Thursday, July 01, 2010

Seeing the forest among the trees of writing

I developed this blog four years ago to rekindle a writing life. Writing is something innate to me. Though I don't consider myself an entrepreneur, constructing my own newspaper as a second grader came naturally to my existence, a fire fed for most of my life. The name of that newspaper was The Madhouse Gazette (sounds like a name created by second grader, right?).

The second plant of The Madhouse Gazette served two purposes. First, it provided me a place to sort out ideas not spoken from a pulpit or written in a newsletter. Occasionally I whittled an idea from a rough thought eventually carved into a sermon, but the blog turned into a place among the trees for me to rebuild a love for writing.

The second purpose sprouted after a vocational shift involving a move from pastoral work to parenting. I found myself missing the frequent theological wranglings among the work of diapers, naps, tight grocery budgets, and other topics for a home economist. The blog became my theological discourse in addition to my reflections of living as (mostly) stay at home Dad. The New Calvinists are shuddering somewhere...

My life has changed once again, and I now serve in a congregation that values my writing and me as a person. I live more as my true self in this congregation than any other I have known. Writing and ministry have an oak-like quality. Rooted, solid, branching out in interesting patterns and directions. Madhouse Gazette served a good purpose for four years, but the time has come for the blog to lay dormant--not to merely think about it, but write it down. Madhouse Gazette is going into hibernation, in a wooded cave. Maybe the dormancy will last a few weeks, months or years. I don't know.

I do not share my identity on this blog. Not that anyone cares, and not that it's too hard to figure out. It was a way to share my thoughts. If you want a more public side of my life and more regular writing, you can check me out at my other blog, your average pastor. The writing is more theologically oriented, without prominent references to pop culture or my children. I miss writing about those things, but this became more challenging in my crazy commute. I spend around 8-16 hours in the car per week--and my time in front of my desk top computers is limited. Regularly blogging on Madhouse Gazette is one aspect of my life that is pruned.

Something may grow stronger in the months ahead, especially if I can lay my hands on an iPad without going into debt.