Say what you will, but these clouds don’t wrangle themselves.
I don’t like to start with the negative, but I am sick and bloody tired of people, lots of different people, who do not understand or respect what they are putting into the digital world. So, I am going to say some things about MY digital self.
THIS IS CLOUDWRANGLER.
It is me, in it’s own 1’s and 0’s kind of way. It’s skewed, certainly, by the persona and voice I tend to lend it. However, I have long been a big believer in the idea that this type of self-publishing should be as honest as you can make it, so it is pretty openly “Me”. As a writer, it is my baseline, my Rosetta stone, the honest core of my thoughts, sometimes ugly, sometimes crafted and beautiful I think, sometimes raw, sometimes juvenille, sometimes (often) blatant grasps for attention, but always me, for better or worse (often, worse). It will not always be every single part of me, of who I am and what I do, it is not a map of my comings and goings, and it is certianly not ALL of me. Everyone’s life has private parts, and I will simply keep those to myself. I have, however, chosen not just to write but to publish, and am therefore a public person in whatever way that entails. I will write here of what is important to me, and I make no apologies for it, nor do I fear others interpretations of it. If you like it, I am glad and encourage you to comment if you have something to say. If you don’t like it, I am interested to know why, and encourage you to comment if you have something to say. Change my mind, I am open to it (ask M. about 2 weeks worth of death penalty arguments when I was younger. It turned out he was right, and I was wrong. It happens, thank God.) A hero of mine once wrote, “If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people, and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.”
Cloudwrangler is about the (hopefully) never-ending attempt to reach out into the world of art, thought, and ideas and to strive for something, anything at all bigger than my current self. It is about the effort to be unlimited in a limited world. It’s about wandering out of the wastes of West Texas where I first learned who I was and might strive to become, with the wind in my ears and dust in my boots, trying to wrestle the big thoughts and wonderful ideas I have experienced to the ground and show them to others, that they might be affected. It’s about reaching out with the ideas that are my own, the value I have gotten from life, and showing it to you, that you may get something out of it in return. It’s about endeavoring to be more than what I am every day.
I don’t expect everyone to do this kind of thing, but I do expect something of people who make the attempt. If you enjoy my words, if they work for you or you want to get in on it or help or just listen, thank you and feel free. If you don’t, then DON’T. Change the channel, click on to something else. If you want to do this yourself, if you feel the need to write, think, shoot, develop, learn, grow larger and beyond yourself, I applaud you for your effort. I’ll champion you when I can, applaud your successes, and try to be there to help when you have something less than success. If you do chose to pursue this endeavor online, I ask only that you are also honest, and never disrespect your own work. Respect your audience and your self. I also ask that you respect the medium. If you can’t or simply don’t want to, then take it all down, and have no web identity, no public presence. Because you don’t get to be public “a little bit.” It cheapens and ultimately invalidates your voice. Be it politician, celebrity, or (self or otherwise)published writer, you have knowingly chosen to give yourself, your words, your work, to the larger endeavor of humanity. Do so with pride, with gusto, without fear. Or don’t do it at all.
You should check your depth before you dive in head first, but you can’t wade into the pool and not get wet.
This is Cloudwrangler, the digital representation of Jefe, who is only a small part of Jeffrey Daniel Rider. I am an unlimited person, living in a limited world, but I keep trying to change that last bit. Thank you so much for being here, and please keep reading.