Sunday, November 12, 2006

Some thoughts about Not Noteworthy...

I've been writing stuff on the Internet for a long time. In fact, my original "Web journal" (in the days before "Blogs") was also called "Not Noteworthy." But it was a very different sort of thing than the current version; in fact it was more what you would expect from a blog--a daily account of my life, with some editorializing thrown in. I managed to get myself into trouble back then by writing irresponsible things about people close to me, so I've taken just the lumps I need not to do that sort of thing again.

What you're looking at now is an idea scrapbook; a wastebucket of idle thoughts. I have never gotten into precisely why Not Noteworthy exists, so I would like to make an attempt at an answer. Or several, as the case may be.

The first motivation behind NN is that it is a thinking aid. If the things that I put down here lack coherence, it is because they lacked coherence in my head before I wrote them down; in the process of writing them, the connections firm up and they become sensible. Alas, by the time the ideas become sensible in my head, I have run out of steam to continue writing, so all that is left is byproduct and refuse. If I am a dog eating scraps from the master's table, what you see is what's left after the dogs are through with it.

The second motivation behind NN--and one of the reasons it is public--is that in my vanity I love comments. Good, bad, neutral... the solitary fact that this thing drove somebody to put words to the keyboard on my account just leaves me giddy. I know that this is not the most righteous of motivations. But at least I have the good sense not to bother innocent forum-readers and instead contain my feedback-fishing to this relatively harmless outlet.

The third motivation is self expression. I gather that this would surprise people such as counselors and spiritual directors, who assure me that "intellectualization" is escapism. Allegedly I hide behind the cold persona of a "thinker" instead of revealing my soft squishy center. I'll concede that parsing proofs of God or distinguishing between legitimate and destructive liturgical technology would not pass muster for my high school memoirs. But this is what I cherish. It is my investment. Next to the Mass itself, thought is my most intimate connection with God. Romantics will maybe be off-put; I am sorry for that. But of all the transcendentals, I have failed at beauty and I stumble and stutter at goodness. Truth is a refuge; she keeps the most constant home and deepest comfort I have ever felt; she offers me glimpses of her sisters beauty and goodness, and she reminds me that God has already won. Is what I write true? I don't have any way to know. But does what I write show my love for truth? I hope so. That is my self-expression.


Matt of C G said...

I can totally relate. I talk to myself audibly all day, every day.

I tell myself,"I don't care who hears me, I just need to get it out!"

The novelty of this e-meduim is very attractive to me. But it smells like the novelty is waning for you. Please tell me I'm wrong.
I rather enjoy sucking the marrow from the remnants of your scraps, man.

Jacob said...

Its good to see much of the 'scraps' that you throw out for us to read. If these are the tidbits that don't qualify for greater space in the storage room of your head, I like to think that what is in there is pretty great.

Your previous post (on the liturgy) was darn good; I think you've nailed it on the head in pointing to the root of the problem as one of personal intimacy with God, rather than the more popular amorphous & intellectual way.

- Jacob