There might be some changes to this blog coming relatively soon. A bigger place wants to pick me up. I’m sitting here with the paperwork half-done, wondering what the hell it means.

I don’t know what my “tag-line” should be. I don’t know kind of “brand” to create for myself, and I resent the idea of having one. (Tag-line: “Sometimes I say things”? Brand: “I’m not a shoe, thank you”?) Nor do I know whether I’ll end up somehow permanently destroying myself and my career.

I’m an optimist.

And though I know how they found me, sort of, it’s also puzzling. I’m not relevant, I write however I want, I don’t care to be provocative, and I’m super bad at catchy titles. I’m not that clever person who understands how social media shapes audiences. Basically, I just love writing, and in many ways I rely on it for my sanity. Rely on it in very, very real ways. So I write and write and write, professionally and…here. Doing this thing, here, this thing that now begins to cross over into my professional life.

I almost wish I could ask you, reader, to take my words and hide them away from my professional life. Make sure they’re safe, that not all of me is the job.

Lord, prevent me from being a public intellectual.

And yet.

Wouldn’t it be fun to wander through the Internet being maddeningly useless? Stubbornly continuing on with the odd poeticisms and Christological obsessions and obscure references. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if people liked it? Me and my really rather ordinary Catholicism; me and my complete disinterest in evangelizing anyone. I’m normal. Hurt in a lot of places, some common and some not, and I’m just normal.

I’m also an impulsive sort, and I have the hardest time resisting the chance to thwart expectations. I love doing that. This seems like a chance.

Oh, to be ordinary and therefore interesting. What a thing. And how funny it would be if it meant people could run out ahead of me. Loving the ordinary things I also love, and loving them better than me. I like that better than anything. Than anything at all.

So I don’t know what description I’d give my blog so search engines would find it. Really not sure what my brand is. I don’t know how to not just be intentionally frustrating about the meaning of my entire blog. And every time I think of signing my name, I get anxious and refuse to finish the paperwork.

Part of me thinks I have something to say; part of me thinks I have nothing. I don’t know what I’ll do, but here I am.




New Site. New Sight.

Gustave Dore, Cover for Poe's "The Raven"

Gustave Dore, Cover for Poe’s “The Raven”

Seeing as I am facing a dramatic move across the country and a dramatic change in perspective as a human being, I thought I would re-invent my little blog. Thus I have created “The Rule and the Raven.” The old site will remain in existence as an archive of sorts. It was a fun place to experiment and reflect, but I am tired now of the “kung fu” childishness. It is time now for new childishness.

As for this new act of Internet, the “rule” refers in part to the Rule of Benedict, a deeply formative text and way of life in Western Christianity. It also refers to regulae of all sorts, since to be human is to be involved in laws and principles and forms. Yet in and through all these, there is that which presses far beyond form and articulation. I am fascinated by this strange crossway of integration and disintegration. It soars through every moment and snatches away the death of authentic speech. It is much like the raven that, according to legend, rescued the abbot Benedict from death.

“The Raven” is also a poem by Edgar Allen Poe. I like poetry. Gustave Doré (whose cover for Poe’s poem is above) is also a favorite artist of mine, and some of the most famous depictions of Dante’s Divine Comedy are his. Dante is another fascination of mine.

All in all, the website name is less – well – violent than the old one. This is important to me, too.

All of this is a roundabout way of admitting simply that I want to be different, and I’ve been reading a lot about Benedictines.

I will be updating the new site as I have time. Bear with me, and thank you for reading.