Monday, August 25, 2008

Definitions


Well, now that I have this blog and am trying to write as often as possible, I might as well explain about what I am going to attempt to write.  If you, my patient reader, wend your gaze toward the words in miniscule beneath my blog title you will find that this blog is made up of "thoughts on writing, faith, music, art and life."  I fancy myself an amateur philologist and linguist, so I will try to concretize my specific comprehension of the connotations of these words (I had to use the ten-cent words concretize and connotation simply to prove to myself that I could use them in a sentence).  So, without further ado, here follows my understanding of the meaning of the words "thoughts," "writing," "faith," "music," "art," and "life" -- at least within the arena of this blog.  Each post after this initial explanation will be tagged with at least one of the five topics so that you the reader will know what they are about to encounter.

"Thoughts"
They come out of both my head and heart.  Some thoughts will be logical, others emotional.  Many will be both.  Hopefully I have grown enough so that my gut-reactions are tempered by sober reflection, but then again it might be more fun for you the reader to pass your peepers over my un-distilled psyche.  Nevertheless, these "thoughts" are my opinions, my point of view.  They are not gospel truth and are not meant to be.  Hopefully once I get over the lack of sleep that plagued me last night these posts will also be less serious and more hilarious.  Not just for you the reader, but for me the writer.  I'm boring myself already.  Sort of.

"Writing"
Writing is anything involving the use of words on a page (or screen) to communicate.  That's a really broad category.  It could include plays, poetry, short fiction, novels, non-fiction, songs, essays and whole host of other things.  It will include both my own work and my thoughts on things that I have read or heard recently.  So, for instance, one day I might share a personal limerick:

One sunny day in old Princeton
A blogger wrote a rhyme for fun.
The form he picked
Was limerick.
The reader regrets having come.

Limericks are more difficult to write than they look.  I had to rely on slant rhyme just to get me through.  Sigh.  Anyway, on another day I might post about the book(s) I am currently reading (The Brothers Karamazov and a collection of Robert Frost poems at the moment).  One of the purposes of this blog is to teach me to write more often and to give me a forum in which to write.  I, unfortunately, join the majority of Americans who are now indoctrinated with instant gratification, and this blog format seems to be ideal for the quick response to something I've written.  I might occasionally post excerpts of things I've written recently or things on which I'm working.  Also, this blog itself is an experiment in writing and occasionally I will write about the process of blogging and/or the process of writing.

"Faith"
Always a thorny subject.  But the thorn supports a rose.  As a person of faith, and a person who believes that God has called them to live in faith I cannot speak or write about anything without it being encroached upon by my personal worldview.  I believe that no one can.  We all have a worldview.  Mine happens to center itself in Christianity and to be clothed in the "double love commandment" -- Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself.  More simply put: love God; love others.  The title of this blog reflects this.  The posts that fall under this category will most likely deal with how exactly that simple commandment is lived out in real life.  They might also deal with issues of theology, or places where other topics (politics, ethics, economics, mathematics, science) intersect with living out love.  This obviously leaves open a wide space for me to write about anything (similar to the topic of life, but more on that in a bit).  Yet I will try to restrain myself to writing about topics not mentioned in the blog description from the viewpoint of one of the "major" five.  So, if I write about politics, I will write about how a specific musician (Derek Webb, for instance) writes and sings about politics and what I think of his interpretation.  Or I will discuss how faith and politics do or do not work together.  Obviously, this blog is heavily weighted toward the humanities as opposed to the sciences, but I do not think that this means that the two cannot be spoken about together, nor do I think that they never speak to each other.  More on that some day in the future.

"Music"
This is similar to writing, except that I will focus on singers/songwriters/instrumentalists.  I will also talk about the music apart from the lyrics.  I will also sometimes link to my own music, as opposed to just posting the lyrics to a song.

"Art"
Really here I probably mean beauty, but Art just sounded better in the blog description.  These posts will discuss where I see beauty in the world, whether it is the art of nature, or the art of a photographer or painter.  They will also focus on the craft of creation.  As you can already tell, many of the posts will be tagged both "writing" and "art," or "music" and "art."  But I felt the separation was necessary because I will occasionally write about music and how it interacts with politics, as I said before.  A post that is purely "art" will most likely be a completely joyful post because it will simply be about something beautiful.  Like otters.  Beautiful.

"Life"
These posts will deal with my personal life, what's going on with me.  They will also deal with being alive.  Again, experiences of beauty might be wrapped up in an experience of being alive, but I wanted to express both the places where these topics cross and the extension of their outer boundaries.  So I chose to use both words.

I believe in inter-connectivity and cross-pollination.  These topics flow in and out of each other and their unique qualities also bind them together.  John Donne wrote that "no man is an island," (or "no person," for my inclusive-language-minded friends.)  I believe that.  And I believe that no thought, no topic is an island.  So above all, this blog will probably express the sincerity of my belief in our lack of aloneness.  We are all connected.  And that's something very exciting.

Thank you for sticking with me.  Let's get to some real posting.


2 comments:

Laurie said...

I just want you to know I'm reading. And if you keep writing, I'll keep reading. And commenting. :)

Susan, another silly minister said...

Have you read Charles Williams? One of the Inklings, perhaps lesser known, but an intriguing writer of theology. His seven works of fiction are the most wonderful and he, unlike the Inklings, does not create new worlds, but blends worlds. Long comment to introduce something your blog triggered in my mind: co-inherence. It is a theological concept, not without flaws, but explored in all of his writing. He develops and explores exchange and substitution as we are all part of something else and our redemption is also connected. The fiction work includes the titles The Greater Trumps, Shadows of Ecstasy, The Place of the Lion, Descent Into Hell, Many Dimensions, War in Heaven, and All Hallow's Eve.

His theological titles include Descent of the Dove, The Image of the City, He Came Down from Heaven, and The Forgiveness of Sins.

He's quite different from Sayers, Tolkkien, and Lewis.

Thanks for this sentimental (mostly mental) excursion. Always remember the ideas expressed are not necessarily those of the management! Blessings!