Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My second blog

I have started a new blog at http://donnajanenancyemily.blogspot.com/, called" Donna Parker, Jane Austen Nancy Drew Emily Bronte." As I write there, that blog hopes to be "the place where great women literary writers and their creations meet with girls' series books and their authors on level ground."

I thought long and hard before starting a second blog. I considered having a section of this blog devoted to discussing literature or simply moving back and forth between the two topics on this blog as the spirit moved me, but in the end decided that faith/Quakerism and girls'/women's literature were too dissimilar to mash together into one blog. Not that one doesn't inform the other, but I saw different audiences and different emphases.

I struggled with having two blogs because part of the reason I came to Quakerism was to be intergrated--to live as one person with all the strands of my life pulled together. Somehow, that seemed to me to translate into one blog. Apparently not.

I'm in an odd position right now--I plan to attend Earlham School of Religion next year, to earn an Mdiv with a emphasis on writing ministry, while I find myself more and more drawn back to Jane Austen and the Brontes. How this will all merge, I don't know. Right now, I feel somewhat bifurcated. It's also interesting to be in a position in midlife when the career I'd come to belatedly --journalism--is collapsing, and the future has the quality of discovering a new world.

I imagine people to have lives all revolving around the sun of one interest. Then I think of figures like Dorothy Sayers and JRR Tolkien, who juggled a faith life and a literary life.

I know there are some Quakers, especially Conservative, who would question any interest in the arts. However, I was reading Nancy Drew and Jane Austen long before Quakerism became a part of my life. I was formed in the kiln of reading and the best thing I can do now is to try to understand how that influenced me and others. We can't escape that we live in a media- and image-saturated world. The only alternative is to try to become Amish (or join some similar group) and I know that I, for one, would still carry around with me a lifetime of media sounds and images, from the Addams Family theme to reproductions of Da Vinci's The Last Supper. In the end, I remember too that the Bible is a work of poetry, prose visions and music (if we see the Psalms, for example, as songs) and that we experience God's creative power, as people often point out, through the arts.

My question, however, is this: Do you balance or juggle diifferent interests or vocations that seem to mesh imperfectly, and how does that work for you and your faith life?

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