Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's in a Title?

I've actually lost sleep over this issue. I mean, I know it doesn't matter in the bigger scheme of things. I know things are tough all over and, if it helps any, I've lost way more sleep over Japan, Haiti, the Middle East and Libya lately than I have over the title of my blog. In fact, I'm still haunted by the fact that I woke up just before 3 a.m. last Thursday night, unable to sleep and turned on the TV just in time to see the Tsunami as it crashed ashore. It brings to mind that old adage about how a butterfly flapping its weeks can be felt across an ocean. Needless to say, though, I'm a sensitive lad and it doesn't take much to wreck a good night's sleep or an attempt at a moment's peace. When this semester is done, I seriously have to check into a) meditation, b) Reiki (again), c) a media cleanse or purge, or d) rehab.

Anyway, a case in point would be my blog title. I don't get many nights when I have two whole hours when I can justify tinkering with details such as what color the font should be on my blog. I don't even normally think about my blog until I'm actually blogging. But I redubbed it "Blood 'n Guts" Friday night because I was in love with it. Turns out I was merely having a Friday night fling because Saturday morning, I was feeling a great sense of regret. What have I done? Who/what did I sleep with last night? "Blood 'n Guts, Gerard? Really?" It seems my long-dead teenaged self enjoyed the idea, but my grownup self woke up the next day with the feeling that I really shouldn't have done that. Blood and Guts? I'm gettin' too old for this shit. Sorry. Had to say it. Apologies to Riggs and Murtagh.

Anyway, I'm going back to grassroots--dancin' with the one that brought me. The subtitle for a year or so now has been "A Kick at the Darkness," and that, me dears, is who I am. I've been on this whole authenticity kick for a couple of months, so I've decided I need to keep it real. Maybe "Blood 'n Guts" is catchier; after all, blood and guts roll off the tongue, don't they? (Don't imagine it; just agree with me.) But I care less for catchy than I do for something that reflects something about me, the (nearly) grownup me, the one with a sense of eternal, hopeless optimism, who thinks we can affect our world with the flap of a wing, the stroke of a pen, the click of a letter on the keyboard or the utterance of a thought.

It's a tribute to one of my favorite songs ever, written by Bruce Cockburn ("Lovers in a Dangerous Time") and one of my favorite lines from a song. Kicking at the darkness is what I do, what I feel most of us do. The night creeps in, the darkness threatens to swallow us, the violence, the terrorism, the tsunamis, the robberies and cruelty, the despotism and politicizing and commercialization of nearly every living, breathing thing--doesn't it all feel as if it can choke you sometimes? And yet we kick back, desperately, savagely, enraged at the audacity of the those who think they can control us--even if they're right. Death conquers all. Darkness takes no prisoners. But we can try, can't we? Through humour (thank you, Jon Stewart!). Through writing (thank you, authors). Through art. Through music. Through photography. Through surviving, day after day. And, yes, perhaps even though blogging and Tweeting and Facebooking and singing and smiling and avoiding the crack that would break your mama's back.

Kick at the Darkness. That's the new title. As God is my witness.

Is there a God?

And would She approve this message?

I'd like to think so. On both counts.



  1. Agreed - should God read this, She will most certainly approve!

  2. Thanks, Chaviva. I love how you don't dispute the "she" part. If God exists, she would have to be a she. Or maybe God has qualities of both male and female. That would explain the chaos and the beauty, respectively. :-)