Concerning the Blog
This blog is a record of one man’s thoughts, which include but are not limited to: questions, prayers, maxims, dialogues both recorded and invented, observations, quotes from other writers, poems, parables, definitions, lists, etc.
There is no planned arrangement of the thoughts. They are unordered, variously structured, and at first glance disparate, yet not so disparate as to give the impression that they come from more than one writer. It may be that patterns emerge from the posts, but the reader should consider the patterns incidental to the content of those posts. Beyond this simple sketch of the contents of the blog, the writer will make no attempt to systematize his thoughts. Key-word tags and categories are used for finding old thoughts easily and not for much else. Anyway, little is gained and much is lost when one man’s thoughts are built up into a system. The writer of this blog is one man of many words, one heart overflowing, but no one needs a system to be sure of that.
Concerning the Tasks of Writers and Readers
Some of the thoughts may be confusing. It is not the writer’s intention to confuse, but he does insist that the reader reads—slowly, earnestly, trustingly.
Each thought is a firmly closed door. The reader may be unable to guess where that door leads, but his task as a reader is to open that door and find out. Some writers (but not the writer of this blog!) take up the added responsibility of preparing the reader for what will or should be found on the other side of the door. Such a writer is called an “author.” And an author, in presumptive fatherliness, diminishes the task of the reader. Authors do this so well and so often that some readers (but not the reader of this blog!) become habitually unwilling to approach closed doors at all. Instead, these readers prefer the convenience of finding their own thoughts already opened up.
So these readers, when they encounter the contents of this blog and the possible confusion that follows from a thought, will hastily retreat back to their “feeds” and “digests,” as if reading were as easy as eating. (They are aptly called “consumers” of words.) Yet the reader of this blog should not be alarmed by confusion. All the closed doors here are meant to be opened, and all confusion meant to be resolved, but by the reader. Keeping this in mind, the writer writes slowly, earnestly, and trustingly for the reader.
Still, the unfortunately labeled “comment” function with each post is more for the writer. There is no expectation for “comments,” but what writer is not delighted by conversation! Anyway, while not being obligated to write a response, the reader who accepts the task to read slowly and earnestly and trustingly will nevertheless begin a conversation—with himself. That, at least, is what the writer expects.
Concerning the Writer
Biographical details can never be anything more than interesting—interesting in the sense that they temporarily stave off boredom. The appetite of boredom is most sated by human life, and all who are bored devour lives by the dozen. The life of a writer is the special diet of those impatient readers, those consumers who crave only hearing without understanding, only seeing without discerning—to say nothing of only hearing the word without doing it. Again, the consumers enjoy, most of all, finding their own thoughts on a page without thinking anything anew. And knowing about a writer’s life makes this consumption easier because the biographical details become a scheme for summing up the writer, thoughts and all; the consumers take in thoughts that have become easy on the palate, so the speak, seasoned to taste by facts. In the end, biographical details tend to make readers approach a text in a way that undermines the slowness, earnestness, and trust that characterize the genuine reader’s task.
Knowing something about the writer should be treated as a terrible temptation—no, as an enemy that will come to steal and kill and destroy whatever good the thoughts might hold. Let the biographical details neither legitimize the thoughts nor undermine them.
It is best to forget the writer altogether. Forget his art. Forget his background. Only remember his hope: that the reader be upbuilt in the reading.