Sunday, September 12, 2010

Five Year Review

With this post, I launched myself into the world of 'blogging.

Five years later, I'm still posting.

What a long, strange trip this has been.

This has been a blessing for me. As one who naturally is introspective, it has helped bring out things and let me examine my life and the world around me with a touch more thoughtfulness. In my world, seemingly full of paradoxes, I have gone from Socratic contentment to Thoreauvian despair, everywhere in between, and back again. You who have perused my words have shared that wide and sometimes wild range of contemplation and the emotions connected to it.

And I thank you for allowing me to share that.

The Good

Some things I have enjoyed writing more than others. The series of reflections on the "O Anthiphons" and the "Seven Last Words of Christ" I still hold are my most popular posts; hence, they have been a staple of Advent and Lent since this 'blog's inception. The images and words of Independence Day, also an annual staple, are a reminder of where we as a country have been, where we are, and where we are going. My reflections on Christmas Eve, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, Good Friday, and the feast of St. Cecilia act as mileposts as well about those subjects.

These are a few of my favorite things. I hope some of them have been yours, as well.

The Bad

According to Blogger, this will be my 527th. post. I would have to say that number is actually lower because of the re-posting of many articles. Averaging less than a hundred posts a year is a low figure; I am sure there are 'bloggers whose output per month is more than that. While I have never been about quantity, I do regret not posting on a more consistent basis. My frequency is a reflection on my indifference more than my inspiration. My appreciation of professional writers has increased a hundred-fold since undertaking this.

I know I don't have the greatest writing style in the world, either. My words are simple and simplistic. Sometimes I come off very trite. Again, I am not a professional; I am one of a myriad who think they have something to say. Some times I do OK; others, I fall flat.

Yet, I will keep using my keyboard.

The Ugly

I have not wanted this to be a "what's going on in my life" on-line journal, but it has partially become that. Which brings me to what is the most paradoxical thing about me. I find it so easy to let complete strangers know about my every fault; yet those who are close to me find it very difficult to get me to be open. Put that in context of my relationship to God and it becomes even more stark. He absolutely knows me; yet, He is still somewhat a stranger to me.

My small readership know about the trials and tribulations I have had the past six-plus years. (Remember a recession is when your neighbor is unemployed and a depression is when you are.) With only two exceptions totaling fourteen months, a regular paycheck has eluded me since March 2004. Not to say I have not been without income during this time (worker's compensation, unemployment insurance, officiating fees), but the fact is I have not been able to sufficiently support myself for a while.

This is my dark night of the soul. The doubts of whether I will find anything in this current economic condition grow with every rejection of an application. The ache caused by my tendinitis is a reminder of how limited are my options. There are times I wonder if my economic shelf life has expired. It is amazing Satan hasn't exploited this idle mind, let alone this troubled spirit.

A Still, Small Voice

Yet, God is with me. I have to keep reminding myself of that.

He has shown His mercy. I have written about the proof of that.

Because of this 'blog, because I was able to establish an honest presence, because I was found to be trustworthy, I was able to get through the toughest two weeks of my life.

Because of this 'blog, someone took me into her home when I seemingly had no where else to go.

Because of this 'blog, I have met (some in person, most still virtual strangers) those who inspire me to "be perfect(ed) as your Heavenly Father is perfect."

Because of this 'blog, perhaps I will become more Christ-like.

Perhaps, because of this 'blog, I have helped a soul or two, out of the over 34,000 visits to date.

All because I wanted to expand my infinitesimal corner of the universe.

The welcome mat is still out.

My invitation from five years ago still stands.

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