Yes, it's been a long time since I updated this blog. The truth is, I spent a long time mulling over whether I should keep going with it. It's been going for a good few years now and its readership has remained at the same level for a lot of that time. Very few other blogs or websites link to it (though I don't actively canvas these). I do have a lot of fun-- an enormous amount of fun-- writing it, but that's not all a good thing as I am tempted to put too much energy into it, to the detriment of other important things. The GK Chesterton Society has been on ice for far too long now, and the success of the Belloc Society has shown me what is possible in that regard (and I do think such Societies are important).
I also had a personal tragedy in my own life recently, which has obviously taken my attention off other things.
I told my wife Michelle that I was thinking of giving up the blog, and she counselled me very strongly to keep it up. So that's what I'll do. (My wife has an uncanny knack of giving the best advice.)
I also learned this week (and not for the first time) that the blog is read more widely than I suspected. Readership statistics and volume of comments don't paint a full picture, as I realize from time to time but always seem to forget. I appreciate everyone who reads, and I pray for them.
So, this is just to let the world know that this blog is not a dead blog. There's life in the old blog yet, to misquote an Irish song. But it will probably take me a little while to get back into the swing of things.
(Incidentally, I have been rediscovering Chesterton. I've noticed a regular pattern whereby, every once in a while, I begin to find his idiosyncrasies and hobby-horses and mannerisms irritating, and stop reading him. Then I pick up a Chesterton book and all the love and affection and gratitude I feel for him comes flooding back. I was reading the Autobiography recently-- a book he finished weeks before he died-- which I'm beginning to think is even better than Orthodoxy, which I've long considered not only my favourite Chesterton book, but my favourite book of all time. The Autobiography is more intimate and mellow-- all the enfant terrible provocativeness of Orthodoxy has been left behind. In fact, I find later Chesterton much mellower and generous and deeper than early Chesterton, despite the common claim that he was a shadow of his former self after his breakdown during World War One.
Why are an old man's reminiscences considered to be so proverbially dull? To me, nothing is more exciting than to hear an old man reminisce. I love to listen to my own father's memories. I guess it has to do with our lack of appreciation for old age. Rather than valuing old age, we try to deny it. Why should sixty be "the new forty"? What's so wrong with being sixty? Or seventy? Or eighty?)