Death of a blog

One of my favorite blogs is dying. I wish there was some alternative medicine we could try, some new drug on the market, some renowned doctor we could call. But it just doesn’t work that way.

Blog death is final. Don’t bother calling the priest for last rites.

Still, I completely understand this writer’s need to put the Great Blogosphere on hold. At a point when most people would have sheltered behind armor-plated walls, Steve Parolini allowed his writing to be transparent. Like a reigning King of Hearts, he poured his soul into cyberspace, perhaps a heroic attempt to stop the vacuous Internet from sucking our own souls dry. And for a few, brief moments there was honest-to-God deliriously good content on the Web. Stuff that I would have paid money for; stuff that I would have dog-eared and underlined and refused to lend, even to my best friend.

But this stuff was free. So, of course, it was addictive.

Counting on Whales, a site that focused on “loneliness, loss, love and the unfathomable ubiquity of God,” delivered up a fresh perspective on romance. It’s oh-so-easy to write about love at the beginning of a relationship, when butterflies and bluebirds spring out of every corner. But it takes a purple-heart-warrior to write about love when things are falling apart.

We might not want to admit it, but all those who walk and breathe understand loss. It’s part of life. It’s the bridge to the next world. It’s our passport into God’s presence.

Parolini struck a universal chord with his words. He became a guide through a painfully familiar horizon.

Below is a short quote from "The Almost." If you listen, you can almost hear the regret, the sense of loss at the same moment as discovery. Like someone took a blue crayon and colored over a black and white photo.

“She speaks and he wants to press pause for every word. He wants to rewind, press play, rewind again. He wants to study her inflection. Her tone. The dance of her tongue. The way her head tilts and her dark chocolate hair drifts in front of her eyes, only to be brushed back by absent-minded fingers; an autonomic function for her, an alluring and magnificent ballet to him.”

Parolini’s writing is so intimate and personal that it almost makes you feel like an intruder, like you’ve accidentally wandered into his house and started reading his journals. But like I mentioned earlier, it’s addictive stuff. So you crawl back in that open Web site window and start foraging through his pages again, hoping you can at least finish a couple before he walks in the door . . .

Counting on Whales is dying. Perhaps it’s a natural death, an honorable death. Perhaps we should toss rose petals in the river and mourn its demise.

But I suggest that you stop by and read a poem or two, before the dark silence descends. It may be a long, long time before the Internet offers writing this good again.

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