Emails a reader, interestingly. I'm not seeing any life changes, aside from the anosmia for which I had an MRI of my head, which has the side effect of causing me to feel unusually assured that there's nothing wrong with my brain. I feel fine, and Meade and I are very happy as we approach our 4th anniversary on Saturday. But your question got me thinking — as I was out biking today — and I worked out a 3-part answer. Each of the 3 parts has 2 subparts. Any combination of the subparts may be causing what you see as darkness.
1. It just looks different.
a. The absence of comments has pushed me to go a little further in revealing my thoughts, since I'm not throwing it over to the commenters. When I do this, you are less able to think what you want to think about me, which might be that I'm only saying bland, nice things, but I never was.
b. The comments, especially the comments at the top, closest to my writing, were often breezy wisecracks or social byplay, and these undermined my seriousness and blunted my edge. Without that cream and sugar, the black coffee is bitter.2. It's a shift in the news out there, and I'm blogging about different things.
a. Last month we were talking about Supreme Court cases, and this month it's been the racial and sexual matters in the Zimmerman trial and the long shadow of the World Wide Weiner.3. The loss of comments really did affect my mood.
b. Before the gay marriage case was decided, I engaged in a lot of conciliatory interplay with people who were saying some pretty harsh things, which I did not respond to in kind, but after the case was decided, we needed to move on.
a. I saw some hurtful hostility before I gave up. You can't see all the things that Meade and I deleted, so you don't know what happened, and the moderation function was broken at the time. After I shut off the comments, I had to deal with email and writing on other sites, and I saw some people whom I had valued as guests griping about what I did to them, showing little appreciation for what I had given for 9 years.
b. I really do miss the comments — or, that is, my idea of what the comments were.