I like to browse my own blog. I can't help myself some days...just want to see what I've written in the past. I go to the Archive and scroll around, or take the mouse up to the blank box in the upper left corner and type in something interesting like Spinoza or Anderson Cooper or a title I remember like Edifice Complexes and Complex Edifices or My Favorite Father, and I read what I wrote.
Sometimes I've all but forgotten that I wrote a particular piece. Then I can cast a critical eye. Usually I come out on the positive side, and find what a reader who seems to think he's bananas calls me, "even-handed" writing. Fair, but not in the sense of being albino or like the Fox News Network isn't, but even-handed even in the comments section, stepping in to balance contentious situations, or to back-pedal on my own occasionally rash statements.
I come by this even-handed state honestly. My older sister was the driven genius, my younger brother was the cute and cuddly baby, and I was the middle child. I was always, it seems to me, the go-between in imaginary or real conflicts, seeing both sides, waffling back and forth, and carrying messages. We are trapped in our birth order. My sister is still somewhat tense and driven, my brother is still relying on personality and charm, and I am still in the middle, hoping, if I get it right often enough, to emerge from the middle and be seen as the one who was right all along.
I like the addition of "hope" to my self-definition. This came from the blog title, but I think the quality of hope glows through most of my posts -- hope that Fairhope will get back to its original mission or at least not lose all awareness of it, hope that the Marietta Johnson School will receive its proper recognition, hope that somebody will notice Campbell Scott and award him an Oscar or Sexiest Man Alive award or something. I hope that somebody will buy a book. I hope that my next project works out. I hope that somebody reads this post and comments. I hope it's a nice day. I hope the Universe will listen when I ask it for something. I hope we all prosper and my country will get out of this war.
This is only a partial list. I shall be even-handed in my hopes, but the list goes one. Add to it if you like, and be fair and even-handed when you do.