I have not stopped blogging. Biltrix isn’t done yet.
In one of Seneca’s letters — I think it’s letter 43 but I’m not sure — Seneca rambles on to his imaginary friend Lucilius about how good it is for the soul to travel and read on vacation.
Well, I’m not on vacation, but I’d still like to share some of his thoughts here, paraphrasing, of course. He gives some great examples of how we need to take extended periods to read and relax in order to refresh our ideas.
Reading has a mysterious way of refurbishing the soul. Seneca compares it to bees making honey. We really don’t know how they do it. They collect pollen from different sources, ingest it and regurgitate it, and when it comes out it’s something altogether different. The product is delectable. Some people can detect different flavors in the honey that tell what kind of flowers the bees collected the product from, but still, the product is unique — it’s not clover, it’s honey. The honey is the product of both the clover and the bee, but we credit the bee, not the clover with the honey.
So it is with the things we read. Very few things we write are our own original ideas. When we read, it influences our writing and often people can tell where we got our ideas from. Usually, our ideas are influenced by numerous sources, and we ourselves don’t consciously recognize what those original sources are. But if we reflect on them, we can perceive the source.
Seneca’s point is not to let the influence of other people’s ideas discourage you from reading simply because it will affect your writing and people will call you a copycat (he’s not encouraging plagiarism either). If people detect the source, it should be taken as a compliment. His further point is that if we don’t refresh our ideas with reading and relaxation, our ideas and our writing become stale.
So, what have I been reading lately?
No, actually. Not even Twitter. A few text messages, maybe, but…
Okay, so I’ve determined that I need to read more. I’ve got a few books sitting on my nightstand, staring up at me and asking, “Why haven’t you opened me yet? I’m a good book.” But that’s not all.
I have been putting off this post, which I felt I owe you, my dear readers. Let me address that first.
Over the past year and a half, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know many of you, whom I appreciate greatly. You inspire me with your words, and most of all, with your faith. Because we share that bond, I really do consider you friends. That’s really what friendship is, sharing common interests and needs that unite us and direct us down the same path together. One of the things I appreciate most in life, and I think everyone does, is friendship.
So thanks for being friends!
When I started this blog, about a year and a half ago, I was living in a different situation. Currently, my situation is changing. I won’t get into the details until I have something thrilling to share, but not to worry — I’m doing quite well actually and thanks be to God!
The brunt of it all is that I have had to change my focus and priorities lately. I plan on getting back into full swing eventually, but I can’t say now when eventually will get here.
Not that I feel the need to apologize, but I am sorry for one thing. Many of you have expressed how much you appreciate this blog and I appreciate you. This goes for not just my WordPress followers, of course, but I’ve entitled this “My Dear, Dear WordPress Friends,” because in a way I’m talking more specifically to you, since this is the platform where we got to know each other and for most of us it is the only platform where we stay in touch — though some of us also follow each other on Twitter (and I haven’t been on Twitter much lately either).
Lately, I’ve just been posting on Sundays and I will continue doing that. The priests on this blog (really it’s only Fr Smith who has continued to contribute regularly since last summer… I need to recruit more writers) have summer assignments that keep them very busy. This is a big drop in posting down from our daily posting.
I want to get back up to daily posts, but if I am going to do that, I want to post good stuff, not just anything I see on YouTube or my own ill-informed commentary on current events. I really hope to do that soon. In the meantime, I hope you will bear with Biltrix. For me, Biltrix is a mission, not just a blog. That mission continues.
Presently, however, we need to make some honey. Better said, in order to make good honey, we need to take time to smell the flowers. I hope you all have the time to do the same!
God bless you!
I feel the strong need to end with Calvin and Hobbes…
And a gratuitous video, for old-time’s sake. A real classic!
It’s a Biltrix thing…