Mulling things on my morning ramble
with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.
A dog's life is there.
I mean right there.
Whatever is in front of the meathead is what matters. That is his life. It has neither front nor back, just the moment.
Whatever scrap is head-high on the table is just a quick head-flick, tongue-lick away from satisfaction.
Whatever pole or fence post was recently scented by the neighbor's pointer is just one leg-lift from redefinition.
Whatever food scrap, be it chicken bone or sandwich remnant, is on the ground is just one snap from disappearing into an undiscriminating palate.
Things are different for me.
I feel like life and work shatter into moments flying away, back into the past, ahead into a future I don't fully understand, and sideways into unknown realms.
Like life is splintering into multiple platforms.
As much as I understand that is the direction of the modern world, particularly modern media.
It feels at odds with outdoor writing. And that is how I still define myself in my work sense.
There has to be a time for reflection, even rumination, for outdoor writing. It does not fit easily into the react of the moment, as if you're a dog and there is only the moment.
This stuff gnaws at me this morning because the radio show Joel Greenberg and I are doing debuts today.
"Outside" begins at 4:30 p.m. today on WKCC-FM (91.1). Online listening is here.
Over the last week or so, I have put some effort into promoting it. That felt good because I believe in our show. It is something that Joel and I have kicked around for years.
But, for some reason this morning, as Storm and I rambled across a frozen landscape now barren of beautifying snow, I fell to ruminating and realized how many platforms I am spread across.
Obviously, there is the base. That is still writing a twice-weekly outdoors column for the Sun-Times, one of the few twice-weekly columns left at a major newspaper. Even that is two-tiered, the newspaper and the online paper.
There is the Web log, STRAY CASTS, for the S-T.
I am the Chicago Scene columnist for Heartland Outdoors magazine.
To promote ``Outside,'' I thought a Facebook presence was important. That page, Outside with Dale Bowman and Joel Greenberg, takes some time. Surprisingly, I find myself enjoying it more than I thought I would.
Now, the radio show.
I am young enough that expect life to keep evolving, more specifically work in media to keep evolving.
At one point, I tried Twitter briefly. Then stopped. It just didn't seem to fit with outdoor communication.
There was something about tweeting about fishing while fishing that seemed like the context of the fishing was lost and the fishing didn't seem like fishing and more like a burden of work than fishing.
Right now, my work is work. And I treat it that way. But it is not work that feels like a burden.
Tweeting felt like a burden, and I stopped.
We all carve out our own reserves.