Blogging as an Act of Faith

May 12, 2008

I’m not much for faith or religion of any kind. I tend toward the existential, skeptical, doubtful and cynical. That’s where I feel the most comfortable. Among the questions, not among the answers.

But I realized today that what I’m doing by creating a blog, as both a practical matter and from a more philosophical point of view, is in fact an act of faith. And in many ways.

Faith in myself –

  • That I will “commit” to myself (and to others, if there are others) to post often enough to sustain my blog and my readers. That I won’t neglect The Blog to the extent that it becomes a dead carcass.
  • That blogging helps me to create and maintain the discipline I need as a writer (even if drawing time away from my Primary Mission – offline writing!)
  • That I have something to say, even when I think I don’t. Dare myself to try. (and not just “fill space” – nobody wants that!)

Faith in the Web of the universe –

  • That “if I build it, they [readers] will come.” I’m not out to be a Big Blog – that’s obvious enough. But I do hope that I will have some visitors who stop by for a spot of tea now and then, maybe like what they see, perhaps tell another soul, and grow a small but interesting group of readers.
  • That although my blog is still in its infancy, with its features unformed, its voice still a shrill squeal, and uncertain of its bearings, that over time, it will grow and mature to learn, have fun, and eventually take its place in the larger society of the blogosphere.

Like in the real world, I often have my doubts. “Does it matter? (does anything matter?)” “Is there meaning in what I’m doing? (is there ever meaning in anything?)” And sometimes, even if I answer “no” – I still keep searching, and asking the same question(s) again. By asking the very questions, repeatedly – I reaffirm my doubtful faith that surely there must be some purpose, some meaning, some reason…for everything…for anything…for something, even just one thing. For me. For all of us.

Even though I say “There is no reason. Never has been. Never will be. It is just a farce to think there is a reason, and if I didn’t believe it, or try so hard to find one – and just accepted the absurdity of it all – I’d be a lot better off.” And yet I find myself asking the same question(s) again, all over again. My persistence in Asking must indicate I have at least a microscopic mote of Faith in Purpose, and an equally microscopic element of Doubt in my Doubt.

I know from my work with archives and history and similar resources and materials, that it is often not the single “valuable letter” that makes a collection of materials special, unique, or important. It is the accumulation of materials relating to daily life – letters written about the crops, the weather, Aunt Betsy’s hat – that are often of more interest and significance to historians – precisely because of their everyday ordinariness. Just a single letter about Aunt Betsy’s hat might not be all that interesting – but taken in context, within the larger whole, it may gain in significance…because you later find out that her hat marked her involvement in the suffrage movement, for example – and then you get a whole lot more out of it! It is the accumulation of things that marks its significance, not a single item (or post).

In a similar way, I have to have faith that my occasional labors in the blogging world will someday be of interest not only to myself, as a retrospective, but to others, and that as my blog begins to grow – so will I.

I have the Faith – skeptic tho I am!

©2008 writingreading

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