15 May, 2005

Contemplating the end

I haven't been posting the last few days, because graduation kept me busy.

I've been contemplating the end of this weblog, for various reasons.

First, it hasn't really achieved my goal. Maybe it's because I've been too busy to work on this, but the stated and unstated goals of this weblog have been nearly impossible to achieve. I'm not very happy with the usual subject matter. My favorite posts are my translations of medieval hymns (see the archives below). That's a good thing, I think: they really are gems from an age that thought less in terms of THE NOW and more in terms of ETERNITY; but I don't need a weblog to carry out that work, and I haven't done that much of it anyway.

Second, even though I don't write much at all, I write enough that I don't do some things that I think I should do. I have some other projects — some old, some recent — that are suffering because I spend time writing on this weblog, or reading other people's weblogs instead.

For example, I've been saying for ages that I would finish Oriana Fallaci's Insciallah and write something about it, then turn to another book. I haven't looked at her novel in weeks; in fact, I left it at my parents' house two weekends past, after taking it there to read and still not looking at it. This may indicate that the book isn't worth finishing, but I really ought to finish it before I decide. Either way, I have a list of other books I'd like to read, and none of them is getting read while I procrastinate Insciallah. I'm not so competent as Steven Riddle at encouraging my reading by blogging about it.

Third: it makes me uncomfortable sometimes. I feel a little conceited, and I worry that I misrepresent myself as a person. I do write about thoughts that are on my mind, but they're usually somewhat considered before I commit them to the weblog, and a great number of thoughts are off-limits. This is quite different from the rash, off-the-cuff, and ill-considered remarks for which I am somewhat better known "in real life." So already there is some idealization going on here.

But more: like anyone else, I am a sinner, although unlike most people (as far as I can tell), I am keenly aware of my sinfulness. The one prayer that has remained with me all these years — the one prayer that I say every night as I lie down, even if I pray nothing else during the day, are these words: Lord Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner: I wish to see. What is it that I wish "to see"? I want to be honest: not to deceive myself about who I am or what is going on in my life; to see and draw closer to God, to that absolute reality that enables all others. Some blindness is necessary in our pre-glorified condition, but I don't want to be so blinded by sin to reality that I cannot draw closer to God. The point being: I worry sometimes that maintaining this weblog can blind me.

My adviser call this sort of reflection "metathinking": thinking about thinking. :-) (He usually means something else, but humor me.) I'm disallowing comments on this post, because of this. In any case, the weblog won't be ending soon: I have at least two more posts to make today :-) and while writing this, I thought of a third.