Bringing a close to this blog is long overdue, and — considering all that has happened since my last post* — it feels anticlimactic. The delay stems from my struggle with the task, but today I realized where I’ve been going wrong. I’ve been trying to write something that is worthy of this past year and of all four of my years at TCS. That’s just plain impossible. Furthermore, I’ve been making the error of seeing the final post on this blog as an end.
For the record, I view semicolons as a reason for living.
Just the thought of semicolons makes me happy — fills me with hope, even. They are seams.
Semicolons are futherances, affordances; they both separate and join; they neither end nor begin. They temper.
I’ve always liked semicolons, but Caren’s beautiful thoughts and words have me loving them now. Her mention of seams also reminds me of some other beautiful thoughts and words, these from an essay by Anne Galloway:
[S]eams and scars point to where we have in the past made or become something else — and yet they also remind us that we can do so again in the future. If we treat them not as irregularities to be hidden but as indicators of our abilities to intervene in the world, seams and scars offer us glimpses of how we shape and re-shape ourselves, each other, and the worlds in which we live.
In my mind, that last phrase cues a line from an interview with William Gibson:
Who we are is largely who we meet.
Let’s jump back to semicolons, this time through the words of Mary Norris:
[I]t still seems to have a vestigial interrogative quality to it, a cue to the reader that the writer is not finished yet; she is holding her breath. […] The semicolon keeps the words above water.
So, consider this post a semicolon. Consider it a seam between my time at TCS and all that comes next. Consider it a thank you to all of you for being a part of a now better me. And consider me holding my breath until we meet again;
PPS: If you’re a bit intimidated by semicolons, The Oatmeal has a great guide to get you started, including the following line (emphasis mine), which goes well with my sentiments above: “Use a semicolon when you want to form a bond between two statements.”
*The list includes a beautiful graduation, two wonderful parties, and many personal