I have a good friend who shut down her blog recently. After four years of spilling it on the keyboard, she's movin' on to other things that God has for her. I admire and respect that. She did not reveal all of the reasons for her decision, but she did indicate that she has felt, of late, an uneasiness in telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, especially when that truth is not nice or pretty. Don't get me wrong; "nice" and "pretty" are not words I would use to describe her writing at all. She writes with a raw intensity that reminds me of some no-punctuation-Jack-Kerouac-jazz-fusion-trip. But even in that swirling prose, she would say there's more she's not telling, more that's not "nice" and "pretty."
If you're reading this, my good friend, I believe you are the moth that is flying ever closer to the flame, refusing to be merely a troubled guest on the dark earth. Fly on. Fly true. Burn.
Back in May of '06, I started this blog with these words:
I find myself somewhat of a hermit these days, doing a lot of writing and editing in my basement, alone, unkempt and content. However, I feel I need a place to stop in every once in a while from the solitary cold. Hopefully the words and thoughts here will be warm and inviting; if I'm lucky, maybe even "a glow in the night woods."
I'm still a hermit at heart. And I'm still writing and editing, however it's not in my basement. I report each day to a cubicle and some days still feel quite alone. Unkempt? That was probably a stretch to begin with. Content? Well, I'll have to tip my hat to the apostle Paul, that bastion of contentedness, and hope I can one day learn his lesson. But I do still hope that the words typed in this little white box that eventually wait for me to hit the "publish post" button are "warm and inviting."
In the church of my youth, there was a phenomenon known as "rededicating your life." It would happen every once in a while when a redeemed soul felt they had strayed a little or a lot off the straight and narrow. This soul would make the journey down the aisle and take the preacher's hand and say, "Reverend Marshfield, I want to rededicate my life to the Lord." In some sense, it was much like renewing your wedding vows or what gandydancers used to do to railroad tracks.
I want to rededicate my blog to the goal of writing words that will be warm and inviting, but at the same time true. This may be the same thing as rededicating my life and it just might be the same thing as rededicating my life to the Lord. Some days, my words might be a glow in the night woods and other days, they might be a raging inferno. And some days, there might be just the trace of an ember needing the breath of kindred souls to fan them into flame.
You think you can avoid pain, but actually you can't. If you do, you just get sicker, or you feel more pain. But if you can speak it, if you can write it, if you can paint it, it is very healing. - Alice Walker