felt like this blog was the center of the Jewish blogging universe.
Or I may find myself busy, preoccupied and without anything new to add to the conversation, and another day will go by without something new from DovBear.
I honestly don't know. And I don't think I'm obligated to fix anything in stone. So yes, it may be business as usual tomorrow. It may turn out that what I've done today is simply sound out an idea, and empty out my head - both things I've done here hundreds of times before.
What I do know is that this blog and the people I met through it have changed my life. I'm not talking about trivial changes such as "Previously I thought this was true, now I think something else is true." I mean basic fundamental changes in how I see and think about the work. The cliche is to say that those changes have been for the better, but who really knows? Maybe I'd be better off unaware of how everything - ideas, tastes, genes - evolve over time. Maybe I'd be better off not knowing that society must be pluralist, because reality is plural. Maybe it would be better if I still thought that our customs, and even our laws, had some cosmic significance. Maybe it would be better if I didn't know the truth: They are significant because of what they mean to us, not because of what they mean to Him.
So while I like the smarter, better informed me, and I thank the readers for making it happen, who knows if I'm better off for it?
About regrets? Yes certainly I have a few. I wish the prim and proper establishment members of the blogosphere didn't loathe me. I wish that the worm hadn't turned and that everyone online still had the good sense to remain anonymous. I wish I'd controlled my temper in a million instances. And I wish that I'd done more to cultivate and maintain relationships with the people I met online who would have become good friends.
But mostly I wish that I had put ten years worth of energy into developing my real life brand, but as with everything else, who knows how that would have played out? Perhaps not for the good.
One last thing. I'm really proud of how this blog was an open forum for conversation about everything, and I'm very happy that so many bloggers got their feet wet or grew their audiences by commenting or guest blogging here. A partial list would include Godol Hador, OrthoMom, Amshinover, Shira, Rafi of Life in Israel, Shanna, Lippman, Eliyahu Fink and so many others.
Right, so I may be back tomorrow. In which case forget I said any of this. Kay? Good.
Thanks guys. For every last thing.
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