Making the most of it

The translation of One of Us that I was working on was basically finished after only 3 months. This surprised and delighted me a lot, because it is only half of the 6 months that I previously thought was an ambitious schedule! But I’m not publishing it yet, because as I said it is for my grandmother’s birthday, so it’ll premiere in July. Again the translation led to some very minor improvements in the original English text.

If I can translate Sermons at such speed, that implies I should be able to have a translation of The Love that guides Humanity ready in July as well. But instead I have broken ground on the fifth Sermon, working title “The Signal and the Voice”.

We’re led through this experience
by rhyming poetry.
It’s time we get a real sense
how leading comes to be.

How games of words our species plays
and thoughts that they disclose
let us collaborate in ways
no other species knows.

What’s interesting about this is that I know I have bits and pieces for the fifth Sermon stored away somewhere from years ago. But I have forgotten what they contain! This gives me a unique opportunity for collaborative writing with my past self, which I’d like to make the most of. So I decided against looking at these bits and pieces for now. I have instead started “from scratch” and at some point, maybe one of the times I’ll surely get stuck, I’ll look at my previous self’s ideas for inspiration.

It’s an experiment. Right now I don’t know yet if this will only slow me down. But I’m hoping it will combine the benefit of starting from a blank slate with the benefit of having some work done already, without the danger of having old clutter impair the most creative part of writing a Sermon. And it would be a way to draw some benefit from the length of time this project is taking. If the experimental result is positive, I’ll probably do a similar thing when I get to Sermons six and seven.

Inspired by a few good friends, I have renamed the German “Sieben Säkulare Sermone” into “Sieben Säkulare Segungen” which means “Seven Secular Blessings” — so it’s not a literal translation, but it works better, because while the word “Sermon” does exist in German, it is rarely used, and usually in a derogatory way. I don’t know when I’ll get an opportunity to read the German translations publicly. But when that happens, I hope the improved title makes the thing marginally more attractive.

On the side, I am preparing new YouTube videos, with better audio, and with images for people who don’t feel like closing their eyes. This part is slow, because I don’t have an established workflow for it and because I haven’t set myself a deadline since it seems strictly secondary to writing the actual text.

Overall I’m happy with my progress over the last few months. The rest of my life continues to be very challenging. But at the same time, I very much appreciate that this is one of the good times in this project. It’ll pass at some point. But I’ll enjoy it while it lasts, and try to make the most of it.