Some of you may be aware of this already, but many may not; in a few weeks, I'll be joining the faculty of the Chesterton Academy in Minneapolis as their teacher of art. Huzzahs all around!!
We have been (quietly) making preparations large and small for months and will be moving from the Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas to semi-temporary digs in Andover, MN on August 1st. This will be just about at the middle point between the Chesterton Academy and my wife's new job (hurray!!), about a half-hour commute for both of us.
This is all tangentially related to my (still somewhat painful and awkward) withdrawal from the Catholic Blogosphere and what I know must seem my inexplicable abandonment of The League of Bearded Catholics project.
Oy. Please suffice to say that even as an active blogger, I was pretty guarded about my personal life, and some of my reasons for leaving TLBC and Old World Swine in mothballs (for now) are personal and would be difficult to articulate fully. It came down to weighing my various duties before God and having to make hard choices. I simply bit off more than I could chew all at once. Something had to go, at least for a time. I'm truly sorry to all those I may have confused and disappointed in that process.
After some years of fitful career struggles, God simply dropped the positon at the Chesterton Academy into my lap. Okay, maybe it wasn't as out-of-the-blue as all that, but it was rather sudden.
I had been working at making a transition from commercial art to fine art (painting), and after losing my last full-time job (a pretty decent gig), had made a semi-conscious decision not to commit myself deeply to graphic art so that I would be able to walk away more easily when I needed to. This meant taking on a high volume of simple local freelance jobs for pretty low pay, which kept me very busy and very stressed, seeing as how we were nearly always broke. I don't think I could have taken on another corporate position and kept my sanity (such as it is). One has to pretend to care deeply about too many trivial things, and I'm just approaching that age where I can't pretend to care.
You just never know what may happen at a Chesterton conference! At the 2011 Chesterton Conference in St. Louis, I brought some prints of my artwork to hawk between presentations. One thing, as they say, led to another, and next thing I knew, I was sitting at Dale Ahlquist's kitchen table, talking about art and Chesterton and life and stuff through a lovely haze of pipe smoke. Once you see Chesterton's walking stick in person, there's no turning back.
Oddly, events have turned out so that I will have to miss the 2012 Chesterton Conference in Reno in a couple of weeks. We'll be unpacking right then.
We covet your prayers. See you around Minneapolis!