I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizably wiser than oneself.- Marlene Dietrich
This quote expresses why I wrote this particular post. I got the inspiration for writing this piece after reading an update from one of my facebook friends. It beautifully and elegantly expressed similar thoughts that I have had. I am not going to be quoting this writer verbatim but have adapted what they have said to my own internal thinking situation. Thank you René Albert for your contribution to Wide World of Cybernetic Thought and Opinion. Anyone reading this, click on the link to read some well crafted writings worth reading.
Writing a worthwhile blog to read requires actual time to read and or watch other things and then meditate on what I have ingested so it can soulfully and mentally be digested.
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King
The chewed up thoughts that flowed through my brain would then manifest in all their glory in the form of a blog article or a video or podcast if I went the audio visual route. It can be hard sometimes though to make meaningful articles come alive or other related things for others to consume. That is because finding the time to fuel up the energy to think and write creative content can be challenging when you have other things that take up your time such as working, spending time with your wife and arguing with people on Facebook. It’s also challenging when you can’t get your brain to shut down and get the proper amount of sleep that you need that gives you that energy you need to think. Adding to those challenges already mentioned are indecisiveness, ADD, addiction to facebook, an inability to retain and retrieve information, some anxiety and a lack of a good prayer life.
But yet the drive to write consumes me. Getting picked to be one of the many but few writers on the Catholic Patheos channel has shaped my life in a profound way. It has become a 2nd job and somewhat of a vocation. This is the 250th post I have weaved since May 10, 2020. I didn’t realize that until I looked at the blog post count on my main page that you can’t see. It also happens to be 3 and 1/2 hours past a month after my one year anniversary of blogging that I am writing this instead of trying to get unsuccessful sleep.
Getting back to something I mentioned a paragraph ago, a part of my anxiety is knowing that my perspective and understanding of thoughts and events is very limited due to my inexperience, my forgetfulness of what I have already learned, and a general lack of energy mixed in with what I wrote above. Sometimes trying to make sense of the many factors that add to the complexity of life can be overwhelming at times. The temptation to use my blog to share my rants about certain issues (regardless of how much thought has gone into them) is quite strong. This is part of that addiction to facebook and to outrage culture.
I don’t want to argue with people on this website, but I can’t just let them keep being wrong, either.-Steve Skojec (Aug 18, 2019) Twitter
The question needs to be pondered and asked. Is what I share at the Catholic Bard really adding anything valuable to the great conversations taking place online or am I just a clanging gong or clashing symbol in a vast digital universe of various opinions. As a Catholic writer I love Christian Catholic apologetics, but even though I have a masters degree in theology my understanding of theology is limited due to my inability to retrieve information, discipline myself to a proper prayer life and again too much time searching for the latest dumb thing someone said. I actually went for a Catechetics degree in my graduate studies but never took that final test for the specialization, so I got a theology degree instead. I never worked in a Catholic school, but in a Catholic TV station named CatholicTV where my Franciscan University degree combined with my undergraduate communications degree. But due to my lack of maturity and my supervisor’s dislike of my unprofessional demeanor I lost that job.
I don’t have the credentials to be a professional theologian like Bishop Barron.
I don’t have the credentials to be a professional philosopher like Peter Kreeft.
I don’t have the credentials to be a professional apologist or Time Lord like Jimmy Akin.
I don’t have the credentials to be a professional speaker like Fr. Mike Schmitz.
I don’t have the credentials to be prayerfully holy like Blessed Carlo Acutis.
I don’t have the credentials to be a professional storyteller like Karina Fabian.
But I would like to start doing more fiction writing. If I thought I would commit to it I would sign up for MasterClass and take writing courses from the likes of Neil Gaiman, R.L. Stine and Margaret Atwood. I would like to craft stories one day the way Amish women craft quilts.
“Even as a child, she had preferred night to day, had enjoyed sitting out in the yard after sunset, under the star-speckled sky listening to frogs and crickets. Darkness soothed. It softened the sharp edges of the world, toned down the too-harsh colors. With the coming of twilight, the sky seemed to recede; the universe expanded. The night was bigger than the day, and in its realm, life seemed to have more possibilities.”
— Dean Koontz (Midnight)
Even though I have video making experience I have lost the video making skills that I once had so I can’t be a seasoned content maker like Father Casey Cole.
I’m writing a lot but don’t have the honed in talent for thoughtful posts or the audience for it like Mark Shea has.
He ends up writing great stuff like this.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with speculating about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, just so long as you do not ignore the first and second greatest commandments while you do it. It is a healthy and normal thing for human beings to engage in all sorts of imaginative speculation, and the sort of mind that reflexively heaps contempt on such speculation is typically flat-footed, unable to enjoy life, and focused entirely on the kinds of things cows, not human beings, care about.
The bulk of our greatest works of creation have come from imaginative, inquisitive people wondering about…
what happens if you accelerate an elevator forever (Einstein on his lunch hour),
why that bread mold killed his petri dish of bugs (Alexander Fleming),
what a world full of magic rings might be like (Tolkien),
what if we lived in a world of blind monsters with exquisite hearing (John Krasinski),
what happens if you take a series of drawings and photograph them (Disney),
and why it is that light splits up in a prism (Newton).
Wondering about stuff that the rest of the human race has never given thought to is just about the most fundamentally human thing there is. It is tragic that dullards have chosen to ridicule such an interesting question. Because it leads to a host of other interesting questions that are well worth imaginative and creative thought, whether for theology, fiction, or even physics. Einstein was fascinated by the concept of transubstantiation. Trying to shout down and shut down speculative imagination is a crime against humanity. Mark Shea on Facebook– June 3 at 1:34 PM
Or another example of fine writing.
“Along with Batman v. Superman and Godzilla vs. Kong, I suppose we’ll get Frankenstein vs. Dracula, and perhaps Transformers vs. G.I. Joe in the HasbroVerse, and Warcraft vs. Angry Birds in the GameVerse — not to be confused with the BoardgameVerse of Battleship vs. Risk and Chutes and Ladders vs. Candy Land.
And eventually all of these shared universes will collide with all of the others, including Alien vs. Predator and Freddy vs. Jason, in a Brobdingnagian rumble pitting Jedi against Pirates of the Caribbean, Terminators against Borg, and Muppets against Smurfs, world without end. Even if for some inexplicable reason that doesn’t happen, the LegoVerse will make it happen”— Deacon Steven D. Greydanus
This is the type of writing I aspire to live up to.
If I made videos on a constant basis I would probably make things like this.
or this…(without the bad language)
And here are a few examples of the type of podcasts I would like emulate.
But I’m just a mere layman who now works at a Catholic nursing home 5 minutes from my house. This is my third job in a place that houses the blessed sacrament. Well it used to before Covid came and took Jesus out of the chapel. I wonder if going to what my wife calls an expensive school was really worth it, if I ended up working in a job I didn’t need to go to an expensive school for. I used to teach CCD before CatholicTV gave me the boot, but the new job ended up killing the nights I would devote to training up young minds in the faith. But even then I was very undisciplined in my approach to teaching. So to quote directly from Rene for this last bit, he says….
What also comes to mind is James 3:1 — “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness.” As a content creator and blogger, I guess my content falls under the realm of ‘teaching’ in a sense when it comes to explaining the Catholic faith or stating my opinion on anything. So if I happen to be off-base, I’m very much responsible for anyone who reads my bad takes and views it as gospel. Sure, some might call it ‘speaking my truth,’ but that’s the problem nowadays. The internet has given us all a platform to become our own arbiters of influence competing for minds and ears that willingly consume. How do we even know what THE TRUTH is when millions of voices are readily voicing ‘their truth?’ If you could spare some prayers and/or encouragement for this guy, I’d very much appreciate it. Being burnt out sucks.
So there are my thoughts on my 250th post.
With this last thought.
I wish my co-author would get the flare to write more. She named the blog. I would have named it Joking With Immortals.
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.- C.S. Lewis
And now I really end with this last poem by Kristin.
Walking in circles around the kitchen table.
Wish I could get focused, but I just don’t seem able.
It’s after mid-day and I’ve not yet washed.
My bed is not made, my hair is all tossed.
My mind is cluttered with ideas of what will be.
I can’t find the nail clippers or my house key.
I’m skipping I’m jumping but don’t ask me why.
At any moment I’ll indeed find a silly reason to cry.
Cleaning my room a most difficult chore.
Seems so simple to you I’m sure.
Some people think I just have a lot of energy.
This part of me they never see.
Can’t sit still to rest, work or pray,
God have mercy on me today.
I bounce around for hours and accomplished nothing you see.
May I blame my ADHD?