Friday, October 27, 2006


I keep wondering about how to find language to explore the dilemma that is my metaphysical, spiritual life. I can't believe. I don't believe. That I admitted some twenty-five years ago. And I still feel at peace with that recognition. I spent the first thirty-five years of my life dutifully trying to believe, to do the right thing. And at some point so much had shifted that I had to admit to myself that I couldn't. And wouldn't. And that has described my life. And I've been releaved, at peace with that admission.

But I remained fascinated by religion. By its good, bad, and ugly. By the hair that can divide the believer from the non-believer. I read a book recently that made me think for the first time about the term agnostic. A-gnostic. Not a gnostic. That describes me. Not a believer. But where does that leave me. Not an atheist either. Atheism seems like a belief. So stable. So satisfied. So right. So ready to stop and live right there in that place--perhaps a very narrow place. I find exploration, questioning what describes me. Not staying some place. Not being comfortable. The notion of belief assumes such a stable world, a stable place to stand. I haven't found that. Not really looking for that any more. What I want is a way to keep finding the string that starts to unravel. It's that quest that sustains me.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A conflict of interest?

I spent last Saturday at a symposium sponsored by Sunstone. Sunstone publishes a magazine on Mormon history, literature, pop history, politics, you get the idea. Sunstone also sponsors a yearly symposium in Salt Lake City and smaller symposia in local areas. I visited the one in Seattle.

The magazine and the symposia live on a short list of publications/groups/events the official church (of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, substitute Mormon) at best ignores and at worst harasses. Some 20 years past a number of folks who had published or spoken in venues like Sunstone were publicly excommunicated. I had a bit of a brush with the church over content I had published in Sunstone during that period. But I managed not to fight. And I'm still on the official roles of the Mormon church (but that's another story).

So here's the story on my background and why I'm thinking about this now. Some 20 plus years ago I worked as an editor for Sunstone magazine. I was part of the group who sponsored the original symposium in Salt Lake City. I was the editor for all(yes, I do think all) the articles or books cited as justification for the excommunication of the folks in the 90s. That's my history. Editor. Magazines. Books. Print. Design. The printed word.

That's my past. My present? I work for a software company in Seattle. I create documentation--help systems, tutorials, user guides. I get frustrated every day at work by silly folks who cling to the printed word. I want folks to move online, to the web, and now to Web 2.0--to blogs, WIKIs, tag clouds, community, interactive, up-to-date, way cool communication (so okay "cool" shows my age).

So what did I do last weekend. I found myself volunteering to help with Dialogue--yet an another very Mormon, very much old hat, PRINTED magazine. And over the past couple of days I've been e-mailing back and forth about the younger intelligensia of Mormondom. They don't read the old "liberal" magazines. They flock to the blogs.

The blogs. At work my hope of the future. And at home. My son, my daughter-in-law, they rule in the blogosphere, the bloggernacle (that's the Mormon, mostly faithful, sphere).

So here's my dilemma. Why I'm thinking I may have a conflict of interest, an unresolved tension in my life. How do I bring together my impulse to join the greying crowd who care about a magazine, a print artifact, something bogged down in the past? And my impulse to embrace the web, the community the interaction, the immediacy of the blog, the web, the community--web 2.0 as it's styled by my crowd at work.

I just plain worry about what it means to lose the boring reality of these old print venues. My son blogs very persuasively that the problem is the quality of the work. I often agree that's true. But I find something very troubling in much of what happens on the web, in the blogs I read, as well.

Such short spurts of argument. The emphasis on controversy (lots of comments, fights only generate lots of comments), popularity (again comments and links). And brevity. Again a conflict arises here. I value, conciseness, elegance in the word. But I also worry about the lack of attention, of digging through. I find myself rejecting any comment that goes beyond two paragraphs. What does this say about what reading attention tends to be online. (I still read very long books.)

So you see it here. Look at the length of this mess. Way past the rules of good blogging. Too rambling, too undisciplined to make it into print. Alas, where has the world left me.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A plan is emerging

I have decided that I am going to bring my lovely idiot girl to Seattle. Lots of planning to complete. But I've decided that I'm going to take time off from work to find a decent place and settle us all in. I'm also hoping to cut back on work. More time for Bevin. More time for life. The goal is late January or February. I'll try to make an account of this.

So far I've learned that Bevin can't apply for services in Washington until she's living here. That means she is no longer living in Utah. That is a gamble. She is far away but she has a decent place and good people. No guarantee here. If I bring her here I'm back on call. And that's difficult. For my life. For my relationship with my husband. But I've decided that being her mother is the most important thing here. I need to take some risks for her. I've had my time. I want to be a good mother. I'm hoping that we can both have a good life--here in Seattle.

I'll try to write more about this.