Children, Travel, Weblogs

Heading Out

Early in the morning, before the break of day, Snowman, The Princess and I will board a bus bound for Beantown, where we will catch a train  to The Big Apple and see #1 Son in a play. When we return I will be re-packing and leaving the next day for a week at church camp.

The last time I worked at the summer camp, three years ago, I had a blog, but I was using it mostly as a place to post sermons. It was nothing close to the daily activity it is now. I didn’t think twice about what leaving it behind would mean.

This year I’m thinking about it a lot.

Recently, being part of the blogosphere has not been the joy it once was. I’ll admit it: my feelings are hurt. Others are hurt, too. I’m contemplating issues that had not been part of my reality, examining my reasons for believing certain things. I, who once thought of myself as among the most liberal and inclusive of people, have been pushed to the edge of orthodoxy.  I, who once thought of myself as hip and well-informed, have been forced to realize that I’m apparently conventional.

Blogging hardly seems an appropriate activity for the person I am turning out to be. Perhaps parchment and a quill pen?

Of course, blogging is a requirement of my membership in an organization that has meant a great deal to me. So when I say that I am thinking of retiring from blogging, I’m speaking of something broader, too.

I’m appreciative of the supportive comments left here by many, many people, particularly as I have undertaken changes in my life. I am grappling with how to process sad and difficult feelings without the crutch of overeating, and because blogging about them feels inappropriate, I’m going to have to find a different place to put them.

I’m reading the artful posts of friends, and thinking about how I used to write that way, and recognizing that I don’t have the heart to do it right now.

I feel like a drag, and that’s not what I want my blogging to be.

So, I’m heading out for the next ten days or so. Most of that time I will be offline. I hope when I come back I’ll feel like writing here.

57 thoughts on “Heading Out”

  1. I hope you feel like writing here, too. I love reading whatever you write. Wouldn’t be the same or as fun without your posts.
    Have a great time in the big city. I hope #1 Son breaks a leg.
    We’ll miss you!

  2. As I’m a newbie in blogging, I already like reading what you write. I hope that you will return refreshed and renewed.

  3. Well, you are not a drag. I check in everyday. And, don’t forget the support found in the blog-world which you yourself have lifted up. Which is just to say, it isn’t all bad.
    Do what you need to do, but know we love and appreciate you.

  4. I almost feel guilty about even chiming in on this, because I know that even if you retired from blogging we will still be friends.
    But I still hope you don’t.

  5. My spiritual director always closes our time with this:
    May you be healthy and happy
    May you live with ease
    May you be at peace
    And always remember that you are rooted and grounded in love.
    My prayer for you.

  6. Helping to create this community has been fulfilling, but also demanding, and it’s no wonder you’re feeling weary. I am sorry to hear that your feelings have been hurt — that’s so not right. And P.S., you’re not a drag, not now, not ever. Safe travels, Songbird. I hope #1 Son breaks a leg.

  7. For the record, I have loved your words–both recently and in the past. Your posts have challenged me and given me insights. After computer switches, I was so glad to find your blog and read again.
    I just wanted to say that.

  8. My first reaction was really selfish: please no–your blog is a source of so much goodness. And then I thought about the amazing journey you are on w/ your health and realized, you simply must do what takes care of you. I am grateful for the gifts you have given and I hope and pray for joyful, belly-laughing kind of grace for you as you figure out the next steps. You’re the best…

  9. Well, I’ll certainly miss you if you stop blogging but anyone with the talent to write as powerfully and as touchingly as you do had better keep writing somewhere!

  10. I can’t help but react selfishly too. No! But, you have to do what’s right for you — even if you were my first blogger meet-up and th first to welcome me here. You continue to be a blessing.

  11. Songbird, I’m really sorry to read this. I would really hate to lose a voice I respect as much as yours, even though we don’t always agree.

  12. You have never been a drag. You did the right thing so stop thinking about it. I hope you have a wonderful next 10 days and you renew yourself.

  13. I am not sure what has hurt your feelings but my prayer is that you will receive God’s healing hand on the wounds and that He will speak into the situation too.
    Your blog is a treasure, but you are even more so. You are supportive and funny and kind – but you also speak the truth in love – and that’s helped me so much over the past year or so.
    Blogging has changed quite a lot in the past year or so – for me part of the loss is that the circles have become so big and bloglines so popular that folk don’t stop by to say ‘hi’ quite so often, and the encouraging words are sometimes few and far between – so some of the sense of community has fallen to the wayside.
    It would be a shame for so many reasons if you gave up blogging – but I hear you sister – because when the joy has gone, what’s a gal to do (and keep her sanity)
    hugs
    Hope camp is great. Enjoy the play :)and be good to yourself! ok?

  14. I hope you enjoy the play, and summer camp. Don’t forget to write your name in the back of all your clothes before camp.
    I think most of us need breaks from the blogosphere here and there. I hope your break is a vacation and not a retirement, but we’ll take you however you come.

  15. Well, I hope you won’t hang it up. But that’s just me being selfish and wanting to read you. You kick my ass at blogging, too.

  16. Wah! I hope you keep blogging. You write beautifully, you sermonize terrifically, you inspire me, you make me laugh, and dammit, I like you, even though we’ve never met.

  17. Having recently been through something like this in the blogsphere, I understand.
    Whenever we interact with people, we see their outsides not their insides. When we can see their faces, hear the inflections in their words and they can immediately see our reactions to them the relationship is “cleaner”.
    I have often thought about how in the blog world, we can put a different version of ourselves out there. How often, I wonder, would I really check in with some of the people I read every day if I knew them face to face? Do I really want to know the whole person, or just their edited version?
    Do I want people to know me, the flesh and bones me, or do I blog so that I can finally show people ONLY what I want them to see and hide the rest?
    And finally, as I using blog relationships as a way to avoid the risk of face to face ones?
    I would miss you, or what I know of you, and would hope to one day have to opportunity to know more.

  18. Songbird, I would hate to see you lose the joy in blogging and give it up. You are such a gift to those of us who check in here regularly.
    Praying peace and contentment for you… and fun at the play.
    Mags

  19. It’s hard to blog when you think its not appropriate to post reflections on the things that are taking most of your time and attention. I’ve been having the same experience lately–some of which we share and some of which is personal–so I do understand.
    A blog sabbath should help! I’ll be praying you’ll return refreshed and renewed because you are one of the best writers on the net.

  20. oh, songbird, I hope you have a lovely week and that you find your way through this patch of life.
    happy camp. 🙂

  21. Songbird, I hope you have a peaceful, renewing break and come back refreshed and focused. I love reading your blog, but I want you to continue to love writing it–otherwise it’s not worth it. I pray you are finding the right place and the right person (people?) with whom to process the things that are hurting you. ((SB))

  22. Oh Songbird, I do hope you have a good time in the big city. You deserve it.
    I enjoy everything that you write, and you are not a drag. Ever.
    Bless you.

  23. May your time away provide peace and space for discernment. May you laugh heartily. May you smile often. May you know God breathing in you.
    ** I’d miss you (that’s my 2 cents)

  24. How much of yourself are you investing in this internet thing ? I read you a lot, and you come across really well, but I don’t kid myself that this is enough of a connection to change my life and make me your friend.
    Don’t let the comments of those who have done no more than read your written words change your real life. I hope they don’t change your blogging life – but that is up to you.

  25. It seems to me that the blog-ring is moving fairly predictably through M. Scott Peck’s four stages of building community:
    Psuedocommunity
    Chaos
    Emptiness
    True Community
    I’m hoping that the nature of the medium and our own fears won’t keep us from getting to stage four.

  26. I am hoping that after a few days away you will find a sense of peace in all of this. There are so many of us who love you and your blog – your genuineness shines and as others have said, you are one of the best bloggers out here. Blessings upon you.

  27. Quotidian Grace (Blogging sabbath) and Rebel Without a Pew (Peck’s four stages) ring loudly here.
    My sweet Songbird, you have a writer’s soul. You have to write. Do you see the comments here and how they grow? Multiply that exponentially and that is the number of hungry and thirsty souls out there who find nourishment from your gifts.
    And you have to take care of yourself, or you will not be able to write. I pray with QG that you find refreshment and renewal with your 10 day sabbath. And I pray for a miracle of insight to find you, showing you the best path. And I selfishly hope it’s back to blogging. If it’s not, please keep writing, somewhere. And let us know where to find you.
    Blessings,

  28. Love you
    Missed reading you while I was away for 3 whole days…can’t think how I’d be if you actually stopped. But I do understand the lack lustre feeling – maybe it’s summer malaise as I have it to a lesser extent, without any major reason.
    Go well, my dear friend. Have a lovely break and return to us refreshed.
    Best love and hugs xxxxx

  29. I’ve been way overwhelmed and out of the blogosphere more or less for a couple of weeks now, so I have no idea what you’re talking about, but I am really sorry that you’re feeling hurt and unwelcome. I hope you find a way to continue in this space or to find a new space that’s more comfortable for you.

  30. I got an email from a friend letting me know what you blogged. I thought then I had to head over and comment. So here is my comment. God and have a good time. May your son do will. May you have a time of rest and fun, and then be restored.
    I have found myself in the same place. You at least have blogged, me, I feel frozen unable to even post.
    Blessings to you, please don’t retire.

  31. I don’t know if you realize how much inspiration you bring to people grappling with many of the same issues you’ve blogged about over the past year alone. Whether it’s spiritual concerns, moving towards a healthier lifestyle, dealing with the complex emotions of kids leaving for college, or having the courage to let the gray hair come in, your thoughtful perspectives touch far more people than you’ll ever know, Songbird.
    That said, if you’re no longer getting the same type of joy from blogging that you once did, maybe you do need a breather. Just a temporary breather, I hope. (Maybe scaling back to one or two posts per week? After all, it’s got to be difficult being brilliant every day of the week!)

  32. songbird, I haven’t been over here in a couple days since the bridge fell down in our city, but I am hoping that your time away leaves you renewed and that you return with the poetry you always have.
    Do what you need to do. We need your voice.

  33. I come into this conversation late. Maybe you will stop back and read this, maybe not. In the year I have been blogging I have almost quit several times. What you wrote echoes my feelings in many ways. So, what I add here is not anything you don’t already know, just me reflecting back because sometimes it helps to have someone mirror back.
    Listen deeply. Know you are loved by a very large community who simply cannot always agree. I hope we have ways of sharing our disagreements without causing others pain, trusting that we each bring our life experience into the mix.
    There is seldom one “right” answer, often many complex choices. But we do have to make choices. We do the best we can. Not everyone will be happy. Sometimes what we decide makes othes unhappy…Life is full of disappointments. We learn and grow from them. (Speaking generally here, not of anything specific). (Of course I have had more than my fair share over the last four years, so my “skin” is a little raw from “growing”…ahem)….
    All I’m really saying is. If you need to resort to a less visible public form of journaling, then I hope you find it takes you were you need to go. But I hope that choice, if you make it, is about what you need to do for you…many of us will be disappointed not to have your voice among us. We will have to deal with that loss.
    Prayers for you. Although we’ve never met, over this last year I have come to know you as “friend” and “Blog-mentor.” Thank you for both.
    Oh, and I hope you have (had) a fabulous time in NYC! and Church camp…I always come back so exhausted from camp…I hope you find some rest….

  34. Dear Songbird…when I first started blogging (a whole week ago) Someone from RGP said, “just to get started, why don’t you look up these three (or four) blogs– they are wonderful.” One of these was yours…and she was right. Without putting a burden on you, how can I say, your lyricism and insights will be missed. May you be revived, (rev-vived?) and blog yet again. Gail (a newbie)

  35. Just to say, your ministry to me through this blog has been profound. That said, I encourage self-care in whatever guise you and your CEO deem helpful. Traveling mercies.

  36. Your voice would be very much missed. As will your spark, Your inspiration, your creativity, your deep seated faith, you, Songbird. Prayers are with you as you discern where you go from here. If it counts for anything, (I guess I am selfish) I hope to keep in touch through your blogging, besides which, I still haven’t learned how to link yet!!!

  37. (((((Songbird))))))
    I’m sorry I haven’t been around for more of this, but know that I’m thinking of you, and love your words and your ideas.
    Be well.

  38. I’m very sorry to hear that you have been hurt. I can’t imagine anyone who could be so crass as to offend you — one of the most genuinely NICE people I’ve ever known — but I am so sorry to hear of your heartache, and the desire to stop blogging. I know that most of us have had feelings of wanting to quit at one time or another (me included) but the feeling of camraderie is what keeps me tethered to the blogworld.
    It would be a great loss to the blogging community to lose you, but you have to do what you need to. Just know that we will miss you so if you go. You are one of the main reasons that I blog today. And that’s my eleven cents. Love you.

  39. (((Songbird)))
    I am truly sorry that you have been caught in the backwash of (what I think is) someone else’s “stuff” but I pray that you will find some joy in being at camp, energy to be renewed in blogging again, and patience with all of the things that come up in helping herd this buncho bloggers in a gentle direction… (and thank you for helping me get my code back… a big well duh on my part…)
    prayers of peace and thankfulness for your humor, your wisdom and your perseverence…
    JOY in the journey be yours…
    Deb

  40. I’ve stopped by every day, even though I knew you were out of town. Hope camp was good. Missed your voice.

  41. What they all said SB. I’m in the process of cutting way back on blog time, as my time for live one-on-one relationships increases, so I just read this. I too hope you’ll be back soon. Your writing is such a gift. Blessings to you.

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