(* quote from this guy)
When I blogged regularly, I used to write about faith/spirituality (I’m not fussy what term you use); it was the world I moved in as a full time church minister.
I was very clear that I was not going to use my blog to ‘convert’ or ‘sell’; I’d read a few of those and I didn’t like them. Salesmanship, not being real and the concomitant shrill voice often put me off.
I’ve never been one for whom ‘faith’ comes easily: for some it genuinely does- for others who say it does, I think that you can often detect a brittleness and a hollowness to their more strident pronouncements and maybe a desire to be ‘in’ with their tribe.
Some of the prompting to blog was from a feeling of being suppressed by an inner voice that said ‘You can’t say that: what will people think?’ There were also voices from my then tribe (I don’t think I have a ‘tribe’ now) that seemed to be saying the same thing: ‘We all have our doubts; we just don’t talk about them- they are not helpful’.
I reckoned that many others both within and outside the house of faith (both those still wanting to hold on and those determined to walk away) felt likewise, but it was important to give voice to this and not to follow the crowd to hide the void within.
That was then: nearly 5 years out, I still feel pretty much the same. I could blog on many many other things and get worked up about them, but it wouldn’t really ‘mean’ anything: not even to me. Most of us like to put on our best self at all times, but in the end, life- and eventually death- gets us; to that end, I’ll still use these pages to attempt to be real.
(Me with my baby sister when I was 3)
I began this blog back in mid 2008. Once I’d hit my stride, I managed about 8 and a half years of daily blogs before I stopped (it isn’t actually that hard once you get into the habit). Since then, I’ve had some brief flurries of posts, threatened to start again and then stopped. It is nearly 8 months since I last posted.
But I want to start again.
When I began blogging, my life was very different: I was a full time minister in church ministry and I wanted a space to explore doubts and questions when I didn’t feel free to explore them. Blogging led to new connections with like minded souls, some of whom have become new friends. It also meant that I didn’t feel so alone & gave me courage to be more ‘real’ in everyday life.
I want to start again.
Life is very different: I go out to work (I’m a full time mental health chaplain for an NHS Trust), I come home and I have evenings and weekends: nearly 5 years on from that change, I’m more ‘private’. In my family and friends, one child has left home and the other is no longer little, one of my friends has retired and another may do so soon and for the first time I am aware of the death of contemporaries.
Life has also ‘speeded up’: I don’t have the time for writing and contemplation during the day that I once found so important to keep me earthed. Additionally, much of what I do during the day cannot be shared in public, apart from in the abstract. Twitter/facebook etc help, but they are much more instant and not so reflective; too much of them leads to me speeding up (and not in a good way).
I am going to start again; to see if I can reconnect with a deeper, more thoughtful way of living.
I hope that some people will join me…