My mother, who has never owned a computer, asked me about my blog last week. What is it? And why would anyone want to read it?
Good questions. I don't worry so much about the second one, though. A little, but not so much. The Chesterton tag-line up above pretty much says it all as an explanation for this blog. It's all about sharing, I guess. I put down the stuff that's on my mind, working out my thoughts and ideas, or I simply share quotes from books or other blogs, or point to websites that I find interesting. When a whole community of people does this, it becomes a kind of conversation. The individual blogger becomes a part of something bigger, and the blogging process takes on a life beyond mere self-referential muttering. That sharing becomes the basis, the ground, upon which connections and thoughtful interaction becomes possible. And I guess that's a big part of the answer to my mother's question.
Well, Mr. Standfast is in a little bit of a summertime lull these days. I think for the time being most of my posts will simply be quotes from my readings. Maybe I'm just in a "gathering" mode right now. In a way that's what the reading life is all about. Here's a metaphor for that life: imagine that writers (and bloggers) are people who make small painted boats and put them in a stream. The boats float along on the current. The current, you see, is the publishing industry or the Internet. And the reader is simply a boy on a footbridge over the stream. He's leaning over the rail, reaching down toward the water, snatching up the little painted boats before they pass under the footbridge and beyond his reach. Sometimes, as a blogger, I'm that kid. I'm snatching up the beautiful objects and saying, "Here, look at this one!"
There is a child-like spirit in us that simply wants to share. That simply wants to say, "Hey everybody, look at what I've found today!" That, I think, is one (though not the only) fundamental motivation of Mr. Standfast.