Hello again, my unseen friends.
Well, I am back from a long -- too long -- Sabbatical in the Dark Country, where garden-variety grumblings and mutterings (just like Dad used to make in the garage!) are turned into Towering Insights on the Human Comedy. I should have sent up the occasional flare, I know -- some trail of bread crumbs, or the three dashes of Arne Saknussemm, showing where I had been and where I was headed on my Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Perhaps I should start by explaining my seven-week silence.
The best thing about Eject! Eject! Eject!, of course, is that it gives me a voice. It puts me in the fight. The worst thing about Eject! Eject! Eject! is that that voice obligates you to stay in the fight. And when you feel like you are a part of the fight, it is very, very hard not to be swinging all the time. In the car on the way home. Watching the news. Overhearing a conversation in the next room. And even with all the energy and stamina you can muster, sometimes you need to hear that bell and sit down for those precious sixty seconds. Not throw in the towel. Just sit down, spit in a bucket, and try to get the idea of hitting hard and getting hit back out of your head for a few precious moments. Unclench your fists. Breathe.
My admiration for the daily -- often hourly -- work done by those on my Wingman list know no bounds. I genuinely have no idea how they do it. But this weblog has always been a little unusual in regard to format and content, and I hope you will continue to be patient with me during these apparent blackouts, as I mentally clear the decks for fresh work ahead.
Now, in the past, I have tried to keep making updates (It'll be out this weekend, I promise!), which more often than not turns into a teasing series of delays while I cook up some new essay. Those are the times when E3 turns into The Apology Blog, which, I must say, bothers me immensely.
Alternately, I could flail at ideas, and watch the quality go down, and that is -- in the memorable terms of one of my readers' comments that cut me to the quick -- a death spiral that I wish to avoid.
So, I decided to just sit it out until I had something to say. And that point is rapidly approaching.
There are two essays that have been flitting in and out of the shadows these past blank-page weeks -- elusive little bastards, these: skittish and unformed; little dust-bunnies of ideas. A nasty oral surgery, my continued attention to finishing my Instrument Rating, and the low-level kryptonite exposures I get daily in the entertainment business regarding the "courage" and "genius" of the World's Ugliest Liar have consistently smashed the essay formation process, like repeatedly bashing a blob of mercury with a tiny, annoying little tack hammer.
But, slowly, home starts to call us back from the most distant vacations, and I can feel some of these things starting to gel once again. So I suspect that next up will be TRIBES -- basically, a look at the two sides of this increasingly nasty Cultural War, in which I seem to live in both trenches -- one by day, and the other by night. And yes, I have a preference. One Tribe flies into space with all the drama and majesty of someone grabbing a Cessna 172 and hopping into the pattern to do a few touch and goes. The other Tribe throws things and screams hysterically when the promised Evian turns out to be Perrier. That should be interesting.
And number two to land is more important; perhaps very important. I was profoundly inspired by Boyd: The Fighter Pilot who Changed the Art of War. It is a source of real pride for me that many of you kind and patient people know full well who John Boyd was and what he did. More on that later, but only by way of introduction. John Boyd's philosophy has revolutionized the Military and made it into the present day force that is not only unchallenged, but unchallengable. This will not be a tribute or a history lesson. We have bigger fights to fight these days, and Dark Forces far more elusive than Terrorism to strike at and destroy.
INITIATIVE I will not rush. If I can find the way in, and your gentle patience holds, dear readers, this could be the beginning of a plan that we, together, are already using to change our world. Seeing it in the light will help. So there is that.
I have no timetable for either of these. But there is smoke on the ocean's horizon. The steamer is returning from that dark and faraway place. Odd, isn't it, how even though this is technically my corner of the cyberverse, it is you who have remained while I have gone away. This 21st Century holds many wonders, and we must rewire ourselves daily.
Oh, and by the way: something very, very good has happened to me these past few weeks. More on that after I unpack and show you some of the trinkets I picked up while away. It's my treasure. I'll unwrap it for you later.
So bear with me, please, a little longer. On with the armor and the helmet and the scabbard. Dragons everywhere, these bastards! Much slaying and hewing to do in these critical months ahead.