I’ve been an active blogger for over a year now, and have written almost four hundred posts during that year.
I have written mostly about open-source, but have also written about other topics, some quite personal.
I have also written some posts by chance, not because I planned to, but because some event, or some visit to a web page, caused me to write something I would have never thought I would come to write when I started this blog.
The most notable instance of this came this past Memorial Day. As the ceremony began I realized I was probably the only person among the hundreds of people who were present who was an active blogger, so I decided to pay close attention to the ceremony, and I also made a personal commitment to report on what I observed by writing a blog post about it later that day.
I wrote the post in a single sitting, as is the case with almost all my posts.
Looking back, at that post about a Fallen Soldier named SSgt. Kyu Hyuk Chay, I have come to appreciate both that it was one of my finest writings and that the writing of it has had an extraordinary impact on my life.
As a result of that post I have been in occasional communication with SSgt. Chay’s wife, Cathy Min Chay, and have just started several projects to honor our Fallen Soldiers, including Kyu Hyuk Chay:A Fallen Soldier and Chay Project:To Honor Our Fallen Soldiers And To Assist Their Survivors.
Because these projects are so new I have visted them often recently, to see if they have attracted any readers — they have not — and while doing so have reread some of my writings about SSgt. Chay. I thus think of him often these days, and every time I do I mourn his death.
I now believe that the original post was the best post I have yet published, and that its concluding passage is the best passage I have yet produced:
View of the Chappaqua War Memorial facing south. SSgt. Chay’s name is on the far side, facing south. South towards New York City, south towards where the Twin Towers once stood, south towards the reason he was in Afghanistan.
Though I often edit posts after their publication, to fix obvious typos and spelling errors, I have not touched this one since the day I wrote it, as best I can recall.
I know that I had the last phrase — south towards the reason he was in Afghanistan — in my head before I started writing the post. That whole passage is based on a a single word, “south,” because many of the town residents head south each day to their jobs, and in so doing are also going south towards Ground Zero.
Were I to revise that passage, I would just write every instance of “south” as “South,” as when read aloud I would strongly emphasize that word . I would also change the punctuation and the layout:
View of the Chappaqua War Memorial facing South.
SSgt. Chay’s name is on the far side, facing South.
South, towards New York City.
South, towards where the Twin Towers once stood.
South, towards the reason he was in Afghanistan.
I suggest to any fellow blogger who comes across this post that you should also consider writing a post about your favorite post and your favorite passage, what you think is your best work.
I am not talking about nobility of cause or seriousness of purpose, as happens to apply in this instance, but just your own honest view of your best work.
For I think that by publishing such a post your readers will gain new insight into you, and you into yourself.