In which Carrie explains why she began a blog…
I was corresponding with poet and shortstoryist, Linda Ferguson, about a recent development in my manner of reading. It is like I am studying books for a purpose. And maybe it isn’t “like” that at all, but truly is that I am studying with a purpose. I lay there on my bed, or sit in my philosopher’s chair ($7.99 camping seat with holes in the arm) and devour the pages of Works of Love by Søren Keirgegaard or Tree: A Life Story by David Suzuki and William Grady or Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, and I bottomdogearmark pages which hold a particularly clever simile or a passage of universal importance, and sometimes extend a tiny bit more energy to write in a thought of my own. Linda says of herself:
“I’ve been reading more analytically too, and I have to say it’s actually increased my enjoyment of books. I haven’t been marking pages, but I’ve been taking notes in my journal, asking myself what works and what I’d do differently. I love this feeling that I have the power to learn and learn and learn — and I don’t need a car or money to do it.”
I feel she has captured the idea perfectly. It is what the poets and paupers have been doing all along, and I’ve just realized for the first time that something within me is compelled to study, while without my really being conscious of it, I was studying for the sake of my own learning.
I want to be a writer. And so I am. Taking that leap from “I want” to owning the identity was more philosophical than you’d realize. I had to seriously think about how much this scares me, putting words and sentences and thoughts out there for all to see. I’ve had help along the way, encouraging and critical people who understand what it is to do something you love with your whole heart and mind. And these are just exactly what are on the line. But: “It is always the adventurers who accomplish great things, “said Montesquieu, and I really have no argument for that.
I’m inspired also by my favorite teacher of philosophy, Shultz, whom I believe will secure his place in history of being one of this century’s greatest philosophers. He told his students, more than once, that we do this “to be adults taking ourselves seriously.” I have hung onto “this” thought in spite of myself, in spite of my arguments to the seeming contrary, that I do “this” for fun. In fact, it is exhilarating to face a fear with my chin up, earnestly, as though my life depends upon it. I have a purpose, it is both fun and serious.
So besides the study of the great, or, not-so-great masters, it seems vital that if I want to be a writer, if I am indeed a writer, I must practice. I have thought for months about starting my own blog after some success contributing to another’s, and so now I intend to adhere to the obligation I hold to myself, to work more at what I love.
This, too, is a community blog and I welcome submissions which speak within the domains of Philosophy, the Biosphere, and Literature in general. These are umbrellas I find myself obsessing over and would love for you to share your specific thoughts on these wide subjects. Please submit pieces to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In truth, forsooth.