Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Guilty as charged

«Blogging is something of a disreputable activity. It is time stolen from Responsibilities. It's for people with Egos. It's at best an Outlet.»

Well, yes - blogging is disreputable although blogs are becoming a respectable forum.

And time is precious, so we should be careful as to we use it. Is writing a good use of time for me? Is blogging a link between now and eternity for me or not?

As to egos, well yes. Who can write unless that they feel their words to have a distinct pitch (as Scotus might say)? So, yes, I am egotistical, I think that I am somebody (somebody who's being made). Hildegarde of Bingen in order to avoid arrogance resisted writing, but then she thought who was she to say no to the Almighty God who had indicated certain things to her. This claim is either terribly arrogant or profoundly humble.

That writing is a mere outlet is the most damning of the complaints. To paraphrase Monty Python, every desire is sacred and if a desire is wasted God gets quite irate. If blogging takes away from responsibilities (and it does); if blogging takes time (and it does); if blogging is an exercise of the I (and it is), then the only thing that makes it worthwhile is if it contributes to the work of man: to increase awareness and gratitude for everything, to deepen the human experience. So if blogging is a mere outlet, then to hell with it! Such activity can only make you blind - blind to the depths of things.

Blogging is not for everyone. Every blogger should make an act of contrition insofar as blogging is an escape, a distraction, or a waste of time.

"A book is a conversation that could not have taken place," writes Hans Urs von Balthasar. And so too is blogging is conversation that wouldn't otherwise happen. As such, blogging is a lesser substitute for conversation in life. It's presence in the form of absence. Plato criticized the written word for lacking context and rolling around like a loose stone. And yet, writing and even blogging can be a way to reach the corners and recesses of the wide world. There's a risk to writing, for words that have resonance in life and in the hand of the author must be met by the humanity of the reader who is willing to put himself on the line. I hope that it's worth the risk, the failure, and the betrayal of author and reader.

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