An email I receive daily linked me to an English writer living in Ireland. His most recent writing project is titled “The Living Water.” He has decided to make his upcoming series of essays free to everyone who visits his Substack.
He supports his family financially with his writing. I love his use of the new platform called Substack. I’m discovering more and more of personal interest there.
I’m mindful of Ireland this morning having read a few more pages in the autobiography I published years ago titled “The Iceman.”
Professor Hughes begins his tale by telling the story of his people, the Irish. I absolutely adore the Irish and the Scots. I’ve got Scottish blood in me. How could I not have with the middle name “Stuart.” That is the spelling of the four 17th century Kings of England. The first of them was England’s first Scottish King James. He’s the one who wrote the Bible (sorry). Additionally, I married a Scot named True.
Europe’s first victim of regicide was the second Stuart king in those tumultuous years that nearly spanned the sixteen hundreds. His head was lopped off by Oliver Cromwell’s religious anti-monarchial puritan movement.
Paul Kingsnorth, the writer of the above linked Substack titled “The Abbey of Misrule,” is a recent convert to Christianity. His writing is refreshingly candid. He is honest. I’d observe that he is “authentic” but that term has lost all meaning in our age of social media manipulation.
I’ll close with a lengthy passage from another essay of his that I read recently.
If I’m honest, I have been struggling with words for a while. I have been becalmed here all week and I haven’t known why. My summer break has probably not helped, but what I want to write about here has been blocking, or perhaps intimidating, me. Always in my life I have written about the world. I’m good at that. I am especially good at writing about what is wrong with it (there is always something wrong) and what, in my Terribly Important Opinion, should be done about the wrongness. I’ve been at this game for a long time and I can do it with my eyes shut now. I can organize an argument over two whole years, and make a case and back it up. For a certain type of writer, this can make a good career. I was one of them once. But it seems like a long time ago now. Now here I am, called to do something else. Here I am, surprisingly and yet not surprisingly, a Christian. It is on the one hand not surprising, because I have never been a materialist; I have always had some intuition of God or gods or spirits, usually experienced for me through the natural world, and I have always been searching for the truth of that, always scanning the horizon for the true harbor. Yet it is surprising too, because I never imagined that, in the words of Seraphim Rose, patron saint of Lost Western People, the truth was ‘a person, not an idea.’