Over the past several days, I’ve been trying to get organized, link-wise. Between two computers and four separate browsers, and the list down there on the right of this here blog here, I had a hopelessly confused mess of links to web pages and blogs. And then I realized that somewhere along the line, I’d lost a pile of bookmarks. So, I did the crazy thing of searching for my blog’s URL and then my name and just collecting all the sites that showed up. That was pretty fun. I was surprised to find that there are so many discussions going on in so many different places which reference or spin off of a post of mine. Every site which has either mentioned my name or my blog is linked to on the right, and then some.

Some recent changes involving some dear friends of mine should be mentioned.

Sister Macrina, for various reasons, has ended her blog A Vow of Conversation. This is for the time being. She is unsure whether she will be resuming it, at this time. Perhaps, if she does, she will publicly explain the very interesting reason that she has done so. I will miss her blog, as she is a delightful correspondent, intelligent and thoughtful, and an informed and close reader. And we are both fans of Fr Andrew Louth, possibly to the extent of waving copies of his Discerning the Mystery at the end of a lecture in order to get autographs. If you’re the praying type, pray for her.

Another dear friend, Esteban Vázquez, has gone through some interesting life changes of his own lately, which I expect he will mention down the road at some point, and which all will certainly wish him well in. And so, not only has he recovered the ability to type, through the purchase of a new computer, but he has moved his blog to a much better platform, WordPress. I’ve used WordPress for several years now, and really like it. The only other platforms I would even consider at this point would be Movable Type (which is not all that interesting) or putting the work into a hand-coded blogging platform, which is just too time consuming. So, WordPress is it, for now. This means, in Esteban’s case, that his blog’s address has also changed: The Voice of Stefan.

The esteemed Esteban, crowned with a veritable cornucopia of erudition (not unakin to this), has also presented his (ahem) long-neglected (and long-suffering) readers, gentle snowflakes all, with a challenge. The one proposing the most innovative theory regarding the identity of the Qumran community will win, from out of the quasi-deuteronomistic blessings of Esteban, a copy of The Bible at Qumran: Text, Shape, and Interpretation. Well, I already have that book. Of course I would. But I want to suggest a theory:

It has been suggested by Yizhar Hirschfeld that Qumran was a farm, perhaps for the production of balsam or palms. I suggest that he is close. Qumran was indeed a farm: a stud farm! The she-warrior Amazons of Planet 13 established a stud farm of human males at Qumran, inculcating them with notions of required celibacy so as to keep them from getting any icky diseases.

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