Monday, June 8, 2009

The Heaping Teaspoon

For those of you that actually know me, I used to be one who wrote long, hand-written letters. I went off to college a long way from home, nearly across the country, and in those days before the internet, with 25-cent-per-minute long distance phone calls, that pretty much meant that I was falling off the face of the Earth for most of my friends and family. I made up for this by becoming an avid letter writer. Some were short, 2 or 3 pages, just to say high, but most required 2 stamps due to their heft. I would write several a month, even several a week. It was a time when I was learning many new things about the world, about human nature, and about myself. I took my conservative atheism with me to Indiana and voted for G. H. W. bush in my first presidential election. The late-night debates were stimulating, although it was hard to find a liberal with which to argue. Most of the students at my small, technical college were more conservative then me. The discussions with my residence hall mates became fodder for letter topics, and I would write down and distribute my developing life philosophy in these messages.

College came and went, and I still tried to keep up hand-written letter writing in my life in the real world. Okay, I didn’t join the real world, I went to grad school, but adult responsibilities like paying bills started interfering with unrestrained thought. I kept up writing several dozen letters a year for a decade or so, but in the early 2000s the frequency started to drop. Work, home, family, and church life consumed all of my time and energy, and I just didn’t have it in me to keep up the long, hand-written letters on deep subjects anymore. Plus, the novelty of it had worn off. I was an adult now, set in my ways, and I was I really still shaping my life philosophy anymore? There was also the constant question of what topic to select for which friend or relative. Yes, that was a hang-up for me. It’s been close to a year since I’ve sent a long, hand-written letter to anyone.

Something has been gnawing at me ever since, though. I don’t like being without the mental outlet that the letter-writing provided. Of course, I can talk to people, and emails are great for staying in touch. I’ll probably join Facebook or Linked-In in the near future. But there is something cathartic to me about writing. The letter writing was as much about me thinking things through as it was staying in touch with others. I need to get back into it.

So, I am launching a blog. I’ll tell my friends and family about it, and they can come here and read for themselves, if they are interested, whatever I happen to post. In many respects, blogging is an evolved form of hand-written letter communication. Now, my spews will simply be out there, for anyone to see and comment on. I welcome all comments. I cannot promise to answer all questions or honor all requests, but I will always read your comments, and keep your suggestions in mind.

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