Archive for June, 2017

Leitourgeia kai Qurbana: The adventures of… what?

Obviously, at almost a decade old, this blog is basically about nine years past its prime. My highest-trafficked post is from 2008, I haven’t posted even semi-regularly in more than two years, and the impulse to continue with this particular project just isn’t there. It was originally intended as an intellectual outlet when it looked like I wasn’t going to get in to grad school, then I got into grad school, and now… well, the whole point of what I was doing has run its course. I was blogging as a wannabe academic, then as an academic-in-training, with various observations along the way, and now… well, that whole chapter of my life seems to be over now, save for the student loan payments.

The other thing is that, ten years ago, there was a neighborhood of Orthodox bloggers within which this kind of blog could function; that doesn’t really exist anymore in the same form. Most of those people now just post their stuff on Facebook and fight things out there. “Orthoblogdom”, so far as I can tell, hasn’t been a thing for me to hang out at the margins of for awhile.

And there’s the simple matter that, while ten years ago, I got really excited when I was able to publish articles in AGAIN (remember AGAIN? No, probably not), there are a lot of different venues right now where I’m more or less an active contributor, and if I want to write something about, say, Orthodox music, I can probably find a venue that will get more traffic than Leitourgeia kai Qurbana — which, even its heyday, wasn’t difficult. My biggest post ever was a repost of somebody else’s material (something that in, retrospect, I wish I hadn’t done because it was a piece that reinforced a very unfortunate narrative); besides that, my Hansen & Quinn Greek notes and answer keys seemed to be the other major draw over time, but once I got into grad school, I didn’t have time to do those for free, and my attempt to monetize them went nowhere. I know that I’ve said before that I don’t write for hits, and that has certainly been true, but at this stage of the game, if I’m going to put in the time to write something, ideally I’d have an audience and be paid for it. If I’m not going to be paid for it, I’d at least like to have an audience.

(Which reminds me of an odd conversation I had with somebody about a year and a half ago. Somebody said to me, well, have you thought about trying to blog professionally? I said, sure, but I have no idea how I would monetize blogging sufficiently to make that work. He put me in touch with a friend of his who had made it happen, and this friend talked to me just long enough to say, essentially, yep, it can be done, but nope, I’m not at all interested in slitting my own throat by giving advice to somebody who could be a competitor. Sorry our mutual friend went to the trouble, but you’re barking up the wrong tree. Well, okay.)

And there’s also the plain reality that the last two years or so have been really tough. Deciding to make the relocation to Boston permanent sounded great on paper, and we don’t regret it, but it’s been a real struggle. After two jobs in a row that I didn’t really want to take but represented the best I could do at the time, adjuncting for a semester someplace where I’m pretty sure they aren’t going to call me back, and four months of being out of work, I’m now finally in a position where I’m not gritting my teeth in frustrated desperation, but guess what? I’m working remotely for a concern that isn’t even in Boston. You know why? Because any job you would actually want in Boston, unless hands-down there is no reason to look at anybody but you, is almost impossible to get with all of these people running around who have these degrees from a school you might have heard of called “Harvard”. Add to that having a new baby that became a point of contention for my then-employer, and… yeah. Like I say, I have a job now that is an ideal fit, but we’re going to be digging out of the hole we got ourselves into for some time. Personal reinvention has a significant cost, and I’ve had to do it several times.

I still think writing is basically the thing I do best, and that I still have something to say as a writer. However, I don’t think this blog is going to be the place where I put those words. I’ve posted on Medium a bit recently, and those pieces are the kinds of things I would have once posted here, but I don’t know that that’s going to be the long-term solution. I will leave this blog up, because it represents a lot of work over a few years, and it’s work that I frequently refer to and share with other people. There are things here I’ve never finished; it’s been five years since I’ve been able to convince myself to write any more of my “spiritual autobiography”, as it were, and I really did intend to interview Boston locals as part of a meditation on people and place and roots. The one interview I did I have the notes and the recording for, but… I don’t know, it’s not just a matter of not having the time, but a matter of feeling like this blog just isn’t the right place for it. I have a lot of writing projects aside from Leitourgeia kai Qurbana that are in various stages of incompletion (like my dissertation! ha!), and part of the problem with finishing them is not knowing what the venue would be.

I’m still reticent to call LkQ “finished” and close the book, because you never know what might inspire me to come back to this particular venue, but it’s time to call a spade and a spade and say that for right now, anyway, I’m done, and the pieces that I would have written here I’m writing elsewhere for the most part. Nonetheless, keep an eye open; if Twin Peaks can come back, maybe this will, too, eventually.



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