Two long-time members of Times and Seasons, Kristine Haglund Harris and Melissa Proctor, have decided that their season with this blog has come to an end, and that it’s time for them to move on. This is our farewell to them.
As Kaimi has just noted, there has been from the very beginning a fair amount of political and theological diversity amongst the Times and Seasons permabloggers. Still, one can turn back to January or February of 2004 on T&S, and this is what one would find: eight overeducated white male American lawyers and academics sitting around talking about stuff. When Kristine joined us, she brought with her, and thus to this blog, its first real diversity, as a poet, a mother, a scholar of the humanities, a lover of music and song, a world-traveler, a woman, and perhaps most importantly, a blogger whose writings balanced wit, passion, sympathy, firmness, insight, doubt, conviction, pain, and joy to a degree that, I maintain, none of the rest of us have ever come close to consistently achieving. Don’t believe me? Look here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here. And there’s more where all that came from; just check the archives. For myself, I will remember two posts in particular: “What about the children?”–an impassioned and in many ways difficult post, but one that (as the father of four daughters) stayed with me for a long, long time. Almost as long, in fact, as did “Peter”–a joyous and humbling post, which found the truth of one of the most moving of all scripture stories reflected in the actions of Kristine’s beloved little boy. For all these, and for so much more, we thank Kristine for her time with us, and want her to know how much we’ll miss her (and will continually search the comment box, hoping to see her name again whenever she decides to check up on us and keep us on our toes!).
By the time Melissa became a permablogger, ten months after Kristine, T&S had grown a little, diversified a little, and we were anxious to start expanding in ways we weren’t capable of on our own. Melissa joined the blog along with a host of others, as part of a big line-up change back in November 2004; with her came an economist, a literary theorist, a linguist, and (yes, another) philosopher. Melissa’s training and perspective, her originality and deep learning, and most of all her faith and her questioning (which she always insisted existed in tandem), gave her a breadth in her writing that, at times, seemed to equal all of those others and the rest of us combined. She could easily jump from heavy theological and scriptural reflection (see here and here) to thoughtful treatments of controversial and delicate aspects of ordinary Mormon–and human!–life (try here and here), with plenty personally grounded observations–some whimsical, some deeply moving–along the way (here, here, here, and here). And then of course there is the wealth of academic and intellectual connections which Melissa brought with her: it is due in no small measure to Melissa that scholars like Philip Barlow and Richard Bushman have graced our pages as often as they have. For that alone, completely aside from all the fellowship and great thinking she has provided, she will be greatly missed (and looked for in the comments box, as often as Kristine will be, I’m sure!)
Time passes for everyone, and everyone’s seasons change sometimes. Despite our effort, perhaps partly reflected in our name, to position ourselves so as be able to speak to and hear what all Mormons anywhere may want to know or say about anything, the fact is that we aren’t all things to all people, and never will be. We’re just a blog, folks. But a blog graced, even if only for a short time, with folks like Kristine and Melissa is something special. We’ll miss them both, hope to see them again, and hope all the rest of you will do whatever it takes to remind the rest of us permabloggers to continually strive to live up to the high standard their time here at T&S set.