Fighting Senility

“Above all, I guess, the good ones, for me, are the ones that one way or another suggest that although the night is coming, it is not darkness but light that is the end of all things.”
~ Frederick Buechner

Writing is one of my ways of fighting senility. The Oxford Companion to Anerican Literature tells about Ralph Waldo Emerson at a point in his life when he had “gradually slipped into a serene senility in which his mind finally became a calm blank.” Apparently Emerson happened to pick up a volume of his own essays one day, and after reading through them commented that although he couldn’t place the man who wrote them, all in all he thought they showed promise. Although I may one day look back on what I’ve written with “serene senility,” writing in the present demands at least a measure of hand and mind coordination. My intent is for something I compose and record to foster someone’s contemplation and corresponding personal growth. No doubt I miss that literary mark much of the time, but hopefully on occasion I succeed; it is not as though I will produce anything to keep one awake at night, but perhaps at times I write something that accomplishes what Buechner purposed–help us “see something as familiar as our own faces in a new way, with a new sense of depth and preciousness and mystery.”

I am currently working on a collection of thoughts and essays on “grace in present tense” that I hope to have published by the summer. I welcome your comments and suggestions, and would greatly appreciate knowing your favorite post of mine from the past, or a subject that you would hope I would tackle at some future point (literarily speaking). I am constantly amazed that anyone takes the time to pause and read my ‘thinking out loud,’ and am deeply humbled that you do.

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