Entries tagged with “writing”.

Do you remember when pages had purpose?
     Bought with a price,
          Used sparingly, with great intent and planning?

How monks toiled!
     Candlelit caverns with countless copyists
          Producing manuscripts in unending silence
               (Save the scritch-scritch-scratch of pen on velum).
They quiet themselves that others might speak:
     Ancient texts, preserved for posterity.
A Homer here.
     An Augustine there.
Or greater still, an Illuminated Scripture;
     God’s very breath upon a page!
          The Word made flesh made Word again.

This morning, I sit at the kitchen table,
     Thumbing through the daily mail,
          Picking out the trash.
A flyer here.
     A credit-card offer there.
Pages of words
     and words
          and words
               with trivial purpose and vacuous meaning.

Do you remember when pages had purpose?
     Bought with a price?
          Used sparingly, with great inte

– – –

The poet frowns;
     It had been unnecessary to repeat the third line.
Sighing, he rips the marred sheet from his notebook,
     Crumples it (massacring its feeble body),
          And throws it to the floor.

Then, taking up his pen, he starts anew,
     Spilling ink upon a fresh, blank page.

It occurs to me that if I am to have a blog, then I should really sit down and decide what “blogging” actually is. No doubt, most people would, if asked about the origin of the activity in question, say that is a relatively recent invention. The more thoughtful might draw parallels between web-logging and the practice of writing a diary. Those with a more advanced knowledge of literary history might also reference commonplace books as a forerunner to the modern day internet publication. To a point, they’d all be right. Diarists keep track of personal insights and write about the events of their day to day lives. Commonplace keepers collected snippets of poems, novels, recipes, or whatever else took their fancy – much like the modern practice of embedding the latest YouTube video in the middle of one’s entry or posting the lyrics of a favourite song.

Of course, all of these comparisons break down eventually. Diaries and commonplaces were relatively private areas of writing. Blogs on the other hand are intended to be public. Perhaps we could suggest that the concept of news reporting has been mixed with those of diary-ing and commonplacing. But even this misses the fact that blogs allow readers to comment on the story, something missing from the traditional newspaper (unless we consider letters to the editor).

Whatever the origin, what cannot be denied is that blogging has been a revolutionary tool in the propagation of a variety of new ideas and opinions (some academic, others purely personal). The rise of the printing press had a similar effect on society. With such a plethora of diverse types of blogs, it is perhaps a useful exercise to consider here in brief what I intend to accomplish by mine.

Like the commonplace keepers, I will here occasionally quote from a poem I like. This, however, is not my prime purpose. I keep a real, physical, honest-to-goodness commonplace book for that sort of thing. And so if I do quote a poem, you’ll likely find it to be accompanied with at least a bit of commentary. Likewise, while small portions of personal information will no doubt make their way into various posts, this is not a diary. The idea of a publicly accessible diary gives me, to use the technical term, the heebie-jeebies.

Instead, my blog is primarily a method for me to write about ideas. It is a place to work through various theories and concepts that pop into my head. Sometimes this takes the shape of a poem. Other times it appears in a conversational tone of prose. Occasionally it develops into a more academic structure. Regardless of what I’m writing, however, there will undoubtedly be a Christian element to be found within. It is the framework in which I interpret reality. Christ is the foundation which informs my understanding of the world.

Moreover, it is His truth I wish to spread.

I am a Christian blogger. Hear me roar.

[For further thoughts on Christianity and blogging, see the article referenced in the following footnote]


My friend K.P., keeper of the semi-defunct blog Credo Ut Intellegam, draws this parallel in his article “Publish and Parish: Blogging and the Christian Academic” published in Christians and the Academic World (Autumn 2006-Winter 2007), Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship – Graduate Student and Faculty Ministries (Canada). The fascinating article is available to read online here.