Yesterday was the feast of St. Job the Long-suffering (cf. the book of Job in the Old Testament). I’m mindful of the saint, not because my life compares to that of the holy prophet, but because I’m in the midst of major life transition, and although what is coming in my life is doubtless not the same thing that happened to Job, I face tomorrow with much hope and joy and peace, whatever may come. This has been an incredibly painful time, and seemingly interminable, and–trying to avoid the melodramatic–I have no doubt that I have much more pain to endure. But I face tomorrow and the next day and the next with a sense of promise, joy and anticipation.
There are one or two personal goals I’ve wanted to pursue for nearly my entire life, which for various reasons have been put on hold, or simply stored away. But I face a future that feels to me wide-open, despite some very real and concrete limitations. I wake up excited to face each day. Despite my limitations, I have a very real sense of control–not over circumstances or others but over my choices and actions. I know what may come (which is likely not to be really all that different than where I’m at today), and much of it isn’t going to be fun, but I know what I can do, what I can’t do, and that oddly enough gives me a very real sense of control, again, not over my circumstances but over my choices and actions.
Some of these goals are already underway: financial, professional, religious and so forth. But one goal in particular has to do with this blog. Anyone who knows me knows I love to write. About anything and everything. I love words. I love the way they sound, the way one works one’s mouth and throat and breathing to speak various words. Words integrate body and mind and heart. When one prays out loud one involves some of the body’s major systems, one involves one’s heart and mind. Words can be a means to the integration of the human person, body, soul and spirit.
But I have found that recent times, life circumstances and my limitations have taken me away from this love of words and of writing. And while this blog helped me follow this pursuit of the written word when I first started it nearly seven years ago (on another website), life and its boundaries have taken me from this blog and from writing. I am now in the midst of some major reevaluations of various aspects of my life. Despite my experiences these last few years, and more recently, I really get a sense of being given a new start, a blank page, an unwritten script, waiting for me to begin filling in the spaces with words and pictures and music.
Part of that evaluation involves the role this blog has played, is now playing and might still play. I’m not sure what precisely I’m going to do about this blog–except that in the near future I’m going to intentionally ignore it (for the most part) while I explore various activities with regard to writing to see which fosters the most creativity and productivity for the best-fitted discipline. Perhaps this blog will be it, perhaps not. I will be going through the posts on this blog and culling some of the posts (mostly the ephemeral and vaporous). For now I’ll leave much of it. I may ultimately come to the decision in the coming months to delete the blog altogether. I’ve had fun with it, but I need to reevaluate all my activities and bring together those things that will give me some extra return for some synergistic combinations. Some of the writing activities and disciplines I’ve done in the past have been more helpful than blogging. And I’m not sure the nature of the blogging medium can give that sort of return for time and effort.
And it may just simply be the case that the blog has served its purpose. I started blogging as I began to journey to the Orthodox Church. In a few weeks it will be the second anniversary of my reception through chrismation into the Orthodox Church. This blog has served as a record of my thoughts, academic pursuits, and exploration of the way of life that I have now engaged for the past couple of years. I didn’t set out to make the blog a specific tool for recording that journey, but it sort of became that ad hoc. Oddly enough, now that I’m Orthodox, I really have much less desire to discuss it. I have found that my ignorance is so much more vast than I used to realize, that I really don’t have much to say. And I’ve also recognized that my life is not such that I have any standing to speak about such things in a public blog: I don’t fast and give and pray like I should, so how can I talk about the Theotokos, the saints and the Incarnation? Since that journey has for some time been in its new phase, it may be time to phase out this blog, too.
I don’t know. All of this is in play.
It’s both the worst of times and the best of times for me. I’m excited, hopeful and joyful at facing whatever future may come. God is good. All the time. In every way. To and for me and my life specifically. Life makes it challenging to believe that at times, but it is always true.
St. Job pray for us, that like you we may always turn our hope and faith to God, awaiting his rich mercy.
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