Monday, August 18, 2003

New Beginnings

The Aerie is now up and running.

I have wondered for a while whether I would ever really blog. Part of me thought of blogging as not much more than simply unbridled narcissism: the construction of journal entries which people used to write in the hopes that one day, posthumously, these reflections and observations would be read and appreciated and the sagacity of the author acknowledged.

Then there's the other part of me which acknowledges that blogging may in fact have some inherent intellectual virtue. It allows a greater opportunity for reflection on issues which I might only think about in passing and not take the time to actually pursue; the chance to even open a dialogue and have my own observations challenged (and thus refined); and, the historian-archivist in me acknowledges that as I am beginning my formal seminary studies, it would be an interesting way to track my own professional and theological growth.

But this, of course, leads to the real conundrum for me -- I am a person who, by virtue of entering seminary and ministry, is going to become a form of a public figure, whose faith and philosophy are now being exposed to the world -- or at least select portions of it. Do I really want my "inner workings" thus exposed? I have enough sense of personal and professional boundaries that I am likely to err more on the side of discretion than inappropriate self-disclosure; but will i be so concerned about this that i'll offer little more than "I have a test tomorrow and i'm tired."?

We'll see. Seminary begins officially this Friday, August 22, with my orientation at Wesley Theological, where i'll meet the class of incoming M.Div students from a variety of denominations, and where I'll likely gauge the demographics, and wonder how strongly i'll have to play the role of the token progressive Christian/liberal religious/queer seminarian.

And away we go!

Friday, August 01, 2003

About Peregrinato; or, Who is James Estes?

Preamble. I like weird words. Words like paean and irenicon. I don't have a favorite word, but I am rather fond of defenestrate. You don't get to use a word like that an awful lot. I know a lot of weird shit. I am a walking compendium of trivia.

Beliefs. Hardly complete; quite heterodox. Christian in orientation; Unitarian Universalist in approach and denominational affiliation. I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe in the final reconciliation of all souls with God. And that's the closest to a confessional statement I'll make right here, right now. (Note, canny reader, that I've only stated belief in, not a doctrinal relationship. My Jesus is prophetic; my Christ is mystical.)

Vocation. I am a minister in formation. I'm not sure what form my ministry will take. Maybe counseling. Maybe spiritual direction. Maybe teaching. It is quite possible that my teaching ministry may be manifested in theological librarianship and bibliography. I do believe in the call to ministry, and I do believe I have been called to ministry, even if I am struggling to discern how my skills best fit that call.

Interests & Activities. I am a geek. I confess that too. I like comic books. I like science fiction. I like computer games. I like reading HP Lovecraft and RE Howard, in spite of their florid prose. I love the writings of Tolkien. They are grand and epic and rich and nuanced. They are not mere fantasy; they are mythopoesis. If you think they're mere fantasy, you're wrong. The are filled with numina and grace. And I heart CS Lewis.

I enjoy the creative endeavor. I dabble in photography and drawing. I enjoy writing, and have written quite a bit. I believe that even academic writing must flow; the quality of one's words are not limited to a particular venue. Choose your words carefully; use them well.

Education. I have an undergraduate degree in Religion from The George Washington Univeristy (GW). I have graduate degrees in Library Science (Catholic University) and Counseling/Human Development (again, GW). I am pursuing a graduate theological degree at Wesley Theological Seminary. I anticipate at one point in the future I may do a doctorate in spirituality or pastoral theology.

Classification. I can be cross-referenced under the following descriptors, if you were so inclined: Christian; Unitarian Universalist; seminarian; XNFX; writer; reader; artist; counselor; teacher; geek; bibliothecary; thanatologist; contemplative; pilgrim; eccentric.

About the Blog
This blog began in August 2003 as "The Aerie" on, on MovableType. MovableType turned out to be fairly powerful, but a bit more convoluted for my present needs. I moved the blog over (experimentally) to TypePad, but I was not persuaded. I experimented (even more briefly) with iBlog, but I was horrified. The blog continued with Blogger (as "The Aerie", with marginal activity) on my occasional domain, In March 2005 I moved it off my domain to blogger, and changed the name to Peregrinato.

Why Peregrinato? I am entranced with pilgrimage--as activity, as spiritual act, as metaphor.