Sunday, June 21, 2020


When I started clerkmanifesto seven years ago I imagined at some point I might have a large, engaged readership.

No, wait, that's not right.

When I started clerkmanifesto seven years ago I hoped it would bring me worldwide acclaim, but mostly I suspected it wouldn't, and that it would all be too much for me to keep up with, and I would slowly fade out of writing it over a couple of months until I quietly just dropped it without anyone much noticing.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that its level of popularity would remain so tenaciously tiny, all while my dedication to it would be so devoted, involved, and steadfast. My process of coping with my lack of popularity has been a long and complicated road. I started with glimmers of hope, followed by periods of frustration, occasional moments of rage, mildly depressing periods of stunned disbelief, then bouts of mature disappointment, then bemusement, rage again, glimmers of understanding, refusal, acceptance, then irritation, and then, perhaps most helpfully, sections of genuine disinterest. 

At this point if I really, emotionally and structurally, need a larger, more engaged audience I just make it up.

Which is how I came to receive this letter written by myself over the course of the next several minutes:

Dear Clerkmanifesto;

I have been following your interesting and wide ranging blog for a couple of years now, but have kept my appreciation and regard mainly to myself. Your regular posting is sustaining enough for me, and certainly I like some of your whimsies and musings better than others. Every once in awhile, with time on my hands, I delve into your rather deep back catalog, and I have passed a few edifying evenings here or there in such endeavor. 

It rather caught my attention when you began adding photography to your missives, and I am surprised and delighted by how compelling I have found this to be. I mean this as no slight to your writing, which I enjoy, but I merely consider these pictures an added dimension providing more to appreciate as I peruse clerkmanifesto. It is also your photography that has elicited this first letter of mine to you.

A scant few days ago a young gentleman reader of yours (he seemed quite young indeed to be a reader of your rather complicated blog) expressed in no uncertain terms that he was interested in pictures of bunnies. He was very interested in bunnies. He was charmingly passionate about his interest in bunnies! I pleasantly delighted in seeing you so fully indulge the young chap, and it quite got me thinking.

I am not a tremendous fan of bunnies (though I still enjoyed those pictures). However I am something of a very amateur entomologist. And I couldn't resist breaking my usual silence here to inquire as to whether you might have any photographs in my line. Surely a bug or two must have wandered across a couple of those flowers you so beautifully photograph? If so I would be extremely appreciative if you considered sharing some of those "bug" pictures with us. I don't expect much, but I would be so thankful for anything along the six-legged line. Wings, of course, are always a plus.

Thank you again for anything you can provide.

I remain your devoted reader,

Adley Cameron Brutus Wanderwillow III

How very kind of you to write Adley. I am happy to provide a selection of pictures of insects that I have taken in my wanderings. I am ignorant as to all but the simplest of names for any of these (e.g. a kind of a bee, a dragonfly, moth...), so feel free to identify as you like. As ever this comes from my rare collection of pictures that are "mostly in focus". The last is a shot of pure luck, perhaps even my luckiest so far (yes, he's flying). 

I hope you enjoy them!

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If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.