I have not been particularly good about blogging recently. I hesitate to check the actual statistics, but I think I’ve averaged about a post a year for the last two. In large part, this is because life has been happening and I haven’t had the time for introspection and private writing, but also because the speed with which my life has been changing has left me a little out of breath.
The scarcity of posts is going to change, at least for the next two months. This is not because my life has slowed down enough for me to catch up: on the contrary, I am facing an uphill battle just to graduate this semester. Long story. I’ll tell you about it some other time.
No, the reason I’m going to be writing more is because I have set myself something of a personal challenge for the final Torrey project of my career. Over the last four years, I’ve read an awfully large number of books, many of which (I’m looking at you Traherne, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky) dealing with the ties between enjoyment of and engagement with the world and the health of the soul. Being the most awkward combination of a type-A personality and a hopeless romantic at heart, I have adored these books and the thoughts they have inspired while also realizing that such a connection to the created order is entirely outside of my grasp.
You see, I am bad at doing Nothing well. Incidentally, I just realized that this ties into recent studies I’ve run across that link boredom with increased creativity levels. I just realized my project may have even more ramifications than I initially thought. But back to that statement. I am bad at doing Nothing well. I really hope you read that as it is intended and not as some sort of braggadociousness on my part. As my boyfriend is fond of pointing out, I have a hard time making space in my life during which nothing occurs. Every semester, I think to myself “Self, you have learned your lesson. No more overloading for you!” to which my Self says, “Indeed, but for my own good I must add 35 additional activities beyond the requirements for graduation to my plate.”
It’s a vicious cycle.
So for this semester’s Torrey project, inspired by great writers of the Western tradition, I am attempting to engage in five hours of Nothing per week. There’s obviously some structure involved in this great attempt, but a large amount of it comes from writing reflections on those periods of re-engagement with the world. I have a feeling that some of them may even be fit to publish.
Consider this a warning: there may actually be more than one post published in 2017.