Progress is exceedingly slow of late
I have to confess that even though I left Twitter almost a year ago, I still look at the threads you post when it comes to religion and Catholicism. I see you getting ganged up by all these people and I think man, it looks like a bad bar fight. I'm in the same boat as you with the whole deconstruction thing, but of course I'm not a minor celebrity in the religious world, so I am anonymous. I have been reading some DBH and Thomas Talbott in regards to Universalism, and there is a real good YouTube channel called "Love Unrelenting" which has tons of good short clips on the subject. Anyway, your thoughts, questions, and concerns on religion are extremely insightful and valuable to many of us, despite what the snark brigade may say. Best wishes, talk to you later homie. Tony 4.25.23
As you can tell from my representative icon, I am a devotee of New Hampshire. However, for me it has always been the place of vacations, get away times and now the location of a second home. As a retreat from our hectic and chaotic present society, the woods, mountains, ocean and small quiet towns of New Hampshire work quite well.
Once you are out of the Massachusetts bordering cities and towns, it is a culture where the operational mode tends to be slow, reserved and withdrawn. Helpful, but not overly friendly or particularly open to outsiders. The state does lack a number of the activities and social interactions of the multiple cultures found in large cities. The winters can be brutal, even for those of us who have lived all or our lives in other parts of New England.
A large part of me loves the isolation, the starkness of nature and social interaction at a slow, cautious pace. It is not for everyone. My wife indulges my love of the place but has absolutely ruled out the possibility of ever living there full time. Her reasons are very much the same ones as to why you and your wife left. I can understand not being able to stay. I hope that you will return from time to time, especially at those times when life calls for a break from the frantic, almost lunatic pace, at which we spend our time.
Life has a way of making us detour from our planned path. I have come to accept that events shape me as much as, or probably more than, I shape them. There will be times to write and there will be times when writing is impossible. I think that a large part of personal peace and satisfaction comes from learning to accept and work with each situation as it comes along. No matter how unplanned your present situation may be, it is always your choice to work with it, deal with it, and to make it the best you can for yourself and those you love.
Do not give up on God. I for one am not tired of hearing of your struggles in faith and belief. Following your journey of the last years has helped me to think about my own relationship to God, faith and that incredibly strange thing we call “religion”. Following you has given me insights into my own wrestling with these issues that are always there, even when they are not entirely apparent.
PS I do not even have a Twitter account. (nor a Facebook page) So I have not been following your writings or encounters there. I think the lack of these “social contacts” has been a substantial part of my personal tranquility in recent years.
I was thinking about you recently with all the UAP info coming out and wondering how you were. I feel like an old friend just wrote to me to tell me why he hasn’t been writing to me …LOL and I completely understand. Priorities. Those who find you as compelling as I do will still be here when you pull through. Hang in there!
Love you bro. I believe in you and will continue to support your efforts.
F#@$ you & God bless
I'm late to the comment party here, but I wanted to add that part of what I've enjoyed about this Substack is the variety. So I hope that doesn't change. It's refreshing, and makes this one of my most looked-forward to publications on here.
I know you've got a lot going on, and I'm empathetic. But I don't feel like everything that comes out needs to be some super-polished dissertation. Even a quick-fire round up of what you're reading or thinking about can be interesting; see, e.g., Niccolo Soldo's Saturday posts over at Fisted by Foucault.
Anyway, I'll keep hanging out here for a while. Your writing here has always been worth the wait. Cheers to you, Steve. Keep on keepin' on. The dude abides.
I say "ditto" to what Lana has written. Twitter is a platform I visit (as just Mike King ). Your tweets always give me something to think about, even when I disagree. Nonetheless, I look forward to future substack articles and your podcast.
I can summarize your problem--you have become a house husband. It is very similar to being a house wife. If one has children, someone has to raise the kids, and it looks like for the time being, you're the one who is playing that very important role. Yes, it's maddening. One feels one's mind is turning to mush. Days pass without being able to even change out of one's pajamas or recall what one did all day (even though one was engaged every single minute, in a helter skelter sort of way). So, accept it--accept raising your children as a cross (at times), but also a tremendous gift, and as what God wants you to do now. Later, you will be guided as to the next chapter in your career and life. God can make up for seeming "lost time" by "beaming" a great idea for a book or essay, and dropping it right into your brain.
I believe you are overintellectualizing the Christian faith. Do not "deconstruct" it. Leave the thorough exploration, analysis and exposition on the faith to St. Aquinas and St. Augustine (first and foremost) and study them; that's all the philosophy you will need. My suggestion: tune out Twitter (waste of time) and tune in Jesus Christ. I will not tweet, nor will I read tweets. I will read articles and (rarily) write comments. When I get to the inserted ("quoted") tweets in an article, I usually skip over them, because the author of the article has already told me what the tweet said--so the tweet becomes like a footnote or reference at that point! I read a lot, but not from Twitter.
For my 70th b'day, Our Lord sent me these two clips which contain mainly "cut" scenes from "Jesus of Nazareth," scenes which, for the most part, didn't make it to the movie. Still, I think Robert Powell (actor) came closest to capturing Christ's aspect and personality on the earth (as much as a mere man could). The entire "Jesus of Nazareth" movie is free on youtube, but I only "stumbled" on the deleted scenes recently. One can sometimes see why these scenes didn't make the final cut. (Can you find the mistakes in the Resurrection scene, for instance?) Still, I found these two clips (about 5 minutes total) very moving and have used them for "guided visualization"-type prayer ever since I got these gems. So I pass them on to you and your other subscribers hoping they are as uplifting for you all as they have been for me. And if they don't "work" for you spiritually, well then, pray God send you a book, an article, a song, a prayer that "strikes the right chord" in your soul and brings you back into the sheepfold.
I have been a Steve fan since I found 1P5 and my confusion over the Church's desire to limit how one can have a relationship with God while it promotes idolatry and deviant behavior. So when Steve left I followed. And I'll likely remain here to see what becomes of this journey. However, after reading this last piece, it puts in mind of an episode of 'Seinfeld.' Specifically, 'Kramerica' where I recall the moderator of the young man's internship saying 'Kramerica' seemed to be nothing more than the daily musings of an unemployed middle aged man. Documenting Steve's journey from confused to disillusioned to depressed to whatever seems to be a story that a myriad of 'stuck' middle-aged men are dealing with. And more in parallel to 'Seinfeld', a story about nothing. I'll read on because I am hoping there is a point or joyful chapter in the offing. In the end, happiness is our responsibility and not a product of external circumstances. Would a return to a spiritual life be a start? Just asking. For a friend.
After reading this, I just resubscribed so I could comment. Have you thought about temporarily dipping into meds to get you through this mild s#*storm you helped cook up. As a practicing Catholic (yeah I’m still in it) in the Archdiocese of Chicago, I know a little too much about having a good realtor on your side.
Seriously tho, some exercise and the right med might get you out this bad funk and spark up those creative juices for the next project. I don’t think getting jiggy with the twitterellas is gonna help you focus...I say this is as someone who rode that train to the pits of Madden Mental Health Hospital, involuntarily.