It’s an awkward feeling to sit down to do one’s daily half hour of writing, and to have the first five minutes pass with no words.
I have no topic, no subjects in which I’m particularly interested today. Nothing much of interest has happened, or at least nothing much that I know how to discuss yet. (There’s a four to five day lag between my experience of a thing and my ability to talk about that thing, not because I need time to process, but because it needs time to register.) I don’t even have any quotes to spring off of, or images to describe.
Those are largely how I start writing. For example, when I was in ninth grade I wrote an entire book built from the image of a man wearing sunglasses in a starfighter. (For people who aren’t nerds, a starfighter is a specific kind of space ship, analogous to a fighter jet.) In college I spawned an entire created universe around the image of two men standing on a road beside a forest in the middle of the night.
So apparently I tend to function off of images, which is interesting because I don’t generally think in images. I can’t picture anything; I don’t have a visual mind.
And this naturally complicates my ability to discuss theology and philosophy. Both because images would be simpler if I could make them, and because images are only marginally applicable. If you try to picture the Trinity, you’re going to do it wrong. That’s just the way that works.
About half of my posts have been inspired by a quote. I do like quotes, although mostly because I like words, and quotes are how people’s words are sometimes preserved.
Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t particularly like attributing quotes. I but them in quotation marks so that people don’t think I’m trying to claim these things as my own, but attribution would seem to do one of two things, either name drop–look at the important people I know about–or indenture: this famous person agrees with me. Generally when I quote, I’m not trying to do either, I just like the words, or the particular way of expressing an idea.
It may be that the person who said the words would dramatically disagree with how I use them, so citing them would be disingenuous. It may also be that I know nothing about the person except that they apparently said something, in which case name dropping would be disingenuous. So I just share the words.
The wonder of the internet probably makes it so that people can find the source themselves. Or they could ask.
So there’s a portion of my philosophy of quotations.
Even I’m bored with this post.
There is a certain pressure to be entertaining or interesting. After all, why would I ask people to read what I write if I don’t think it’s interesting or entertaining? It’s a bit ridiculous to blog anyway, since there’s no reason that people should be particularly interested in what I say at all, regardless of whether I say it well.
But that pressure to please an audience was itself destructive. It leads too easily into other things. For me it mostly led to silence. That’s a problem, as I’ve previously intimated, because I’m pretty sure I was created to use my words for God. Naturally I am tempted not to use words at all.
It used to lead to a sort of pompous grandiosity. I think my family can attest to this. I would get so nervous about speaking at all that I would become a loud obnoxious idiot whenever I tried to do it. (To be fair, I also became a loud obnoxious idiot because I have other tendencies toward volume, rudeness, and ignorance. But shyness didn’t help.)
My wife is ineffably helpful at making sure I’m not a loud obnoxious idiot. This is why I always had her read my posts before I posted them. It’s why I have her read my e-mails before I send them. Half the time it’s why I won’t talk on the phone unless she’s around. She is… Well, amazing. She keeps me level.
And I’m out of time again. I’m going to post this, even though it seems stupid, so as to continue working on writing for God rather than my audience. If this offends you, dear audience, I apologize. But take heart, for God takes what is given to him and uses it to benefit others. Maybe if I write for God, he will make it interesting and entertaining without me. Or in spite of me. Or something. There’s a obvious reference here about seeking first the kingdom of God.
But I am really out of time.