Madonna and Child

This past year, most of my scarce scraps of writing time have gone into revising a novel, which is currently in the hands of a small number of potential agents and even a potential publisher, though I’m sure I’ve jinxed myself by saying so. I have been writing a few other things, which I usually try to update here and on my Facebook page, and I’ve largely abandoned my guilt about not writing more here, because that guilt is a self-generated thing, insofar as you’re probably getting along fine without so many original missives in this space, and my blog doesn’t really care, so long as I keep feeding coins into the hosting-fee meter so it doesn’t disappear into nothingness. Which means the only one who feels bad about not being that once-or-twice-a-week-essayist we all used to know and love is me, and it’s not guilt so much as the ongoing consternation about what my brand should be and my platform and other words that suck the soul from a writer as soon as he casts his thoughts in their direction.

The point is, I’ve written something perhaps you might like, and though it begins with the escapades of a particularly famous mononymous star, it wanders its way toward, in that fashion of mine that some of you like and all of you not reading perhaps don’t like, this season in which we find ourselves. Here’s an excerpt:

If hell is absence of the heavenly then we’re wallowing in it. Percy labeled it a disease that “eats to the marrow,” and surely that is us: marrow-rotted and common as dirt, leaning Godward when it suits us or when we have no practical alternative, but always with the intention of making him relevant, as if what pleases us is what’s divine, as if we got here first and he is the one who ought accommodate himself to us, as if we are owed.

You can read the rest here, if you like. And even if you don’t like, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, or a passable Christmas, or if nothing else, an abatement to whatever burdens happen to be weighing you down these days.