Eight years ago this September, I began blogging for the first time on Livejournal. Back then, Livejournal was a very different place than it is today. First of all, it was invitation only. If you received an invitation code, you had an automatic in. If you did not, you were out. It was a nice security system to keep out unwanted people. But, of course, there was a period of “glasnost” when the invitations were thrown away and everybody descended onto livejournal.
In the beginning, I liked blogging and reading about other people’s lives. But then things changed. I suppose that life got in the way and I had other things to do than to sit in front of my screen. I started blogging only intermittently and then I stopped altogether. I shut down my livejournal account last year almost seven years to the day when I had opened it.
Closing that account, however, did not necessarily mean that I would quit writing articles for the internet. As this site testifies, I have continued to write. I don’t write a lot about my personal life here because I don’t believe that that is important, but I do feel I have a mission to share with others about the spiritual life. It’s this reason that brings me back to this site to continue writing more than any other.
In fact, I enjoy writing here much more than working on other writing projects like my Master’s thesis and a memoir that I’m currently working on about Los Angeles. I suppose this is because I have an audience that is sitting out there somewhere beyond the void and receiving the text that comes from by brain, through my fingers, and onto the screen. Not only this, but I know that there are many people out there who hunger and thirst for God. They want to know Him, but they have not found Him. Perhaps, my site is one of those gates to a deeper understanding.
The thing about the internet is that there is always an audience. On Youtube, someone can make an absolute fool of himself and people will watch. Forty years ago, most people did not have the technology we have today. Many of us wrote letters to others and picked up the newspapers to hear about the latest news. Neighbors knew each other by name and there was always a sense of community that united us all.
Today, we don’t have that simplicity anymore. The sense of community is gone. We are all living in our own little bubbles. When I lived in Southern California, I was always struck by this loneliness that we have to live with in our modern world. This existential isolation. No wonder there is so much depression and suicide. The old support networks are gone and some of us really don’t have anybody that we can rely on.
This sobering, but it’s true. As much as I write here, I really don’t know who I am writing to or who stops by here. I receive your comments and e-mails. Sometimes, I can track where you come from and read. But that is all I know. Yet I like this mystery. This mystery of not knowing.