The day 2 assignment is to edit the blog title and tagline, and flesh them out more in a widget.
I didn’t really have a title when I started out on LiveJournal ten years ago. When I slowly realized blogs were expected to have a name, I went with “Set sail with Cap’n Jak”, because I was amused by the idea of a pirate persona in the online game I was playing at the time (and still play, actually).
When I moved to seemingly greener pastures at VOX, I played around with titles for a while. First it was “the eccentric world of jaklumen”, and then “the eclectic world of jaklumen”. But a friend of mine at the time, who I call my Sifu-of-Sorts, introduced me to the Tao Te Ching, and as I was greatly moved by the text, I eventually settled on “the tao of jaklumen”. As “tao” simply means “way”, I figured it summed up nicely the randomness I wrote about, and it seemed to flow nicely. I decided to keep that title when I came to WordPress on VOX’s closing.
LiveJournal didn’t have taglines, but VOX did. Now I was noticing my VOX “neighbors” changed up their titles and taglines– I was told it was fun to change them on a whim, to reflect your mood or whatnot. So I experimented with that for a while. I think they changed mostly on whatever headers I decided to use, which VOX called “banners”. It was “push and pull with the wind” for a while here on WordPress, because I took up kiting as a relaxing hobby, and that sounded Taoist.
Then I read The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, and it really struck a chord with me. I was amazed that an epic fantasy story I was working on with Cimmorene followed so much of the Monomyth pattern. I literally said “whoa” over and over again. The story was slow going, because some of it was therapy dealing with issues of abuse. I figured maybe I should start blogging about how that idea affected me. For a while, I made the tagline “Till all are one”, from the Transformers movie (the 2006 animated one, not Michael Bay’s stuff).
Today, with this challenge, I realized that while I thought that “Till all are one” was inspiring and profound, maybe it didn’t tell the passerby what this blog was about. I thought back to a passage from the I Ching (Book of Changes):
“A place of transition has been reached, and free choice can enter in. A twofold possibility is presented to the great man: he can soar to the heights and play an important part in the world, or he can withdraw into solitude and develop himself. He can go the way of the hero or that of the holy sage who seeks seclusion.” — I Ching (Book of Changes), Wilheim and Baynes translation
Now, the I Ching is an ancient divination text, but I chose to read it in a philosophical way. I thought that for the longest time, I had walked the path of the sage, being very buried in my books, brooding over endless possibilities of thought, sliding out on tangents in many conversations. But there were signs that maybe I was meant for something more. And if I was writing about the Hero’s Journey in particular, and thinking it had meaning to my life, would that not mean that I would need to walk the path of the hero?
I rewrote the tagline a few times, settling on “the path of the sage must become the path of the hero”.
Now the text widget describing this blog, well, I’d never really thought about it until today, either. I thought maybe that made some sense, because I was getting a lot of visits to my “About jaklumen” page, but not many of them seemed to be sticking around and reading. I had completely forgotten that many readers might be browsing through a lot of blogs and wanted a quick summary right on my blog’s front page. I just didn’t think of that, because well, I’m an introverted person and I got used to meeting bloggers by way of interaction.
Oh, and Calamity Rae asked me about a follow by e-mail widget. She’s self-hosted at the moment, and so I hadn’t really thought about that– I assumed everyone just clicked on “Follow” on the toolbar (which self-hosted doesn’t have apparently) or subscribed to blog feeds in a feed reader. So, I added that widget today.