Count Fenring

One of the might-have-beens | countfenring@protonmail.com

Writing generally, and a blog particularly, has always been a source of a great deal of conflict for me. I go through this cycle of being super excited about it (usually when I start a new one) and then inevitably get overwhelmed with a combination of self-consciousness and ever-expanding focus.

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From the “quixotically optimistic” files, comes someone who made up an entire language in the hopes of allowing communication without nationalist baggage. It kinda worked, too.

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This quote has stuck with me for years, and I wish I could remember where I heard it:

It's only technology when it breaks.

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Note: this is intended as a “clarify where I am” rather than a “I'm for sure right and you should believe me.”

It's taken for granted that there is a conflict between science/reason and spirituality/religion. Note that I didn't say “faith” here, as that's kind of a different thing. Instead, I'm referring to the step before faith, what makes us willing to take that leap to begin with. Even then, we should be more specific about what we mean by “faith,” since someone can be atheistic and still have faith in things (and ultimately even atheism requires faith of a different sort).

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Strange though it may be to say on a blog, I've been having a hard time finding a good journaling setup. As much as I enjoy writing here, I'm also not trying to dox myself if I can avoid it.

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It is unsurprising, I'm sure, but I really love writing. I'm not really clear on why. I have a fairly boring and unchallenging job in a word factory, requiring that I write all day. But writing on my own is still something I want to do pretty much all the time, whether at work when I should be working (like right now) or once I'm done.

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There's a great scene in The Wire where a supporting character named Walon is talking to Bubbles, a homeless addict who works with the police from time to time. Early in the show, Bubbles dances with the possibility of getting clean.

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Despite coming up in a nominally Christian household, my relationship with Scripture has always been a tenuous one. It was never a big part of my spiritual upbringing, and our not-even-sporadic church attendance didn't do much to change this. As I got older and started seeing more and more of Christianity's public life, there was little to change my mind. More often than not, the Bible was being used as a bludgeon. Meanwhile, I was generally used to doing my own thing, and nothing had come along to make me consider doing otherwise. Plus, when I thought about reading the Bible, it was always with the idea of finding ammunition of my own, and I could certainly find better ways to spend my time.

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Every time I think I have a handle on how my brain works, I learn something new. I keep trying to find some overarching theme, one single metaphor I can use to get a handle on how it's broken. But the problem comes from thinking of mental illness as something separate from me. Breaking an arm doesn't mean it's suddenly not your arm.

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