Friday, August 26, 2005

In which the Meridian ponders bulging rivers, Bierstadt (briefly), and this blog

My usual readers who have been away for a couple of days are seeing a different look for the blog. I'll be getting to that.

We here have received, oh, at least a couple of inches of rain here in Wichita the past few days; but because people to the north and west of us have received still more, my particular stretch of the Little Arkansas river is up about a foot. More rain is expected today and tonight, so it will most likely rise some more. But already, the rise has covered some of the boardwalks on my side of the river, and some lower parts of the bank on the park side are underwater, too. There's no danger of my having to blog from the rooftops, but it is nevertheless true that the river's surface, sometimes so calm that "smooth as glass" would be only a small exaggeration, is far from placid right now.

This morning, about an hour after sunrise, the rain stopped long enough for Scruffy and me to have our usual morning walk. Out in the parking lot, the sun and clouds looked like something
Albert Bierstadt would have painted. Now, personally, I like the work of the Hudson River painters (of whom Bierstadt is one) in general: they, in the first half of the 19th century, were in awe of the natural grandeur of this country's landscape and sought to celebrate it in their art. But Bierstadt can at times be a little too too. Indeed, coming rather later than the other Hudson River painters, Bierstadt's work was less appreciated by a public whose aesthetic tastes, affected by the death and destruction caused by the Civil War had begun to change. Bierstadt is as sincere a painter as you could want, but his fate was to be just a bit behind the times.

Which brings me to this blog.

A couple of posts ago, the esteemed Raminagrobis, as good friends should do, asked me in his comments, in so many words, what the hell good ol' Blog Meridian was coming to. Too much "stuff"--what I've called geegaws--causing my page to load slowly. Too much self-promoting. But he still declared himself a loyal reader, for which I'm grateful. He was right. I got to thinking about how this blog looked, even to me: it looked like it didn't know whether it wanted to pose as a semi-smart place to visit but didn't know how to dress so as to LOOK semi-smart, or like someone who was more self-absorbed than semi-smart but wanted to LOOK semi-smart and, instead, just kept on looking self-absorbed. The line between the two is not terribly bright, but I was hoping my blog's case was more the former than the latter. Whatever the case, though, this place was looking more like Bierstadt and less like, say, George Innes.

So, then: a softer and, I hope, more sophisticated but less self-absorbed look and attitude. I hope the look will cause the content to be what the reader dwells on. And yes: as Grobie and many others elsewhere say, if the content is any good, people will find their way here and keep returning. The content should be good enough to sell itself. I'll do what I can to make it thus.

1 comment:

Raminagrobis said...

The blog's looking good.

Definitely more smart than self-absorbed.