Selah: Pause, and Think of That

I appreciate folks sticking around through the holidays and my long absence–near absence–from the blog.  I have just about gotten the writing projects I had looming into manageable shape, and so I hope to get back to more usual posting sometime early in January.  I imagine my pace will still be slow:  among other things, I will be teaching a phenomenology seminar and that is likely to be a serious drain on my time and energy.  Still, I will be able perhaps to do some writing that will be fitting both for here and for class.

I’ve been lucky to have had the community of other bloggers and commentators I have had.  I have learnt a lot from all of you and, as I have often said, I am getting the better of this bargain.  I hope we can continue discussion into the new year; I wish all of you the best!

The blog has had 40,000 views since I started it.  I have no idea if that is comparatively an impressive number.  But it certainly impresses me, especially when I think back to the day in Ohio when I first thought to start a blog, and wondered if I would have anything to say on it, really, and whether anyone would find it useful in any way.

Trials, Thomas and Tree

I am currently trying to get some writing done–or, more strictly and honestly, I have been trying to get myself to try to get some writing done. It’s been a while since I have felt more distant from the beginning of productive writing. Part of it is the lingering fatigue of the term, I guess; but part of it is a recently settled conviction of emptiness, of having nothing to say, or of not having powers adequate to saying whatever it is I have to say (read this last as a comment on the worthlessness of my powers, not the worthiness of whatever it is I have to say). Oh, well; I’ll get over it. Perhaps the best bet is to just get over the fatigue, and then to see how I need to address the conviction, if I still do.

In the meantime, I have been reading books on St. Thomas and watching Hallmark Christmas movies, usually doing both at once. I hope to teach a course, Concepts and Judgments in Thomism, next fall, and I am trying to get some of the initial blocking-out of ideas done, so that my understanding can ripen over the spring and summer. Here’s a particularly nice line from St. Thomas: “The good of the intellect and its natural end is knowledge of the truth. False judgments in the acts of the intellect are as monsters in nature, which are not according to nature but accidental to the nature.” Monsters! –As for the Hallmark movies, they’ve been mostly light and entertaining and holidaydreamy. Enough, I reckon, to stir the water of the mind without muddying it.

Thanks to my wife and my daughter, our Christmas tree is up and deserving of contemplation. The stockings are hung, and my wife has located both her kerchief and my cap. I enjoy the holiday.

Now for a series of long winter’s naps. Talk to you again in ’13.

Update

Having now finished my travels, outlasted food poisoning and faced the Auburn weather version of Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace (“It was an awful moment for the three young men. Nobody likes to be burned alive.” (from The Bible Story)), I am now back to work.  Currently, I am writing a new talk on Merleau-Ponty and proofing an article for the book, Turning East:  Contemporary Philosophers and the Ancient Christian Faith.  I hope tomorrow to get back to work here on philosophical questions.  I may also post some bits from the new MMP talk.

The Unexpected Pleasures of Blogging

Completely unexpectedly, in the midst of my late travels, I got to meet William Eaton, aka Montaigbakhtinian.  Though surprised to meet him, I was not surprised by him:  very smart, very articulate, very warm; a gentleman.  It is always nice to put a face to a name, even better a person to a blog, it turns out.  It is easy to forget that blogs, no matter how much of us they contain, are two-dimensional.  (A grammatical remark?)  I suppose the only sort of person a blog could tend to capture would be the type of George Kittredge, the coal mining tycoon who is Tracy Lord’s fiance in The Philadelphia Story.  Of him, Tracy’s former husband, Dexter Haven, quips:  “To barely know him is to know him well.”

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