Here's how I began:
"Damn. I meant to start this blog with something clever and incisive. Something fun. Something smart.
"Instead, the pressing question of the day is visceral. Why do I weep when that darned Alleluia banner is carried out of church at the end of Transfiguration Sunday worship?"
Six years of blogging have shown me that blog posts that begin with a strong visceral image are easier to put together than ones that begin with the break in the image of things that prompts wit or humor. Those breaks flash by quickly, like buildings seen from a moving CTA train. The figurative punch in the gut or the tears and the lump in the throat last longer. They may color the rest of the day or even the rest of the week.
A look at the blog archive shows more posts in the ten months of blogging in 2006 than in any year since then. I came close in 2011, thanks to taking a stab at posting every day last November. My original goal was to post two or three times a week and to write quickly, without a lot of painful revision. In practice, this has meant no more than one round of painful revision. I sometimes suspect I am a better editor than writer. My writing is pretty ordinary, or yes, sloppy, until I go back and rework it.
Knowing that there are people who read my blog posts inhibits my blogging. I wish this were not so, because then I think I would write more often. But there it is. I don't come here to spill my frustrations, chronicle my depressions, or write about people who bug me. That would be self-indulgent, and I would hate to be described as self-indulgent. Also, the psalmist's prayer, "Set a watch before my mouth, O Lord, and guard the door of my lips" is one I take personally, but the guards set before my mouth are usually castigating me for remarks that have already escaped, rather than preventing them from getting out.
The fingers on the keyboard and the super-executive editor in my brain work more slowly, so they do keep watch. They are stern and they wield a six-foot spear that would pierce my heart if people thought I wasn't very nice. It's lot of work to please them, or to make friends with them so that the words can slide out easily.
Today again there was that catch in my chest during "Alleluia, Song of Gladness." It struck somewhere around the image of the new Jerusalem. It invokes memories of the dead, of those who have gone before, including, this weekend, a young man who died on Thursday who was a classmate of my daughter's. But what I am more interested in today is a stanza from another Transfiguration hymn, "How Good, Lord, to Be Here!":
"Before we taste of death, We see your kingdom come; We long to hold the vision bright And make this hill our home."
Not "pie in the sky by and by" but seeing the kingdom now. The hymn, of course, ends with leaving the mount and asking Christ to "come with us to the plain." I'm going to think for a while on that kingdom coming along to the plain, about the light and glory of the image of God we carry as God's creatures. It might burn away the gloom and cruddy questioning that flows over me when I think about writing and wanting to write something original, true, and perhaps edifying or enjoyable for others.
Blogging on. Thanks for reading!