a slow veer

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As a few people have been kind enough to remark, i have been posting significantly less lately. The reasons for this are myriad, however a few are worth mentioning here. Firstly, i was out of the country for about a week or so, limiting my access to the internet, although it would be disingenuous to suggest that this was much of a factor, since my virtual absence really started back in late October. Secondly, i was listening to an NPR program a few weeks back on which a poet was being interviewed. (Which one, i do not recall) This particular writer mentioned that a poem written in less than two weeks was, for her, fairly phenomenal, and in general three or four weeks was more the norm. My own tendency, though i don’t believe there is necessarily a right or wrong here, is to use primarily a stream-of-consciousness approach, and do very little editing of my own poetry. This allows for ample and abundant posting of writing, but my fear is that is hinders my ability to be critical of my work and improve upon it. In an attempt to learn from those wiser and more experienced, i have begun to let poems marinate for a while before posting now, walking away from and coming back to them two and three times. Thus rather than posting a poem immediately after the first draft is complete, i now wait at least a week to see if anything about it strikes me as naive or banal. i am not sure this has catalyzed any significant increase in quality, as was its intent, but the strategy is still young.

But all of this, while true, still merely beats about the bush. The true reason, if i may be honest here (and if i cannot here, where can i?), is i have been suffering from a tremendous lack of confidence. i have mentioned before, and thus will not belabor the point ad nauseum here, that perseverance is not one of my strengths. i had high, and almost foolishly mystical, hopes for this blog. i imagined that in no time hoards of readers would be refreshing their blogreaders salivating pavlovianly waiting for the next nugget of wisdom from my mouth, then gleefully sitting back in repose after reading, content in their knowledge of having discovered a secret prophet.

Needless to say, this has not happened, to my knowledge.

Which is good. Of course. i must admit that, though my pride does not want to do so. But i need to remind myself what the purpose of this blog is, and it is not self-glorification. My stated intent from conception was to use this space for two purposes: to hone my talents and practice my craft, and to glorify the One who gave them to me in the first place. Interestingly, in neither case is confidence particularly necessary, and in fact in both cases it may strangely be a deficit and a hinderance.

A good friend once told me never to apologize for not writing. i have no intention of doing that here, at least not to my few readers. Nevertheless i do wish to admit that my heart has been in the wrong place, and thus apologize for the flaw at root in my absence. In other words, i have no specific regret about not writing, merely about the heart condition that my lack of effort writing indicates. But this, too, will ultimately be used by the Lord for His purposes. Dry seasons, too, are necessary that rain may have its desired effect when it at length blessedly falls. So my lack of confidence in my abilities in no excuse for ceasing to attempt. In fact, it is all the more reason i should be putting forth yet greater effort. God will use what he chooses, and most of the time he chooses those with little or no ability at all, that it may be His strength that shines through. May it be so here, as well.

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The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.    – John 7 : 18

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  – 2 Corinthians 12 : 9

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4 thoughts on “a slow veer

  1. I love everything you’ve written here, Rich. Yesterday I had the worst kind of day (without anything really seriously bad happening). I can only sum it up as sloth. I hated the way I felt and looked and acted, and I got nothing done, and I ignored my kids, and I just felt worthless. We all have down periods, and I pray for you to continue to push through, with God’s help. Love, Lindsey

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