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.