As some of you know, I am headed away from the country for a few months and will be less likely to be writing here, although it’s hard to imagine that I’ll be able to completely vanish from writing the occasional post about Montana politics. I’ve been given a rare opportunity to take a semester off, to take a couple of courses, do some research, and begin the process of writing a book. For that opportunity, I’m deeply appreciative.
My trip, as currently planned, will take me to 11 countries in Europe, the most extensive trip I’ve ever had the chance to experience. If any of you have must-see recommendations for any of the “B” cities I am visiting– Bilbao, Bordeaux, Bayonne, Bergen, Budapest, Basel, or Bratislava–or any of the other spots, feel free to let me know.
In the past I have reached out to a number of you about writing guest posts, and I hope you’ll consider it in my absence. Whenever we’ve had guest posts, it’s enlivened the site, and I will be happy to post for you when I have Internet access.
There will be days when I don’t check my e-mail or phone, so if an issue comes up, please be patient. It’s hard to imagine anything that will require immediate attention, but I’ll do my best to respond.
If you’re interested in following my trip or seeing some truly amateur photos, feel free to visit my travel blog, too. It’s located at Quixotic Pilgrim, and I will try to update when I have some time.
Finally, a thought. The last time I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging here, I referenced the novel that has mattered most to me, Tolstoy’s Resurrection. In it, the protagonist realizes that, despite our failure to always sustain changes in our lives, it’s important to try, to constantly make the effort. Tolstoy writes:
More than once in Nekhludoff’s life there had been what he called a “cleansing of the soul.” By “cleansing of the soul” he meant a state of mind in which, after a long period of sluggish inner life, a total cessation of its activity, he began to clear out all the rubbish that had accumulated in his soul, and was the cause of the cessation of the true life. His soul needed cleansing as a watch does.
I’m hopeful this travel and time to get away from the pace of my life here will help me clear out some of the rubbish that’s certainly accumulated. In the meantime, if you all grab a copy, maybe we can discuss it when I return.
Enjoy Montana autumn, everyone, and I look forward to more debate and discussion when I return.