Thursday, January 2, 2014

Reengaged Blogger

Not sure if this is a warning or promise, but I intend to write more in 2014

I confess to having become a lazy or preoccupied or distracted blogger/writer (or all of the above) over the past few years. More than I feel good about, I’ve edited and reposted previously posted original work. When I search my soul on this, it seems okay, but just okay. Like coasting or half-powering along on my bicycle; not idle, but not digging new wells or plumbing the depths of what’s going on internally and externally.

I’ve decided to try to reengage with blogging, posting a bit less of what others are thinking and writing that I find fascinating. I will try to post a bit more of my own processing of life and grace between the lines and in the margins--what happens while life happens. That’s what I set out to do years ago, anyway. A decade of Indy Bikehiker posts have been logged (wear yourself out with the archives; there's enough there to condemn me of whatever) with some years leaner or fuller than others. I intend to write more in 2014.

In defense of leaning out my posts, to be honest, I almost completely stopped writing here. A lot of bloggers went strident, partisan, and populist. I got drawn into that a few times. It felt shallow. Also, I got embarrassed by the raw, unfinished nature of much of what I’ve posted. Most of what I post is embryonic—just an idea in early development, a notion, a hunch, a feeling being explored, poems in process. I feel exposed here. So, I stopped posting what didn't seem complete or more fully developed. That was a mistake, I see now. Writing is a bit like grace: you can’t orchestrate or control it or make it fit your sense of readiness or perfect timing; you can’t mete it out for maximum effect.

An odd thing about grace is that it is also a bit raw. That’s why we miss it much of the time. We’re looking for it as a finished product, a packaged deal, an attractive thing with well-turned phrasing or thorough documentation or unassailable assertions or sacred sanction. More often than not, grace defies all these. It erupts in a moment, it serendipitously infiltrates a conversation, it whisks us in a different direction than we expected an encounter to go, it undermines our if-only and here’s-why justifications and self talk. Grace happens right when needed and refuses to be captured into a program or regimentation. It's usually already passed us when we realize it for what it is.

So, once again hanging appearances and checking my petty fears, I intend to begin again to jot down on the fly when, where, and how I am graced by grace or see others graced by grace—particularly grace between the lines. That seems to be a knack for me: getting the opportunity to recognize grace at work where officialdom either doesn’t acknowledge its possibility or isn’t actively looking.

I'm sure I will continue my occasional rants (these, too, I’ve squelched for embarrassment at their one-sided or narrow-minded perspective), but what I intend more than anything else is to reflect on the grace I see in the routine, ordinary stuff of my life in the unique mix of places, people, community, and opportunities I’m privileged to continuously enjoy.

Not sure if this seems more like a warning or promise to Indy Bikehiker readers. Maybe both. For me, it’s promising, for it reflects a bit more authentically the shared journey.

John Franklin Hay 
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

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