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Voice Change


Enough time has passed that I’ve been able to reflect on recent events. And since our blogs are now blocked by our former employer, I have an even greater freedom, I believe. That’s a brand-new feeling for me. And the rhetorician in me must reflect on my changing blog voice.

Once I realized that my blog was being scoured for “offensive” content, I thought, “Hm. They are reading. I have an audience. I’ll use it.” And that entire series on Grace from last Fall was an attempt to speak to this audience. I doubt they read it. If they did, I now understand that they probably didn’t get it. Touché.**

When the summer started an ominous sense of doom loomed over us. I had never quite felt that before either, and my blog turned once again to the more Second Sophistic fare — talking about the benefits of baldness and such. I had big feelings and big issues to talk about, and I discovered in my reading that many, many others have felt similarily. John Milton, for one. Martin Luther. Ghandi.

Knowing the way I’m plumbed, I had to write about that, but I didn’t dare with this dark cloud engulfing us. So I started a secret blog under the pseudonym, John Milton: www.mysamizdat.wordpress.com. You’ll recognize “samizdat” as a underground Soviet newspaper copied and circulated in defiance of a singular, all-encompassing power.

You’ve probably already clicked on the link. You won’t find the blog anymore since I deleted it at wordpress.com, but there is the google cache, I’m sure. Still I imported the posts here and filed them under “speak.” So there’s no need to search too hard.

The tone is different. Far from silly, more prophetic. Frankly, it’s exactly the tone that I used in the now-expunged chapter in my book (So dangerous was that chapter that I was told publishing it would get me fired. I didn’t publish it. I complied with their request.).The Esther persona that I tried to use last Fall is absent in those Milton posts. It’s more Deborah– or even Jael-like. But I don’t even have any warm milk to coax people into my tent.

I’ve been thinking about whether or not to keep the mysamizdat blog, and I’ve found that I don’t need it anymore. I can say what I will here. Sometimes silly (see Marcy or Daker below). Sometimes pointed (“Tent stakes for sale!”). Sometimes ambiguous (“May I come and speak to you, Oh Xerxes?”). Sometimes very, very transparent.

I am reminding myself that when the Poles won their Solidarność, they scrambled and floundered for awhile under their new freedom. So did the newly emancipated slaves. Suddenly running barefoot after trying for so long to dance in grace while wearing vintage brass diving boots will certainly mean a few stumbles in dog poo.

But knowing I’m safe in God’s care means it’s okay if I stumble. My soul is at rest in Christ. Why should I fear?

That Rockwell picture up there was the header for mysamizdat, but I just used a horizontal sliver of it honing in on the patriarch grinning and listening to the citizen. Now I can show the whole picture — persona and person meet.

** On August 16, 2007, our pastor found this paragraph offensive and instructed me to revise it or risk my husband’s solo “ministry.” Following my usual pattern of compliance with fundies, I did change it to the following:

Once I realized that my blog actually had an audience last Fall, I tried to write that entire series on Grace. Whether or not it was read wasn’t really the point. It was helping me see God in a very difficult situation. Rhetoric is like that! It changes the speaker too. And it focused my voice from fish talk to Grace talk, and that has to be a good thing.

But they still took away Grant’s solo ministry on October 16, 2007. So now, three years later, I can offer both versions freely. Edited on July 10, 2010.

13 thoughts on “Voice Change

  1. I’m going to wait a year for the creative juices to cook and then prayerfully decide. 🙂 Their reasoning was unsound and self-serving. If I publish it, I don’t want my reasons to be similar. The chapter was valid and academic and rhetorical. They took it as personal. What it really came down to is an issue of controlling a seemingly unified and marketed image before their constituency. The market and the Academy rarely get along.

  2. I’m awake now! (Pregnancy coma). Former employer?!Congratulations to you all! My first thoughts were just like my Sarah’s reaction, “WHOA!” You two trouble makers, ha,ha! I showed her that you are queenknitter on CRF site – she’d already seen the Calvinix ad before and is having a blast studying with her dad. Keep on Berrians! Enjoy, and at 2am, don’t allow your head to read trouble between the lines of life. Just rest in that Sovereign! Time to snack ‘n nap again, Tammy

  3. Sharp tongue. Wow. Give it to them! Glad your husband gives you the liberty to speak your mind in public too.

  4. I recently stumbled on your blog after hearing rumors of your departure. I have to admit, I always liked hearing your unofficial University opinions. I am glad you can still post it online. 🙂

  5. The remark,”They probably didn’t get it”? offended them? How touchy can people be! You know how I would describe their ‘super-touchiness”? “They thought they could be ‘as touchy as they wanted to be ‘, but ‘no one else could!” I have a phrase I call the TREOPS. Touchy, easily offended People. When wer’e free from people like these, we no longer need to ‘walk on egg shells.’ because we can now associate with people who really want to live and walk an talk and act like ‘human beings’ who know, they ‘don’t need to put on an act.’ I belong to the ‘be yourself club.’ It’s called humanity! and I LOVE IT! God I love this Blog1

      1. Yes, they are! But quite frankly, I prefer my eggs , in the shell, with butter salt and pepper. Eggs shells atmospheres are ‘tiresome’.Egg shell relationships in them are ‘pieces of work.’ It’s taken me a long time to realize that it really doesn’t matter if people don’t have a favrable opinion of me, or think well of me, that their opinions and thughts of me, really are’nt as imprtant as I thought they were. God’s thoughts about me, and the people who really love me, ‘thats enough’. It took me a long time to get to that understanding though. Wer’e created for relationships and for community. And when both fail such as faith communities and meaningful associations, it can be so devastating. I remember an evening when I realized ‘I did’nt feel devastated anymore.’ That may have been a ‘healing turning point.’ God is with us every step of the way, and at all those ‘turning points.’ I’ve also learned to be somewhat kinder and more patient with ‘egg shells’ people. I just no longer expect them to see or understad thing the way I do anymore, and I try to throw them ‘a little slack.’ It’s easy to do that though, when they’e ‘not bugging you!’

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