Friday, August 5, 2011

On Connection

I’ve decided to accept that, both in Richmond and Barnesville, I live in a state of grace.

I live in general grace, for, as we know, without the inbreathing and exhaling of the Holy Spirit, the earth would cease to be.

But more specifically, I live in a state of internet grace.

In both places, for mysterious reasons, my internet connections phase in and out as they please. Sometimes the connectivity pulses in and out by minutes or seconds, flickering on and off like the light of firefly. Sometimes I have blessed hours with connectivity, as if the cows of cyber-stability have been securely pastured in my field; sometimes, too, I am blessed hours without the internet at all and must do "other things." Sometimes whole days go by and I am forced to a McDonalds or a library.

I receive both being on and off the “web” as gifts. Like a farmer, I habituate self to forces I cannot control.

Inevitably, this has an impact on my blogging. I jump when the "ding" sounds--e-mails have flooded my mailbox, the connection is present!

When the moments of grace arrive, when the firefly is lit, and the internet pours out its presence, I respond first to the pressing demands—that (dozen) e-mail(s) that must be responded to right now, that article or review that ‘s due, that research that has been holding up my progress.

Then I go to blog, full of life, full of potential fire—and the light blinks out, the way closes. Posts linger, half written, in Word documents. Somehow, to write, I have to be “there,” in this blogspace.

And sometimes I am too tired, too spent, for the act of writing.

I have a long, backlogged list I hope to blog about: the Olney graduation, the change of seasons in Barnesville (complete with apring photographs taken on my cell phone), more on Dorothy Day, who I left hanging as an abused child without rounded the picture, posts about theology, about Earlham School of Religion, about my reading on Quaker women writers, heaven knows what else. Have I mentioned how much I loved the movie, The Winter Bones? Is it too late? Must my slower internal rhythm correspond with the lightning quick pace of the outer world, or is there something to be gained by the slippage?

Perhaps I should rename my blog BehindtheTimes, but I’m sure the name is already taken. :)

It occurs to me that my friends often cut and paste their posts and e-mails (have I mentioned I am a great Jane Austen fan? ☺) and render them, almost verbatim, as blogs? I’ve posted so much—on Jane Austen, on the Mysteries of Adolpho, on Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder. Should I keep this blog circulating by moving these thoughts over here—to a blog about Quakerism? Yet all of this feeds this Quaker.

Well, I will keep on. Did you know it was a Quaker who named the types of clouds--nimbus and cumulus, etc.-- in the early 19th century? And that Jane Austen knew him, that they were neighbors? And that in Emma …

For another day.

1 comment:

Bill Samuel said...

Well, I think you should do your blog entries offline, and just paste them in when you have a connection.