Here I am again, folks.
In October 2006 I became editor of a small weekly newspaper in a rural county in Middle Tennessee, some 50 miles northeast of Nashville. I spent nearly five intensely happy years in that little community before I uprooted myself and went to law school for a late-in-life career change.
During my tenure as editor, I wrote a weekly column about pretty much whatever I wanted to write about – mostly life observations. Because much of life bemuses me, and because my columns tended to muse about those things that bemuse me, I called my column Bemusings. People seemed to like it.
I became entrenched in that little community. When you live in a community, go to its county fairs and football games and cakewalk and church services, see it nurture economic hopes and dreams, when you report on its joys and its heartbreaks, its achievements and disappointments, its victories and disasters, you look up one day and realize you’re as much a member of that community as if, like most of its residents, you had been born and lived most of your life there. You’re invested.
But I knew I needed to make some new opportunities for myself, so in 2010 I studied for and took the LSAT and began to apply to law schools. In July 2011 I left Tennessee for Oxford, Mississippi, to earn a law degree at the University of Mississippi. I took and passed the Tennessee bar, and in fall 2014, I came back to Middle Tennessee.
Now I live and practice law in a town between Nashville and the community where I served as editor. I have renewed friendships that never really went away. I am thrilled beyond measure that after living in the alien landscape of a college campus – as a student in my late 40s, of all things – I seem to have picked up my previous life right where I left off, except this time with a more focused career trajectory.
Several people have told me they miss my column. They’ve asked why I don’t start a Bemusings blog. I hemmed and hawed around. At first I was still hunting for a place to live and getting moved and settled. The first year of my first legal job had a pretty steep learning curve. I was recovering from all the upheaval, renewing old ties and forming new ones, and getting to know my new community. Yada yada yada.
But now the time is right, and I am hungry to write again. I called the publisher of the parent newspaper that once employed me and asked, and received, permission to revive the Bemusings title for this space. And here I am.
I’ve spent some time trying to decide what focus, if any, my writing will have. I have many interests, so as this blog evolves, I anticipate that I will write about my ponderings on family life, spiritual matters to do with individual and corporate worship, musical experiences, food, travel, and community.
I write from an emotional place, and in the past I have found that emotional place in me connects with an emotional place in my readers. But I need to write. I need to record my observations about life. I need to write to help me sort through what I think and how I feel about things. I write to process the things I experience and try to learn from them. And with that writing, I need to reach out to see if anyone else can relate. Maybe whatever I learn will make a difference to some reader somewhere.
Back before I had even heard of that little community where I served as newspaper editor, I prayed I would find a position that needed me and what I had to offer as much as I needed it and what it had to offer. I have never, before or since, had a prayer answered any more literally than God answered that one. At that point in my life, the editor’s job fit the bill perfectly. Maybe in some small way this Bemusings blog will help answer a need, too.