You are poor before the sight of God. All you have to offer is yourself.
– Deacon Pete
No matter how wealthy I am, or how big my house is, or how expensive my car is, or how fancy my clothes are — when death comes knocking, I am poor before the sight of God. All I have to offer at that point, is myself.
A good reminder to not get caught up in the consumerism lifestyle prevalent in the world today.
The most beautiful thing about a blog is that most of us don’t write blogs to become famous or make money. We write blogs simply because we are enthusiasts and nerds and hobbyists, and our little home in this vague corner of the internet is where we go to be, in a sense, fully ourselves, a safe place where we can go full nerd with a community of fellow nerds in tow.
I wholeheartedly agree!
People living halfway across the world from us, in Belgium and Iceland and the very far ends of Vladivostock, were making things they wanted to make just for the heck of it — websites and blogs were born out of hobbies, not ambitions. We were all amateurs making crude, ugly but heartfelt internet objects out of our laughable HTML skills. It was FUN because we were all amateurs together and there were no rules and no expectations and, of course, very little aesthetic sense. It was a pretty level playing ground.
Interesting enough, I feel that I am at this stage with this online journal. Except I'm not living in the past, but in the present.
In an old music log entry, I shared a song, “Let It Burn” by the rock band Red. In the entry I said that the song kept playing at the back of my head, while my hometown, the city I was born in, was under siege years ago. I was basically asking, “Where is God and why wasn't He doing anything?” But I was wrong about Him not doing anything. He was there in the soldiers and police officers fighting to take the city back. He was there in the first responders trying to treat the wounded. He was there in the volunteers who were trying to provide food and shelter to those who have been displaced by the armed conflict. He was there, I just didn't know where to look.
Fast forward to April 2020 and a similar question can be asked amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. “Where is God in all of this?” He is there, in the healthcare workers who are at the front lines of this pandemic, battling an invisible enemy. He is there in the first responders, who despite the threat of getting infected with the virus, still show up to work every day to keep everyone else safe. He is there in the volunteers who are also risking their health to provide food to the unemployed and the hungry. He is there, and this time around I know where to look.
In today's Gospel Reading, Jesus visited the disciples, who were locked in a room, not once, but twice. In light of the current lock-down due to the pandemic and not being able to attend Mass in person, I had some realizations on this that I wanted to write down.
First, Jesus comes to His people wherever they are. We might not be able to attend Mass in person, but it doesn't mean that Jesus cannot be with us. The Church is the house of God yes, but that's not the only place that you can find Jesus at. If you call out to Him, He will find you, wherever you are. You don't have to be at Church, or in the case of the disciples, at the temple, to find Him. The Church is the people and so Jesus will find His people wherever they are.
Second, because Jesus will find His people wherever they are, this means that in our current situation, where we cannot go to Church to attend Mass, it is okay to attend Mass from home via television or via the internet. He is there, with you, when you attend Mass in your bedroom or living room.
Great reminder and a coincidence, because lately I've been asking myself the question, “does what I post on my site provide value to others?”
I found that if I try really hard, I can easily spin it to a point where whatever I post, provides value to others. I can even spin it to say, I'm providing value to myself. But am I really providing value to myself? Or am I just trying to satisfy a need to post online?
I've said it in my About page that I intended for this online journal to be an alternative for posting status updates that I would have been doing on social media platforms like Facebook. So am I really producing or just scratching the itch to post or share something online? I don't know, but this was a good post that made me once again, stop and think about what I'm trying to accomplish on here.
Do you remember when something as simple as a balloon on a stick made you happy as a child?
mnml asked a good question recently. I remember a time when a balloon made me happy as a child, but I don't remember why it made me happy. Nor do I remember what the feeling was like to be happy with a balloon. That's kinda sad to be honest. This is one of the unfortunate things about growing up.
That “something else” might be something similar to the Hawthorne's. Of course it might not be on that intimate of a level, but to have another individual read our entries and build a joint narrative alongside us – a vision of writing on the web as writing in a shared journal.
I think CJ Eller in this post touched upon something that I didn't know was at the back of my mind; part of me wants my close friends to also be writing journals or writing on their own blogs.
Back when I was in high school, it was me and a couple of friends who were always playing around with computers and consequently the internet. We had our own Archmage guild. We tried to find ways to end up in the same kingdom when playing Utopia. We spent countless nights hanging out on mIRC channels. We had customized Friendster profiles. We had our own blogs. We basically followed each other online, just like close friends do.
Dino Bansigan is concerned about writing “more for myself and less to an audience” but I find myself wondering why those must be seen as mutually exclusive. Is it not possible to write for oneself yet to an audience?
For some reason, I cannot wrap my head around the concept of writing for myself, but at the same time writing to an audience. I feel like if I can just look at it from a different angle though, I would figure it out. The closest thing I can think of, is writing for myself but writing in such a way that the content is palatable to readers. But then, wouldn't I be writing to an audience?
I'm using the pronoun “we”, instead of “I” when I'm writing a post.
I'm trying to add context to my post, or trying to explain something in my post, which would not have been necessary had I been the only intended audience. For example, trying to explain or justify why I made a specific decision is a hint that I'm writing to an audience other than myself.
I'm writing in a way as to encourage comments from readers. – I don't really do this on posts on this online journal, but more so on posts on my dev blog.
If I keep those listed cues in mind, I should be able to write more for myself and less to an audience.