40 Days in the Desert (or “Why I Gave Up Blogging for Lent”)

desertLent is a solemn time of prayer, preparation, penance and self-denial and commemorates the 40 days that Jesus spent fasting in the desert.  It’s a time of quiet reflection and renewal.  And this Lent, one lonely blogger retreated from WordPress, practiced silence and abstained from reading or posting.

Why did I do it, and what on earth did I hope to accomplish?

Retreat.  For 6 weeks I went into hibernation.  Sometimes it’s good to experience what my friend calls “the neutral zone,” where you surrender to nothingness.  Last week I read an interview in The Guardian in which Ryan Gosling revealed that he is taking a break from acting.  “I’ve lost perspective on what I’m doing.  I think it’s good for me to take a break and reassess why I’m doing it and how I’m doing it… I need a break from myself as much as I imagine the audience does.”  I’m no Ryan, but I understood what he was saying.  Retreat and reassess.

Self-Denial.  Sometimes blogging feels more self-indulgent than dark chocolate or champagne.  Taking time out let me feel deprivation and longing, which is unusual in a culture of excess and overwhelming access.

Quiet.  As Sting said, “Great music as much about the space in between the notes as it is about the notes themselves.”  The same is true of writing.  Taking the time to experience, observe and quietly reflect can make writing less frequent and more meaningful.

Renewal.  The end of Lent coincides with the beginning of spring and renewal is in the air.  In the quiet isolation of this figurative desert, fresh thoughts stand out more sharply against the arid landscape and ideas appear in the void.  I’m ready to re-join the world and contribute with renewed energy.

Decision.  Others decide to give up meat or chocolate.  I chose to give up writing, a harmless vice that doesn’t lead to obesity, intoxication or any other state of ill health.  But just the sense of intention gives it purpose and meaning.

I’m back to writing and will enjoy catching up with the recent posts of all my blogging companions.  Happy Spring!


13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane Fritz
    Mar 27, 2013 @ 19:27:41

    Welcome back, Kim. Happy Easter!


  2. puravida
    Mar 27, 2013 @ 19:50:45

    And a very Happy Easter to you, Jane!


  3. Els
    Mar 28, 2013 @ 03:05:08

    Dear Kim
    I think we need to have a talk soon.
    Happy Easter.
    Till soon


  4. lautal
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 10:11:48

    Good to know it was just Lent for you. Happy Easter!


  5. The Retiring Sort
    Mar 29, 2013 @ 11:31:56

    A lovely idea – have a wonderful Easter – I hope you feel renewed in every way!


  6. Layle
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 13:36:18

    Love that!!!


  7. Sophie33
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 02:53:30

    I hope you celebrated a lovely Easter with your loved one’s! 🙂 x


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