This Sunday, March 11, (at 10:30 a.m.) I will be the guest preacher at the Westwood Unitarian Congregation here in Edmonton (11135-65 Avenue). The topic, not surprisingly, will be the material explored in this blog. It is the main theme of my sabbatical inquiries after all. I guess this is the sermonic test drive of my ideas before an audience that might not be as switched on as you, dear readers.
Happy to see you there if you happen to be in the area.
It will be an interesting challenge. Should I try to do something new? Or perhaps, more wisely, should I use this as a chance to reflect on what I have learned so far in these past two months?
It seems to me that one of the flaws inherent in this world of instant information is the erosion of reflection time. The pressure on journalists, serious writers and even amateur bloggers like me is to produce new content all the time, to keep mining the topic for fresh thoughts and images. But the quest for the new leaves little room to go back and review.
I think that’s as true for information consumers as it is producers. We don’t get time to think about what we have seen, read or heard unless we impose a strict kind of discipline on ourselves. Even the ’24 hour news cycle’ is fast becoming a relic in this age of give me something new and exciting. As I wrote in an early post (Stillness), our society -if not many individuals within it – have lost our taste for silence and contemplation. If something doesn’t go so well, we increasingly just drop it instead of analyzing it, turning it over and trying to rework it into something more successful.
Three generations of Kielys ran a machine shop in Montreal. It was a viable and often thriving business for over a century, but its doors were closed about four years ago. It was the last of its kind in the city at the time. Why? the world had changed. People replace, they don’t repair. When a machine fails, we get a new one, or a large pre-formed replacement part that snaps into place.
The age of review or re-do or repair seems to be largely in the past. And as the old proverb says: I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Looking for a way to decide to ‘go new’ or ‘go review’ in this sermon, I copied all the previous 25 posts into a single document. So far there are about 15,000 words excluding the various video clips and the 80+ comments. Surely some of that deserves a second look, eh? So far I haven’t reviewed old posts much except to check a reference now and then. Now is the time, a chance to check to see if a ‘mid-course correction’ is in order, so that’s what I will do.
I’ll let you know what I come up with after some pondering time.