A Note on My Absence:

IMG_20170501_114049I owe an explanation for my disappearance. It was as sudden as it was unplanned. It is difficult to explain the reason. In one sense I could suggest that all of a sudden other things filled up my time so that I had no time left for blogging. That though would be only a partial explanation. A better one would be that I had some type of writer’s block; I found I had nothing worthwhile to write about. Or, at least in my mind nothing was present that I felt like sharing.

As I said this was not planned. I skipped a day, then two and then more until the idea of posting something no longer had a seat at the table of my mind. It was strange but when I hit that wall I never came back to this site until today. When I did I found it was suspended because I had not paid the host the annual fee.

There are three posts that went out in mid June. I had scheduled them in early May with the intent of revising them before they went out. Unfortunately leaving the site I forgot all about them and they went out automatically and not as a final product.

I had to wonder why I hit a wall after so many years of almost daily blogging? I think of Andrew Sullivan who had a blog with millions of followers who was one of the top bloggers in America with his blog “The Dish,” who suddenly decided after fifteen years that enough was enough offered a partial explanation.

He wrote about it saying, and it is something that I agree with,: What I have written here should not be regarded as interchangeable with more considered columns or essays or reviews. Blogging is a different animal. It requires letting go; it demands writing something that you may soon revise or regret or be proud of. It’s more like a performance in a broadcast than a writer in a book or newspaper or magazine (which is why, of course, it can also be so exhausting). I have therefore made mistakes along the way that I may not have made in other, more considered forms of writing;” . . . I have said some things I should never have said, as well as things that gain extra force because they were true in the very moment that they happened. All this is part of life – and blogging comes as close to simply living, with all its errors and joys, misunderstandings and emotions, as writing ever will.”  (my emphasis)

Maybe it was the simple exhaustion of writing which has as a byproduct the ability to take one away from other things that are important. One of those is the simple maintenance and upkeep of ones home and family; then there is the joy of spending time interacting with others on a face-to-face level;  another is getting back to some physical exercise and working with one’s hands and body in other work; cleaning windows and gutters; doing woodwork making things; fixing appliances, some plumbing and electrical work that has been put on hold; planting seeds and vegetables; and so many other things and I have not even talked about reading books.

There is so much that one misses when working hard at one thing and excluding others. There is so much to fill each day even for a lazy layabout like me who luckily does not have to go out to work each day. I can never figure out how I worked full time for many years and attended to other demands on my time. Now I find even less time to do what I would like to do. I’m at a loss to figure out how people could be bored.

Unlike Andrew Sullivan, who was a writer with extraordinary talent with which I am not gifted, I will not give up blogging. I hope to come back but I hope never to become so consumed by it as in the past.

I appreciate all who have been with me over the years. I apologize for my abrupt departure without an explanation but that was not my intention. It just happened.  Hope you are well and God bless. (I originally typed “Gold bless” – but that’s what a Republican would say.)


  1. as Elbows Wychulis once said

    “In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.”

    or was it

    “We’re fascinated by the words–but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”

  2. John King McDonald

    Writer’s block ? Now Joe Mitchell had a ” Writer’s block ” ; prodigious output and then a complete collapse of more than two decades . You can write . You do write . This is a very clean, spare, and insightful example of strong writing that you offer here . Now , if Khalid was talked back off the ledge once he thought you might have fallen off it , then order is restored and let the writers write on . ☺️

  3. This post is appreciated. It cleared away fears for your health. Pleased that all is well with you.

  4. You have given us a lot, Matt. I thank you. Without exception all of the best blogs I have attended have had long stretches of inactivity. It can’t be easy to avoid that white elephant from time to time.

    Have a great summer. I’ll be looking forward to your next installment.

  5. I enjoy checking in and getting your perspective based on your experience, historical knowledge and values. The regulars are one measure of a blog and yours are quite good. Long live “MattofBoston.”

  6. Paul F. mahoney

    Having the time and the ability to go down a new path is a blessing you needn’t apologize for or for which you should feel guilty. Enjoy.

  7. Nice to see you back, Matt. No apology necessary.

  8. Thought the Saudis ordered you to stop as they ordered Qatar to shut down Al Jazera. Glad to see you can’t be pushed around. Who has more excuses for losing? Hillary or the BC football coach? Happy 4th.

  9. God Bless you, Mr. C. It’s good to hear from you.

    I happen to think you owe us precious little, if anything, as you have provided your readership plenty of quality writing to chew on, ponder and discuss. What more, exactly, could we ask for? (Well, let’s see…how about giving a talk or two on your book, on Whitey, etc. at a few strategically located libraries…or bars?)

    I plan not to blog at all in my imminent retirement (not that I have ever blogged). Lots of tending to the marriage, the family, reading, music, and life on the Cape generally. Peace!

  10. Somehow it reminds me of Forrest Gump during the running phase of his life. “For no particular reason, I just stopped.”

  11. So glad you well and doing what you want to do!

  12. Enjoy the summer, Matt