The Path Of The Shadow


When I was younger, ninjas (and their related turtle manifestation) were heralded as the epitome of cool. In looser terms, to be considered a ninja is to be regarded as deftly talented and, where applicable, so damn good at what you do that other people don't notice.

As I grew older, ninjas were less revered and more relegated to myth and even cartoony caricatures. That's fine, after all, how realistically applicable are ninja principals? Who uses martial arts or cryptic Eastern fortune-cookie-esque philosophy in their day-to-day lives?

When I became a musician as a teenager, the name of the game was glory. It was to learn how to compose and perform music that spoke to people's souls, a truly transcendent kind of communication. And those who were best at it were well-regarded, revered, and their popularity spoke to their effectiveness and importance. It was a proportionate measure of worth. And in the same way, the same reverence for talent in music is true of art in general, and especially true when I became a blogger. On the Internet, the art was the written word. The best bloggers used their words and social interaction to affect the world in a way that really connected with others on a human-to-human level - to transcend the limitation of monitors and keys and get at the human condition behind all of the tech. To become a wordsmith on the web gave you the ability to render someone across the globe to become awe-struck.

Personally, regarding these kinds of awards or even blogging in general, I'm gonna admit here and now that I always kind of feel left out of that kind of social circle. I'm not one to garner recognition - features, promotions, awards, a pat on the back -- those aren't in my repertoire.

I guess I'm supposed to be involved in those circles, but blogland treats me very differently. Word gets out that I know how to make and fix websites. My method of communication is often emails and gchat, private backchannels outside of the glory-reaping, crowd-facing part of blogging. I stay outside of the public eye, and incidentally that is exactly how I conduct my professional life. I realize that for business development I should be promoting myself, making myself more visible, but I am realizing that I am actually kind of uncomfortable with self-aggrandizement which makes little sense since I'm supposed to be a blogger and talking about myself is part of the point.

Working in the background behind a soundboard at the venue, or working behind an FTP account among lines of code -- those are both thankless tasks.

However, without the support of a sound tech or a coder, musicians and bloggers (respectively) would not be able to get at that sought-after recognition.

These days, I realize now that I was never set on the path to glory.

I was always intended for the path of the shadow. 

And you know what? I think that's pretty cool.