The Seven Liberal Arts

The Seven Liberal Arts

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I suppose I should write an Introduction.

With a sorrowful yet slightly hopeful heart I begin the potentially treacherous adventure of blogging, here in this first post. Whether this is the start of something beautiful or a will end up a short, unfinished road to nowhere, I do not know. Just why I am sorrowful is not entirely certain either, though I think I have an idea. My friends told me to start a blog, and the idea had already rolled about in my mind for years. I wanted to be a writer. I even wrote a book a year ago. A "terribly sensational" book, "open to innumerable criticisms on that account, as well as on many others," to steal a perfect description from the preface of Robert Hugh Benson's 1907 novel, Lord of the World. Perhaps it is best that it was not accepted to be published. After I had finished it, the more I thought about it, the more I found it problematic. At least it was something of a learning experience. So too is this blog intended to be a learning experience, a thought experiment.

Of course the next question that came to mind after hearing that suggestion was what will this blog be about? And I think there began the slow descent of dread. Not that this is anything that warrants feeling dreadful about, mind you, but it started a thought process that devolved into a nightmare.

Okay, maybe "nightmare" is an exaggeration. But bear with me, I have a point.

I knew at least that I wanted it to be philosophical, theological, social commentary. Those are some things that I have the ability to be somewhat good at. But then I started thinking about how all-over-the-place I can be, how long it takes me to actually organize my thoughts, and because of that how I wouldn't even know where to begin. Ideas swarmed in my mind, but each seemed to depend on something previous; one post would not make sense without another, and that one not without another, and the last not without the first. T'was a circle of despair, and for now, I believe I have put it to rest. You see, I have taken so long to write this due to multiple distractions that I have successfully written myself out of that sorrow I had initially. Either it was the passing of time or the fact that I have solved the "what do I write" panic for now. An introduction! Why hadn't I thought of it sooner?

… Alas, I return again from hours of distraction—that is, being pulled away by people—and the feeling of sorrow and dread has returned. I don't know if I'm the kind of person that can stick with things like this. I'll probably write one thing one day, and another day seem to contradict myself. In that way I may be a bit like Plato. One dialogue he'll have Socrates singing the praises of poetry as something divine, and in another he will be saying that poetry corrupts the young and should be censored. He cannot seem to make up his mind. I, too, may at times become like this. Perhaps because I am a woman. I tend to over-think things, to the point that I think I have not thought nearly enough, and give up, reaching for a cold glass of water to dilute my headache. I was applying for a job online several weeks ago, and there was the most aggravating questionnaire I had ever seen. It would give you a series of statements and have you rate them on a scale of strongly agree to strongly disagree. It was supposed to only take you 20 minutes. It took me 2 and a half hours. You can guess that I hid behind the "neutral" option for a good number of them, likely costing me the job.

There are just too many ways some words or sentences can be taken, and I couldn't agree more with Aldous Huxley when he said,
"The soul of wit may become the very body of untruth. However elegant and memorable, brevity can never, in the nature of things, do justice to all the facts of a complex situations. On such a theme one can be brief only by omission and simplification. Omission and simplification help us to understand—but help us, in many cases, to understand the wrong thing; for our comprehension may be only of the abbreviator's neatly formulated notions, not of the vast, ramifying reality from which these notions have been so arbitrarily abstracted."
So where I will go from here, I guess we will eventually find out. I had until now found it easiest to remain silent. But the past few days a strong desire has overtaken me, a hunger for knowledge, for truth, that has driven me out of my silence and into the minefield of actually writing your dang thoughts down so as to be held accountable by the public. Clearly I do not claim to know everything—because none of us do—but perhaps I can play the Socrates and work out some lines of reasoning, however messy they might become at times, in order to hopefully come an inch closer to wisdom. It may or may not be a disaster. I hope you'll forgive me.


  1. "Perhaps because I am a woman."
    I love it

  2. I am excited as to where this will lead!

  3. I am looking forward to the rest of your posts, however sporadic and inconsistent they may be. That Huxley quote is thrilling! I am going to post it on facebook now. Really well done (a vague phrase of praise); this blog is truly a thing worth considering.