One small step

A few months ago I decided to once again set up a home server for hobbying and file management purposes. A major goal was to try hosting my own mastodon instance. I also wanted to give a space for my son, Noa, to host a minecraft server. Those things are both live on this machine, though at this point, neither of them are yet in active use.

For several years, Brigitte and I have spoken about wanting to write more regularly, and to have an online space to put our thoughts out into the world. Configuring a home server seemed to present an opportune moment to also set up that blog.

So, here we are, with a new website and a blog. WordPress has been installed for over a month. In that month, I’ve tinkered with the formatting, navigation, and even thought about plug-ins for some more unlikely use cases. To date, I have not actually started writing anything.

Writing — putting thoughts out into the world — feels consequential. I have this internal monologue, challenging me to “say something important”; to make statements that reframe worldviews, or help to shape our understanding of the world. It’s an expectation that actually acts as a near-insurmountable barrier to starting to write. I am never confident that what I would have to say would be important enough, or meaningful enough, or set the proper tone for the future of my blog.

It has become a personal challenge. I want to write. I want to be saying things. I want the things I say to matter. I want to feel like my thoughts and words are helping to shape a world.

But nothing can shape a world if nothing is ever said. And, if nothing is ever important enough to be the starting point, nothing is all that will ever be said.

In this context, the beginning of the new year — and its accompanying resolutions for a different future — become an important reminder. Very few things start with achieving the desired end-impact. Things evolve and grow. Life is a process. I need to not expect that everything I do and say is consequential. But nothing will be consequential unless I begin.

And so I begin. A small step. And yet nothing can follow without it.

I don’t know what this blog will be about. I have lots of thoughts, not all of which I will attempt to capture. I will try to tag things as I go, so that natural groupings of topics can emerge. I’ll try to keep things hopeful, but make no guarantees. I am not optimistic for our world. But, as that’s likely going to be an ongoing topic for my writing, I’m not going to go into that here.

Last, I would assert that I will not claim ownership of any of my thoughts. As Berry asserts in the quote I posted at the top of the Writings page, everything that is in my head is the amalgamation of the thousands of people, stories, and experiences that have shaped my life. I am a product of a culture (or cultures) and what exists in me is not mine, but the encultured awareness of this world. I hope that what I can reflect back will resonate, and contribute to enculturing others in the same way that I have been shaped.


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