Focus is a relief. To me it is, anyway. For a long time, my blogging was too “all over the place”. I was commenting on too many issues and topics without an anchor to tie them together. When I started asking myself what was at the heart of my concerns right now, what topics mattered most to me, and what I took the greatest joy in writing about, two things stood out.
First, I want to write about the meaning of home and about how difficult it is in the modern world to experience the feeling of belonging that word implies. I chose the title of this blog to reflect these concerns. Second, I desire to explore what it means to live in a way that truly makes home possible. I want to discover how we can live calmly and in peace in an increasingly chaotic and dangerous world.
I decided to test the waters on my personal website which has a smaller and more intimate following than what I’ve found here at Patheos. So far, I’ve written two posts. The first goes into some detail about the process of settling on The Quieter Life as a focus for my writing.
There I wrote:
There are a few things that do create that spark in me. Practical wisdom is one. By this, I mean reflections on personal virtue and the dynamics of peaceful relationships. I’ve realized I would prefer to write about forgiveness and leadership, for example, than about the decadence we see everywhere now.
I also like the idea of helping people, even perhaps working one-on-one to aid those who want to straighten out their lives using time-tested principles and approaches that might once have been common sense, but are now largely forgotten. People make such a mess of their lives. I don’t imagine I have an answer for every problem, but I do know a few things and I want to write about those in a way that is accessible and helpful to an audience.
As paradoxical as it sounds, I also get excited about quiet, about designing a life for myself and my family that is more free of the relentless complications and pressures of the modern world. We are a long way from that in our house, but maybe sharing some of our story would be part of what people find helpful.
In a follow up, I reflected a little on why the hunger for The Quieter Life is so pronounced now:
Because desperation is universal in mankind so is the hunger for The Quieter Life. At some point, a few us make the connection between the desperation we feel and the life we have been living. A life whose focus is material gain, social approval, distraction from the difficult realities of the inner world, or even just day-to-day survival is bound to make us desperate.
It’s hard to think about the hunger for The Quieter Life without thinking about another concept almost everyone seems to have forgotten: world-weariness. A certain tiredness settles into the soul. We feel it at night when we wait for sleep. If we are lucky, we feel it when we see something beautiful, a morning sky, a building, a baby. The world loses some of its luster as life goes on. In the best case scenario, that lustre is replaced with a deeper melancholy longing, a vision of what it all might mean, that, although it may inspire us, doesn’t make us any less soul-tired.
You can read the posts in their entirety here.
I plan to continue blogging here at Patheos, but I will be looking for ways to focus my message and create some content that moves us all toward a quieter, more human existence.