What This is All About Really

You’d never guess it from the first dozen or so entries I’ve made since Uptime got started in January of 2014.

My first interest, in these posts, is the nature of human religion.  Especially the religion that has been my practice since childhood, the Christianity of my forebears.

Since my earliest years, given both the reflective gifts to consider the issue, and the spiritual strength to pursue that consideration, I’ve found no reason to either surrender it, abandon it, or abjure it.

I have followed for many years the comment threads that attach themselves to public discourse on religion and anti-religion.  The orientation, generally, of my posts to this blog will be not self-consciously intellectual or academic.  They will be couched in the most colloquial idioms that can express my thoughts clearly.

Since my own position is emphatically supportive of human religious practices in general, I suppose a few remarks are in order about the range of religious practices, convictions, and beliefs currently active in my native land, the United States of America — and about the range of arguments that are commonly advanced against those practices, convictions, and beliefs.

I will be offering those remarks piecemeal over the next several weeks of postings to Uptime.


Introducing J.S.Bach

Browsing a couple of days ago at the Milton Public Library, I found a new and previous unfamiliar biography of J.S.Bach.

Bach is the center of my musical universe.  He has occupied that position for roughly the past sixty years.  I discovered him — or he was revealed to me — when I was about fifteen; and I’m about to reach the end of my 75th year.  75 – 15 = 60.

My shelf of Bach volumes — excluding the music scores themselves — amounts to three or four feet of books.  This biography from Martin Geck, published in English translation in 2007, was unfamiliar to me; the last major biography I was aware of came from Christoph Wolff at Harvard, which was published in 2000.

My first impression of the new work (formed as I read the first fifty pages) was that it was a distinctly secondary work.  It seemed constructed of footnotes to one of the major biographies: it assumes the reader’s familiarity with all the major events in Bach’s life, offering comments arising from the most recent detailed scholarship.

But now, around pages 100+, more is starting to happen.  I’m starting to learn the political context of Bach’s invitation to Leipzig in 1723: who were the supporters, who the opponents, what was at stake politically and religiously.  Fascinating stuff.  New to my acquaintance.

The Platform — WordPress

I will comment on how this WordPress thing is working out for me:

Pretty damn good.  The first blog (I still hate that word, if anything more viciously than I did ten years ago when I instituted my first blog) went dry after only a year or so.  There have have two more since then — one on Salon.com, and one on an earlier version of WordPress.  I don’t even remember how the first one was hosted.

There are some continuing irritations.  I don’t blame WordPress for them; clearly, they come with the territory.

The first irritation is that every day brings several “comments” which, in fact, are not genuine comments at all, but  pretty transparent efforts to build somebody’s position in the SEA listings.  It only takes about thirty seconds to delete these.  But it’s tedious nonetheless.

The second irritation is directed at myself: I don’t post as often as I should.  Since initiating “uptime” in January of 2014, I’ve created a total of about 14 posts — maybe one a month.  Several more, in draft from, I’ve left unpublished.

Roughly, here’s how I intend to handle future postings: some — like this one — will be devoted only to my own more or less introspective reflections.  I’ll categorize these are “personal memoir”.  They are my concession — reluctantly — to the fact that I am by far the most interesting person I know.

The others, on such topics as philosophy, J.S.Bach, and literary observations, will have their own categories.

Rosemarie is currently in the hospital, undergoing rehab at Braintree Rehab Hospital for a dual fracture of the hip that she suffered in a fall on Sunday afternoon.