Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Blog as a Commonplace Book

Now nine years old, This Side of Sunday hereby enters a new season of its existence, as a commonplace book. I'm not sure that's much different than what it's been to date, except it signals that I will be (and have more recently been) doing the bulk of my own thinking and writing elsewhere. 

Positively, it means I'm not walking away from the blog, but am embracing what it's become. As Alan Jacobs explains it, the historic goal of the commonplace book

'was to gather a collection of the wisest statements, usually of the ancients, for future meditation. And here the key thing was to write the words in your own hand ... by laboriously and carefully copying out the insights of people smarter than you, you could absorb and internalize their wisdom.' 

It may not be handwritten, but it will be similar here. No cut and paste: just mulling the words over some more as I re-scribe them, with the added bonus that they'll be shared and maybe even talked about with others. 

I have always liked jotting down poignant quotes--usually for myself; often tucked away in a notebook and forgotten. Now I do most of it here. So many of my good friends and conversation partners I only see online. As my tag-line used to say: this is where I gather thoughts for hopeful conversations.

Anyway: thought I'd let you know. Some of you have been with me for years--and our interactions have been as formative for me as they were enjoyable. Much appreciated.

HT Wesley Hill

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