• Karl Thunemann

Karl's Keyboard #19

Re-imagining this Blog, not to Mention Myself

When I started this blog several months ago, I was a first-time blogger. I did not know what I was in for. Of course I knew I could not design the blog on my own, so I hired a designer who was affiliated with WIX, the blog host.

She did a beautiful job, expanding my idea of possibilities. I had envisioned a words-only blog, but she turned it into an illustrated blog. I loved it, although it drastically changed my idea of what I was trying to do. Now, even as I conceived new posts—or epistles, as I preferred to label them—I had to think of how they might be illustrated. Sometimes this was a slam dunk—a portrait of the subject, a picture of an artwork. But on other occasions this sent me scurrying to find things on the internet in a manner I had never imagined. Sometimes the results were good. Sometimes my co-administrator would reject my candidates, usually for technical reasons. They would not reproduce well. And she went on to find replacements—usually superior, because she is a visual artist who swims in the internet like a child raised at the seashore.

But I was not completely happy. I wanted a table of comments, a search function, more interaction with readers. Most of these things were unattainable. Most blogs don’t have them. So I have been picking away at redefining my goals. One objective was to preserve these newsletters—Karl’s Keyboard—so they could be accessible to readers. And now that has been done. We changed the category called “Resources” to “The Kitchen Sink.” I initially envisioned the resource channel as, literally, a list of resources—books and articles I had consulted in creating my epistles. I am too disorganized to do this. It could happen only if I paid an archivist, which was not about to happen.

So The Kitchen Sink was born. It comes from the phrase “everything but the kitchen sink,” coined early in the 20th century and popularized during World War I when a newspaper observed that the U.S. was throwing “everything but the kitchen sink” into the war effort. So I have warped this somewhat. My idea of kitchen management is that everything gets piled into the kitchen sink. Eventually, someone will sort it all out.

In the Kitchen Sink you will find all issues of Karl’s Keyboard—at least I think they are all in there, plus all the articles by guest contributors. From reading the Keyboards you could find out when an epistle was featured, as I believe they all have been. There might be a few other things, I am not sure. (If you have been wondering about the piano keyboards that grace each newsletter, credit my co-administrator. She scrounged them all up.)

And then, a few days ago, I discovered the manner in which I propose that anybody read this blog—especially newcomers who haven’t been following along. At the conclusion of every epistle, you will find links to other items, recently posted. I was idly looking through the blog one day and realized this is the way this blog was meant to be read. Certainly by me, as I tend to forget what was written or even IF a particular epistle has been written. If you could venture inside my mind, you might be shocked to see how many uncatalogued stories are swimming around—some waiting to be caught and eaten and others not quite aware that they have indeed been taken up, served, and tossed back into the aquarium.

A couple of those end-of-epistle spreads are shown below, if you want to give it a try.

So all this might seem relatively minor, but it preceded a consultation with the I Ching oracle that advised me to prepare for “radical change.” I am not sure yet what this means, but I hope it bodes well.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Almost nobody had heard of Amanda Gorman before she was tapped to be the featured poet at President Biden’s inauguration. But there she was, with her distinctive, heartfelt poem. It’s not as if she was unknown: California’s youthful poet laureate at 17, national youth poet laureate two years later. And now everyone is talking about her. She charmed CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview, and a CNN panel later pondered whether she might run for President in 2036.

But if I were invited to a state dinner at the White House, I would be certain to ask, Will Amanda be there? How is it that Cabinets have met all these years without a poet laureate? Her poem is in the Big Huzzah.

Featured epistles in this Keyboard:

Estrangement Protocols Part III

After sharing a story with a friend, the blogger has second thoughts about posting it.

Hark! How Will this Radical Change Transpire?

The oracle of the I Ching counsels the blogger to prepare for radical change, and he is still pondering what that might mean.

Frequent contributor:

Mary Scriver: A primer on pot-lifters, figuratively needed today

I recognize myself in some of the eras that Prairie Mary outlines here, but I feel as if I am in an early Picasso painting –an arm here, and hand there and … wait! Is That a head? Is this person entirely there?

The Big Huzzah

If somehow you missed out on seeing Amanda Gorman reading her poem at the Inauguration, here’s your chance to read it for yourself.

Til next time … Try meditating on the light. There's a little more, every morning and every night.