I, Jonathan Erdman, spend summers working in McCarthy Alaska, a town at the end of the road. Winters are mostly for daily writing, travel, and spending time with my family in the little community of Felton in the Santa Cruz mountains. I am currently working on my first novel, which is set in Alaska.
In all of my writing, I try to write with a beginner’s pen, which is another way of talking about what Shunryu Suzuki called “Beginner’s Mind,” the mentality of approaching something in a fresh and new way, of letting go (as much as possible) of biases and fixed ideas. For the beginner, Suzuki said, there are many possibilities, for the expert there are few.
I have been experimenting with the internet for many many years. This blog is the most recent experiment. I do some free writing in the morning as something of a warm up for my “real” writing, and I post it here, mostly unedited. I like a prompt of some sort for this free writing experience, and usually I use a quote, and usually this quote ends up being a biblical passage taken from the daily readings as followed by Episcopalians and other Christian denominations. (I use the king James version of the daily bible readings, basically because it uses words like “Yea” and “hath” and phrases like “saddled his ass.”)
I use the Bible as a prompt because, for better or worse, the Bible might possibly be something that I know more about than I do anything else. (It’s a long story.) While it is true that blogging so much about the Bible has negative ramifications, I do it because the Bible is about faith and Christianity and religion, and since it’s about all those things, it pretty much covers everything between (and including) heaven and hell, the whole damn spectrum of life and love, of death and destruction, of gods and men. To me that makes Bible both very interesting and very human. Human, all too human. And it is my goal to blog about the human experience, to try to capture in language the kernel of a few of our ordinary experiences and their extraordinary consequences.