Turn and face the strange.

You ever feel as if you’d had to face the strange just one too many times? I love that line from David Bowie’s song, “Changes.” Since 2008 I think I’ve done nothing but exactly that.

At the end of summer that year our daughter had just graduated from college and our son from high school. I anticipated down time and uneventful days. Then in September of 2008 the economy crashed, and the bottom began to fall out of our lives. My husband’s new business stalled out, and despite our efforts to keep it going he had to shut it down. I know others faced the same strange as businesses closed and empty store fronts multiplied.

We moved towards the end of 2009, and looking for work became a full time job. If you’ve been there, then you know the up-and-down disjointed journey of resumes, applications, and interviews. We went to workshops to sharpen our job seeking skills, and became experts at shuffling paragraphs in cover letters to match qualifications to job openings. Competition was stiff in our town, and it was a long slogging haul with some severe—to put it mildly—disappointments.

Blogging became a work at hand that I could do. I’d blogged with groups at a couple of political sites, and in 2010 I started a site for Christian women. In 2012 I started Upstream Politics because I love history and I went to college with the Left back in the late 60’s–early 70’s so I know some of what they’re up to now that they wear suits in D.C. I’m also a wife and a mom, and since the home front is where hot spots can be hottest in politics, I thought I had a few things I could say.

There was wear and tear. Dealing with tough issues is one thing, and doing it while my husband and I were looking for work is another. Meanwhile our kids plugged on. Our son went through college on a scholarship, worked part-time, and was a teaching assistant. Our daughter worked at whatever she could find to do. Some people helped and encouraged and were invaluable to us as a safety net, and some were not—again, to put it mildly!

Boston Marathon route 640pxIn May of 2013 our son graduated from college, was commissioned in the Army National Guard, and was married. In June he and his new wife moved to another state and he began a new job. After months of interviews, in July my husband began a new job in another region of the country, and we moved from the Southeast to the Southwest—from the Sunshine State to the Lone Star State. He was there for several months before I was able to join him in November. Our daughter’s job underemployed her, and she came in December just before Christmas to see what the Southwest had to offer. After making it past Heartbreak Hill in our personal Boston Marathon, I was exhausted when we crossed that finish line.

A few weeks ago I read a post written by William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection on blogger burnout subtitled, Please don’t let me be that person. Two paragraphs he included from a previous post started me thinking.

Independent conservative bloggers are a dying breed, I’m sorry to say. They either burnout, or they join an established website.

Yet the walls still have to be guarded by independent bloggers who bear a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom, and while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, you want us on that wall, you need us on that wall.

When I started reading and commenting on blogs over ten years ago there really were more independent bloggers. Not only has there been burnout, but I’ve noticed there’s a gap where the walls are breached and few are there to build it up and guard it. You can find bloggers on the right who speak to abortion, education, economics, foreign policy, and the encroachment and expansion of government, but the weakest spot on the wall is marriage.

Most of the blogs I’ve seen that defend marriage are part of organizations. Larger blogs on the political right seem to have mixed opinions on marriage, and at some the dominant voice belongs to those in favor of redefining marriage. Blogs persist in calling themselves conservative when there’s nothing at all conservative about jettisoning the millennium old understanding of marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman.

As I mentioned two years ago I’m not an academic or attorney, but I do have the perspective and experience of many years of learning to love and speak the truth as I grasped the nettle of controversy and disagreement over the homosexual lifestyle. I learned my brother was in the gay lifestyle in 1975, and I spent twenty years until he died of AIDS in 1995 loving him and trying to understand him. Through his suicide attempt in the late 70′s and through the death of several partners to AIDS he knew that I deeply loved him. In the midst of a liberal family, this conservative, evangelical woman was the one to whom he turned in his times of trouble.

After his death I didn’t expect to return to this particular debate, but because of those years I know the importance of truth, and I know there are consequences of going with the easy flow and not considering the rocks and rapids you’ll hit downstream. His death was twenty years ago, and so the years now total of forty during which I’ve been thinking and reading and talking about the lives of those who experience same-sex attraction. I can give you those years.

Another change here is a new look for Upstream Politics. It was time for an update, and I wanted a theme that would be responsive to whatever device you’re using to read, whether mobile, tablet, or desktop. I’ve moved a few things around, and added some links in the sidebar to new people I’m reading. The photo of the River Wharfe in the sidebar is now also the background. I put the photo of the toddlers playing hopscotch as a continual reminder of Sir Francis Bacon’s words:

Yet it were great reason that those that have children, should have greatest care of future times; unto which they know they must transmit their dearest pledges.

We are stewards of our present time because of our children’s future times.
Boston Marathon route: © OpenStreetMap contributors. (CC BY-SA 2.0).


6 thoughts on “Changes

  1. Greetings,
    Since this is the first post appearing after “June 20`12” … I have to ask, “Did you ever finish the “Catechism on the Constitution” posts ???

  2. Hi Matthew,

    Thank you for reading and commenting. There was a delay in your comment posting because I have to approve the first comment anyone makes. Subsequent comments will then post.

    No, I didn’t finish the series. I’ve recently thought about going back to it in the hopes that with present events there would be more interest in it. Thank you for reading it, and please let me know if you’d like me to get started on it again. If you would, I’d also appreciate your letting me know why you’d found it interesting or helpful.

    Thanks so much!

  3. YES, please finish it !!
    The other online pdf versions are all to difficult to read for my old eyes, like scans of ancient writings. Additionally, your collating efforts keep the subject matter easier in a flow of study. Thank You very much !!!

  4. I understand. Some of the scanned old books online are gems, but very difficult to read.

    I will work on getting it started again. I may be slow because I fell in early March, and I’m currently recovering from two broken arms. I use my phone mic a lot because I can’t yet spend a lot of time on my computer.

    My apologies again for a comment delay. I forgot that several months ago I had changed the comment approval process. I’ll try to get it back so that you’ll be able to comment easily. Just bear with me please.

  5. Ok. I think I’ve figured out what is going on with the comments. Because your last username was different than the one in your original comment it was held in moderation. If you try keeping the info the same as one of the approved comments, that should work now. I hope!

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s