Changes are afoot…

Happy St. David’s Day! I was received into the Anglican Communion 21 years ago today. And even though I eventually wandered off from Canterbury to Rome (by way of Newgrange and Tara), I still hold this day as an anniversary/milestone in my spiritual life.

Now — looking forward — I’ve been pondering how I can give this blog a focus, and I’ve been leaning toward making it a resource center for those who want to read about mysticism or (better yet) read the great mystics themselves. After all, such literary ambition has been a passion of mine for quite some time now… If you’re reading this blog on my website and not via RSS, you’ll notice several changes to the site’s appearance and organization. In terms of the organization, I’ve set up a few additional pages on the website, aside from the blog. Here’s a tour of the house:

  • Colophon: My bio, and I’ll expand this page to be about the blog and website as well as about me…
  • Annotated Bibliography and A Mystical Library: Still in their embryonic form, eventually these pages will include an extensive bibliography covering a wide range of mysticism-related topics (deification, centering prayer, eucharistic devotion, the English mystics, the Spanish mystics, the Song of Songs, etc. etc.). Sections will also be devoted to non-Christian mysticisms and spiritualities, including Kabbalah/Jewish spirituality, Sufism, Buddhism, Vedanta, Integral Spirituality, and so forth. The mystical library will eventually be an in-depth book list, but without any descriptive content; while the annotated bibliography will be a shorter list that will include a sentence or two of my opinion (eek!) on each book. Each book will be linked to Amazon, making it easy for you to go buy yourself a copy or three (yes, that’s a hint).
  • Newsletter: Basically just a link to subscribe to my Yahoo Groups email list.
  • Reviews: When I write book reviews, I’ll post them to the blog. But then I’ll archive them on this page to make it easier for you (or people surfing around) to find them.

I might also create a “miscellaneous writings” page which will link back to various non-review writings I’ve done, including my Beliefnet articles and interviews I conducted back when I worked for New Leaf. We’ll see if I get inspired to do so.

The good news, for those of you who don’t want my blog to be just about books and book reviews: my thinking is that, by giving the website as a whole a bibliography-and-book-review focus, that frees the blog to remain about, well, just whatever I feel like writing about. So in other words: I’ll have a focus, but not a constraint. Which is how I think it needs to be.

Finally: you’ll notice my new banner, featuring a graphic shamelessly ripped off from the old Dutton paperback edition of Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism. (think of it as “sampling” an iconic image…). Yes, I’m once again retiring the old House of Breathings moniker, which I’ve used off and on online since 1995. It’s probably not gone for good; let’s just say the concept of the house of breathings (which comes from James Joyce) is lurking around in one of my current writing projects. Meanwhile, I’ve decided to give the site another name that I had in mind for a book proposal, but then I decided it’ll work just fine as a website name: The Cloud and the Hazelnut. Allusions to the English mystics, of course. And finally, to cap off the new and (hopefully) improved website-of-mine, I squandered another twenty bucks and bought my umpteenth domain name:!!! Follow it if you dare, it links to the basic bibliography page.

Of course, if you’re reading this via syndication, absolutely none of this makes any difference to you. But if that’s the case, come visit my website already!

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  1. OK, Carl,

    Now why “Cloud” and why, pray tell, why, “Hazelnut”?

  2. Thanks for asking, Jon.

    This, and other questions, are answered in this website’s newly minted “FAQ” page.

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