Wondering who’s out there


I missed blogging yesterday because I was away on a quick trip with my family to surprise my father in North Carolina on his 85th birthday. It was a visit of great tenderness.
Coming back to my blogging, I am aware of myself wondering just who might be out there reading the words I have been pouring out into cyberspace. Apart from John who seems quite tuned into what I write and faithfully leaves interesting responses, I’m not sure who’s out there. The daily discipline of rising early, turning on the computer, and composing some words for the blog has been good for me, regardless of whether I am being read by others. Nonetheless, there is the desire –partly self-absorbed, partly the simple desire to connect — to have more people out there who are considering the words I produce. Last night when I crawled into bed exhausted, my mind went to wondering what I might write about today.  I thought of a novel I read a couple of decades ago by John Updike called, “A Month of Sundays”. It was, I think, a rather trashy novel, but the premise was intriguing, at least to me. The novel is told from the point of view of a middle aged Lutheran pastor who has had some kind of nervous breakdown and is now in a thirty day rehab treatment center specifically for broken down clergy. Apparently as part of his treatment he sits in his room each morning and writes the sordid details of his life and its breakdown; these writings make up the body of the novel. The thing I remembered in the darkness of my bed last night was the fact that throughout the thirty days he becomes consumed with wondering whether anyone on the treatment team — he imagines specifically a very professional and detached nurse — is coming into his room each day while he is out playing golf in the afternoon and reading his entries. Remembering this, I reached in the darkness of my room for a pad and pencil to write the book’s title down, lest I forget about it in the morning.

Though I don’t believe I am having a nervous breakdown (though there have been times in my life where that didn’t seem impossible), I do seek in this daily activity to understand my life better. And I do wonder who is out there, reading and reacting to my words. It really pleases me when someone leaves a response.

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