Wherefore Art Thou, Dudester?

In Absentia…

They say that absinthe makes the heart grow fonder.

And perhaps there’s some truth in that. Then again, I might have simply mis-heard a fey pronunciation of “absence”; in which case I’d have to note that the saying becomes much more controversial. How so? Well, consider the possibilities.  

If “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is referring to the heart, the absence of a/one’s heart could not, by definition, make either the person or the heart grow fonder. Without a heart, a person could not live, let alone grow fonder of anything. And if it was the heart that was without a person, while I can appreciate that the heart itself could grow fonder, and indeed grow more enamored of life by being away from a crummy host, we’re still faced with the truism that a heart cannot survive out in the wild very long, isolated from a body with all of its chambers, aortas and ventricles leading to nowhere. Just as with nepotism, business and the entertainment industry, it’s all about connections.

The more obvious connotation is of course that the absence of someone or something could make one’s heart grow fonder of them and miss them in absentia. While this is no doubt true if you really like someone or some aspect of life and they/it are not in your day-to-day existence at present, it’s also quite false for the things and people you abhor.

Would the absence of war, pestilence, poverty or environmental destruction make you all misty-eyed for the prior days of tumult? Would not having to see or even hear about that two-faced hypocritical authoritarian drone of a former boss ever again really upset you? Or how about that group of conniving schemers who undo our world’s economic stability on purpose, sadists who run over puppies with steamrollers or the guy who cost your favorite team its only shot at winning the championship in 30 years? Would their absence make you grow fonder of them? -Nah, I didn’t think so.

But let’s go easy on the poor little saying for now. After all, as stated, I really do hope that it rings true for quite a number of things. Like this humble hovel of a website, for example. Our posting frequency and updates have fallen off the map since January. Whassup with that?! Wherefore art thou, dudester?

Well, since January 2nd I’ve been enrolled in ‘web school’, for lack of a better term, and have been working my butt off on learning HTML5, CSS3, web design and development, a host of new languages, apps, tools and more, at the delicate spry age of…-let’s just say 40+.

Needless to say, it’s been quite the adventure starting a new field of interest (or at least augmenting the CV with some 2012/2013 job skills) this far into a career. And it will no doubt inspire a new subset category of web- and tech-related postings under the “Lifestyle” section, to go along with our fledgeling collection of articles on natural health and general lifestyle. The “Coding After 40” series, anyone?

To deliciously spruce up the experience, our resident cartoonist and fellow mischief-maker Dave has also enrolled in the program. Or so he claims. I’ve a sneaking suspicion ‘web school’ might just be his excuse for getting out of having to deliver that 178 page full-color, coffee-table-sized graphic novel due by next Monday. Either way, Life Is Melody’s staff is hitting the books and won’t be posting as much for a tad longer.

So what does this mean for you, gentle reader? Our new visitors, our occasional drop-ins and our dedicated little coterie of regular readers? I guess the answer depends upon which side of the fence you’re on and how often you visit.

If you’re a big detractor of the site, and are repulsed by the viewpoints and topics explored herein, I’ve got good news for you: Absence makes the heart go fonder. -Er no, wait. The good news for you is this: the time to visit the site is now!! Quick, while the posting frequency is just a trickle, and before the site’s amount of overall content increases, visit every chance you get. This is your time; please take full advantage of it.

To new and casual visitors, give us a looksie. We launched the beta version of the site in July 2012, so we have a few months of material onboard mostly in the “Outlooks” and “Arts/Expression” category sections. Since we’re not a ‘current news’ kind of site, most of our articles and posts should be relevant, not dated, and mildly entertaining no matter when you dive in and read them. In our Reading Room, for example, we’ve even got material that reads fresh but dates back to the pre-internet era and beyond; before the days of television, electricity, the printing press, and even some B.C.E. stuff! Dayumn, that’s some real old school food for thought. And after next month, new material should be slowly working its way back onto the site.

To our dedicated readers and lurkers, all.. -er, five of you, stay strong. (Or better yet, submit an article if you think you’ve got something good that fits within our four broad site categories!) Hopefully this newfound base of better code and web wherewithal-ness will result in a stronger site with improved design, formatting and writing. And if not; well, we’d like to hear about it from you. Don’t be shy. And thanks for continuing to drop by and check us out.

After all, our absence could be your absinthe. Or something like that. Use it wisely.

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As for the saying, there are many things, both absent and absinthe, that I hope do make you fond of them by not being here. It’s the only way we’ll continue to grow as a society. Progressing towards a Commonwealth that we can envision or have experienced a taste of, but which is not here yet because we have not yet achieved the various components of: social justice, economic justice, single payer option, living wages, environmental stewardship and integrity, non-toxic food and water being some of them.

And then there are other things which are here which we wish were eradicated and absent: grotesque economic disparity, corporatism, the MIC, torture, etc. You know the drill.

And it doesn’t just apply to the larger macro- issues of economics, politics and planet. Some of the focal points of this site, like zen mind, philosophy, arts, music and the creative spirit also need to play a larger role in our national conversation, beginning with we the people exploring them for ourselves. And if their marginalization, weakened influence or absence from our public discourse doesn’t stir your heart or make you fonder and more appreciative of them, then perhaps we should ditch the old saying altogether, or give it yet another homonym-tastical twist (as heard in London):

“Absence makes the Art grow stronger”.

And sooner or later, art will win. We will win. You will win. And then we can all cancel our social media accounts and head on over to Dave’s place and tell him that we didn’t really need a 178 page full-color graphic novel by Monday after all. Or something like that. And if you can’t make it, we’ll tell him for you; in absentia. Like moi, for the moment.

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