There are any number of reasons for making a change. In case you haven't noticed in the course of reading this, the link to the header for this page has expired - long expired, like the full gallon of milk in our fridge when Libby went off of lactose - and I have yet to do anything about it. I suppose I could recreate it, but a switch in computers between now and the original means my programs and fonts and images are all scraped off into the wild blue yonder. The serious time devotion to recreating one measly blog header is not worth the reward. And blogger has made so many template-formatting changes, I'm not even sure I could figure out how to edit this thing without bringing the whole HTML-infrastructure crashing down.
And, you know, it's not like I'm a perfectionist or anything, making this whole reconstruction thing even more time-involved... at least that's not a factor at all! >.>
The point is, it's not worth clinging to this skeleton of a blog. It's time for a change. That may mean a new blog; it may mean... I don't know.
But it was time for a change anyway. The blogging persona that I invented years ago as a freshman in high school was long, long gone before the link at the top of the page expired. The persona I conjured together as a nursing-student-gone-nurse is fading too. The self-description always said "happens to be," and all my "happens to be"-s are changing. Just now, I'm a child of God who happens to be jobless and planning a wedding and trying to decide what to do with the next two weeks. By mid-August, I will be a child of God who happens to be married to Daniel.
Of course, "happens to be" does not mean that being a nurse or being married are No Big Deal. Rather, there is a balance. I am not changing blogs/unblogging because I have Arrived Somewhere; I am not not changing because the change is insignificant. But I need some time for thought, and I need some time to talk about it with a Certain Fellow whose opinion is rather significant.
There's a good inch-and-a-half of space between the edge of each shelf and the row of paper vertebrae - an inch and a half that is now gray instead of the original cheap black finish. A quick sweep of my finger begins to restore the former glory; how quickly a few strokes of a damp paper towel would finish the job!
I procrastinate. I have procrastinated for longer than I care to admit. Dusting my shelves is not a big deal, and still I don't. The frivolous arguments abound. The shelves will only get a little dustier with time - it does not matter much - and anyway, if I wait until they are really dusty, then it will feel like I am doing much more by cleaning them...
Such thinking is humorous when applied to my bookshelves, but looking about me I begin to see where it creeps into the broader scheme of Life - that is, in how I invariably put off the housekeeping of my soul. There will always be dust gathering somewhere. Sin blights up and casts its shadow out from the corners. If I wipe it away, it comes back. If I clean now, I will have to see it dirtied again. So I don't. And as I leave my heart to be cluttered by sin, I believe no truth but a lie, the fear that maybe Jesus won't win.
Here is housekeeping hallowed as a calling and ministry. My eyes see futility in cleaning things that will only be cluttered again - but perhaps my eyes have grown accustomed to turning things backwards. The topsy-turvy truth in dusting is this: I am not made any more clean by wiping the same sins away again and again, and yet I am called to do so - not as one trying to make redemption effective, but with all the finality of a herald announcing the outcome of a duel ringing into my actions: redemption is certain.
Dust settles. Dust gathers. And I take my cloth and strike it away and say, nay. Yes, there is dust and filth that has gathered. Dust only happens because something has died. It ought not discourage me, then, that because sin has died there is dust. I will sing of the the triumph of redemption to my heart with the dishrag and the duster.
Of course, it is never a matter of merely having a clean inch-and-a-half. Cleaning the shelf would be sheer futility then; but having cleaned, one looks past the the edge of the shelf. In a way, it is brushed away with the dust, past distraction so one may see the rest of the shelf. There dusty hands may reach deep into tales ablaze with truth and glory and beauty, together woven into the story of a hope that does not disappoint. The books themselves ought never require much dusting.
As it is the season for new-year posts on the subject of readings, past and future, I thought I might squeeze out one of my own and perhaps pave the way for actually posting a few times this year. I was fairly organized last year, planning a monthly allotment of books that included an old favourite, a new potential favourite, and something of substance/classic.
It was at times a frenzied race to finish the monthly quota, and between the completion of school and the initiation of full-time employment I am quite surprised that I read as much as I did. But the inclusion of old favourites made the task quite bearable: The Man Who Was Thursday kicked off the year as the epi-tome of Old Friends - no other book can shake my bones and be utterly comfy at the same time. I reacquainted myself with many others, including The Silver Branch (Sutcliff), Mere Christianity, Harry Blamires' Divine Trilogy, The Paradise War (Lawhead), Till We Have Faces,Emma, Lewis' Space Trilogy, Clouds of Witness (Sayers) and Beowulf.
In addition to books that I knew I liked, I tried to include a measured dose of classics that I would not read unless I straightforwardly decided to read them: Hard Times by Dickens, Blithedale Romance (Hawthorne), Jane Eyre by Brontë, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, and The Last of the Mohicans. I interspersed lighter books with gravity: The Jungle Books (Kipling), Peter Pan, Wodehouse's Damsel in Distress, Patricia A. McKillip's Riddle-Master trilogy, Heartless by A.E. Stengl, and a bit of Conan Doyle's Holmes in the evenings to cleanse the palette.
But the list becomes more and more difficult to organize sensibly. I waded through One Nation Under Gods, a history of the Mormon church by Richard Abanes which was tremendous both in gore and length (but thoroughly diverting). I managed to swallow all three of Harry Blamires' Christian Mind series. I dabbled around with On Poetry & Poets by T.S. Eliot and gobbled up Towards a Christian Poetic, a volume on the nature of literature by an obscure fellow named Michael Edwards. The Song of Roland and Gawaine & the Green Knight joined Beowulf in the tales of Ancient Swashbuckling, while Killer Angels furnished a slightly more contemporary and rifle-ridden version of the same.
The list is winding down. Carl Trueman's Fools Rush In (Where Monkeys Fear to Tread) was just the right amount of heavy philosophy taken lightly. I reveled in Anne Morrow Lindberg's Gift from the Sea, for which my thirteen year old brain had not previously housed enough attention span. And of course, sprinkled throughout, there was an abundance of Chesterton: in addition to Thursday,The Paradoxes of Mr. Pond, The Ballad of the White Horse, The Everlasting Man, The Poet & the Lunatics, and Orthodoxy.
All this list-making is exhausting even in retrospect, and I confess that my stance on the next year is much more lax. I think it can afford to be - I am not bookworking as a full-time occupation at present - and anyway, as Abigail pointed out, one ought not always be cramming books down one's throat. I may trade the intentional reading out for a more intentional framework for writing; who knows? One does not have to make all one's plans by the first of the year.
There will be books aplenty in '13, and I have a fairly good idea of some of them: Signs Amid the Rubble by Lesslie Newbigin, The Gammage Cup, The Worm Ouroboros, and the remainder of Tales of Goldstone Wood. I have Andrew Peterson's Monster in the Hollows on loan from my younger brother. I mean to reread The Lord of the Rings and perhaps some of the broader Tolkien works. There are a few fat volumes of Flannery as yet uncracked, and some highly daunting "furren" works such as Anna Karenina and Les Miserables that I feel rather drawn to...
But who knows? I may think better of others over those tomorrow.
Summary: A raggle-taggle tale of... something. Romance, children's fairy tales, and the misadventures of a detective all thrown together into one cup. Let steep 3-5 minutes. Cream and sugar, according to taste. Progress: 22,346 words Status:In-Progress