Remember, man, that thou art dust...
Photo from the archives of The New Liturgical Movement
The buzz at Saint Blog's this week, at one place or another, is whether to give up blogging for Lent.
The idea behind "offering up" anything at all, is to be an exercise in self-denial, a symbolic form of suffering, so as to heighten the senses, and eventually the joy that is at suffering's end, which in this case would be the Paschal season. When you look at it that way, you begin to realize (or at least I do) that what you give up depends on where your excesses are, and how they need to be corrected. If blogging was like, oh, eating chocolate cake, I could see cutting back for awhile.
I remember a young lady who gave up her blog because she was getting married, and maintained that hers was a vocation "from which blogging detracts." She said it as though it would apply to the rest of us. Now, if she's on her third or fourth child by now, I'd say that she'd have a case for herself (if one that would cause many of Ms Welborn's readers to beg to differ). But only for herself. Most of us aren't so lucky, and so at the time I begged to differ. (Boy, did I catch hell from the button-down crowd for that one!)
And I also differ with those who invariably conclude that their weblog is only a mere indulgence of the appetites, to be denied as a form of self-mortification -- in which case, why do it at all? If one views their work as a form of apostolate, a means of witnessing to others, then what does it say when we give it up? Now, in the case of mwbh, I did shut down in late 2002, as I remember, for a pre-determined period of forty days. I was going through a bit of a rough patch back then, and definitely needed to turn inward. That's not the same as doing so on schedule every year.
There are a few blogs who can take a few months off and still keep their fan base. I'm reminded of one guy who did just that to finish a book he was writing. His latest combox continued to be filled right up until his return. I just don't see that happening here. But whether it did nor not, mwbh will continue to publish during "the acceptable time."
Far be it from me to desert my adoring public. Both of you.