Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The heart can think of no devotion
Greater than being shore to ocean-
Holding the curve of one position,
Counting an endless repetition.
--Robert Frost

That being said, I need to get back to my studies! (But first I'll update :) for "devoted" readers like Rach.) Today I'm analyzing and writing a paper on Frost's "Accidentally on Purpose," which is due Friday. I'm focusing on showing how the world has become a diminished thing and the redemption of man.

I picked "Accidentally on Purpose" over "Bereft," which I also really like. I was tempted to start two papers and then decide which one I like better, but I
A) do not have time for that (I'm also writing a paper for Birzer for Friday) and
B) the former is longer than the latter; therefore more to write on/ a longer paper is more plausible.

On the topic of devotion, I'm going to avoid being quaint, but I think it is a virtue undermined in today's culture. Even the word devotion seems to rankle; it admits a commitment to another besides yourself, and can be percieved as having a subservient attitude in which one's slavish actions in the name of another undermines that person's free will and true intentions. Blindly following anything suggests one does not think and if one does not think, one cannot have knowledge, which leads to a true (not contorted by popular opinion) understanding of the world, humanity and, ultimately, God.

On the other hand, devotion can be a very beautiful thing. A devotion to one's family and friends for instance; being willing to do everything within your power to keep them joyful in existence. A devotion to God, of course, is not blind adoration but another opportunity to serve and glorify Him. Husbands and wives must be devoted to themselves in their sacramental bonds of marriage. Without devotion, people fall into their self-serving and self-pleasing attitude where they put themselves first, which is not necessarily a bad thing, unless they are the only person they are serving.

Independence and being your own person (virtues in America) is completely complementary to remaining devoted to things that truly matter (usually within the realms of family, church and community). This, of course, brings up the Gospels and Jesus' message of denying thyself and taking up one's cross to follow Him. This is also plausible and can exist , but it gives people a different kind of freedom--a freedom from one's passions and instincts and a heart for Christ alone. This, of course, is a topic for another day.

I got my Mencken paper back. My teacher wrote "A--Well done; I suspected this would be strong after hearing your comments in class. As usual, keep doing your best to tighten and simplify where you can." He mostly check marked different paragraphs that he liked (but surprisingly not at my favorite sentence, which I thought he would like as well). There were two sentences on the second page he specifically marked out as needing further simplification and adjustment.

It was a strong paper, but I like getting slightly-negative feedback. I like knowing I'm doing well but am still on the cusp of my true writing potential. Will I ever get there? Who knows. Nevertheless, I am still seeking and striving in my prose (and will continue to, until I am no longer, my hand clutching a final draft! ha!), finding the good word and not yielding to writing lethargy (to paraphrase Tennyson). I'm devoted (to use the buzz word of the post) to my writing, improve with every article and paper, so I think I might just be a writer yet!

In other news, please pray for a classmate of mine who lost her father last week and another classmate who just proposed to him girlfriend a few days ago. Both are major life events that need the Lord's guidance and grace. Also for Emilia and me; the Forum's going to press TONIGHT. (We'll release on Friday so as to not steal the Collegian's thunder.) It's busy, to say the least, and it's my baby. The amount of work that goes into these issues is phenomenal and I like seeing the fruits of the staff's labor (and mine) well-recieved; even if people do not agree with the content, they can't deny we've got great style.

Happy Tuesday, y'all!

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