Regular readers probably have noticed that I haven’t been blogging much lately.

There’s several reasons for it — being very busy working two jobs, etc., but the main thing is what happened after I got back from Heifer (see earlier post). The Heifer experience was intense, and beautiful and inspiring and depressing and hopeful, and. . . . well there’s just too much to say about it.

But when I got back from Heifer I became intensely depressed. A few hours after I got home, I sat down to write some on the blog and I realized that the magic was gone and that overall my life is pathetic, sad, and worthless, and that my life’s impact on the world was more negative than good, and the blog is emblematic of this, as so much of my life has been consumed with trying to explain what is going on in life, than in actually living my life.

The depression did eventually fade (thanks to caring friends, prescription drugs and prayer) and from that better place I had a chance to reflect more fully on the nature of my life and the nature of this blog, both in conversations with others and in my own head.

One concern I have, is that I have been depending on the blogging experience to somehow validate my life (or rather to have others validate me). I don’t think I need that anymore. (or at least I hope I’m growing to not need that anymore)

I’m also concerned that much of my discussion of political and social concerns is often too hurried and rushed, and that the self-expression by means of blogging is limiting because it is too much a one-way form of communication that lacks the richness and subltey of genuine face-to-face human interaction. (or worse, it becomes about parroting the ideas of the “party-line”, instead of truly engaging with others)

This hit me on Saturday when I participated in the candidate forum at the McFarland Branch YWCA (this event was held for political candidates running in Northeast OKC and was sponsored by All of us or None. At the forum, I had a wonderful time, engaging with both the other candidates and the public on the issues. I certainly did my share of talking, but I also did a lot of listening, and it was in that listening (and in the other folks listening to me), that we all came away richer. We still didn’t all agree on the issues, but we did understand them better and we certainly came away respecting each other more. —
I also think though one factor behind the positive experience I had at the forum, is that the African-American community (NE OKC is majority African-American) is still rooted much deeper in face-to-face interaction and is not so rooted in the internet and the mass media for political discourse. This interaction happens in civic organizations, it happens in churches, it happens with neighbors, but it does happen, and frankly it felt good.

Well anyway I’ve rambled on enough about all of this. My thoughts are still in a bit of flux, but I think what I’ll do for now with regards to this blog, is that I’m going to move all future political discussion over to a new blog I’m setting up on my campaign website (the new website isn’t “live” for the public yet, but y’all can take a look at it while it is under construction at www.jmbranum.com/wordpress). I’m doing this because as a candidate I tend to be more deliberate about what I say and not say, and I think that is a good thing. (yes, I still think the President is a fascist who doesn’t respect the constitution or the people, but how much good does it do to say that over and over?)

As for this blog, I may or may not post much here, but probably I’ll just focus on talking about purely personal stuff — pictures I want to share, discussions of a religious nature, etc. At this moment, I just don’t find as much joy in doing the blog (or much of anything else) so I may not continue it, but I’m sure if that is a permanent thing or just depression talking, so I won’t do anything rash.

Anyway sorry for my verbosity. Thanks to all of you who read this. I hope you understand why I’m doing what I’m doing.