Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nathan Reed, George Orwell, and Eastern Orthodoxy

All combine forces towards a seemingly tangential result. This result, akin to many, or nearly all of my decisions, comes without much real deliniation, but took a lot of stimuli and time to make it happen. I'm going to leave facebook for a more extended time than I normally do. This is not quite an immediate thing.

Fort those as of yet unfamiliar with Nathan Reed, he is my roommate out here (along with Alex McCauley, of course, with whom I was already friend before coming out.) While I hardly think the thought process starts utterly with him, he's a nice starting point, as he deleted his facebook a while ago, and has since made redoubled efforts to change his habits about correspondence, to great success. I was particularly struck by something he said affected his decision a lot, namely thinking about the fact that we're created as physical beings, with physical limits, and that these make relationships difficult for good reason, namely in their ability to make us work to know one another. This was of heightened interest for me in my recently increased interest in/drawing towards the Orthodox Church, namely in its higher emphasis on the bodily as factor in spiritual experience. This is particularly palpable in the perpeutal sensory input one encounters in a service.

And Orwell was the final straw, though in an odd way. I haven't been reading him, and probably won't unless I decide to read him for my modern literature tutorial. However, in learning about him in a portion of our British Landscapes today, I was struck throughout the account of his life by his singularity, and how he lived out the last bit of his life in utter isolation, writing. Not to say I expect I'll do this myself, nor that this is the vision I have for my life without facebook, but...you get the idea.

Previously, I'd toyed with the idea of leaving Facebook, but didn't because I didn't want to cut myself off from people, and I don't regret that by any means. What's more, there's an element of it that felts (and sometimes still feels, even now,) selfish, for on the surface, I'm saying "I want to be in better contact with my friends," when in fact one could just as easily phrase it as "I don't want to interact in this way, whether or not it's the easiest for you or not.

However, I'm trying to approach this in a more constructive manner to previous attempts, as I think this is not harder, but easier while I'm away from home, as I see almost nobody I have known a while (Alex and Brent being the exceptions) on a regular basis, and therefore any interactions I have with folks back in the states (anywhere in the states) are on a deliberate basis anyway, and having the barrier makes it so that I will have to shift that form of intention in all my relationships. Moreover, I think that it will make me more present while here, for in writing letters and blog posts, I'll have been more observant, or at least observant of different things, than had I been merely spending time on facebook doing nothing. This isn't to say I feel I haven't been present while I've been here, but I do believe I could be more so.

I realize this isn't really an update proper, but I hope it gives some idea of things I'm thinking about, scattered throughout. Furthermore, the very purpose of this post is to say that one mode (among others) that I plan to use more often is this very blog. This ends up coming into every post I've written, but I hope the earnestness isn't taken as fake. Not only do I see it as a good form of reflection, but also a way to keep people updated.

(As I type this, I am reminded of Alex further, as he talked once about how when he has more to do, he finds himself gaming more often. Hm, and I finally finish a blog post for the first time in over a month while I have a lot to write...)