Changing Times, Passing Seasons

July 11, 2006 | 22 comments
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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.

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22 Responses to Changing Times, Passing Seasons

  1. Wilfried on July 11, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Thank you, Melissa. Thank you, Kristine. I came aboard after you, not knowing about blogging, but you set unforgettable examples that helped me grow into this peculiar environment. Not without its challenges, but always fascinating.

  2. Kaimi Wenger on July 11, 2006 at 3:56 pm

    I have really enjoyed the time Kristine and Melissa have blogged with us. I still distinctly remember the first few times each of them commented, and I thought “wow.” They’re top-notch bloggers, both of them, and stand-up people and great friends as well.

  3. MikeInWeHo on July 11, 2006 at 4:39 pm

    Your kind words a while back meant a lot to me, Kristine. Thanks for contributing so much to the very interesting and useful conversations that take place in this forum.

    Just read your bio for the first time and realized we both lived in A2 (and I suspect around the same time). No wonder you are so cool. Did you attend the ward that met in the huge old Institute building there? Go Blue!

  4. danithew on July 11, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    Kristine and Melissa, sorry to see you leaving T&S. I hope we’ll still spot you in the ‘Nacle from time to time.

  5. J. Stapley on July 11, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    Actaully danithew, you’ll note that KHH is still a perma blogger in the nacle.

  6. Aaron Brown on July 11, 2006 at 5:59 pm

    Kristine, does your departure from T&S foretell your retreat from blogging generally, or does it merely suggest you will be maintaining a smaller, more selective list of online associations? :)

    Aaron B

  7. Kristine Haglund Harris on July 11, 2006 at 7:47 pm

    Russell, I want you to write my eulogy when I die–you’re eloquent and exceedingly generous!

    MikeInWeHo–I was in A2 from 92-94, and again in 96. And yes, I did go to the Institute Branch on Hill St. Good times!

    And yes, Aaron, I’ll still be blogging at BCC (or, most likely, feeling guilty for NOT blogging at BCC!).

  8. Kevin Barney on July 11, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    Russell, a wonderful tribute! Thanx.

  9. Melissa on July 11, 2006 at 9:37 pm

    Such bounteous plaudits are certainly undeserved, Russell. I too would love to have you write for me, but I don’t want to wait until I’m dead! Instead, my first thought was how I could include a letter of recommendation from you in my dossier.

    All of you permabloggers have influenced me more than you might now imagine and I will miss the behind-the-scenes interaction that had become part of my daily routine.

  10. Jim F. on July 11, 2006 at 10:16 pm

    I’ve appreciated Melissa and Kristine for the humanity of their writing, a humanity that includes the tenacity to speak up when it would be easier simply to stay quiet. Thank you.

  11. chronicler on July 12, 2006 at 12:02 am

    I echo Jim’s comment. Your voice has been missed for quite some time Kristine. I very much enjoyed your posts, and your ability to stand strong in your convictions. Melissa, your posts have been intriguing for me as well. I appreciate both of you.

  12. D. Fletcher on July 12, 2006 at 8:58 am

    Kristine’s posts here and *there* have been transforming experiences for me, and we became good friends. And Melissa attended one of my blog parties and became a friend too. I will chase after both of them online, of course.

  13. Adam Greenwood on July 12, 2006 at 10:05 am

    Good-bye, God bless. Stop by. We’ll miss you if you don’t.

  14. Russell Arben Fox on July 12, 2006 at 10:44 am

    Kristine, Melissa: thanks, but rest assured, I meant and believed every word I wrote. You both will be greatly missed, and whatever contributions you may ever feel inspired to make here at your old blogging grounds by way of comments will be a cause for celebration. (And Melissa, if you ever wanted to try to cook up some arrangement wherein you need letter describing your involvement in “inter-ideological religious dialogue,” I’d write one for you in a heartbeat.)

  15. Frank McIntyre on July 12, 2006 at 10:49 am

    I was going to say that I’ll miss you, but I hope ya’ll will be around enough that I don’t need to. Thanks for blogging with us!

  16. Julie M. Smith on July 12, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    Best wishes, ladies, and thank you for your many positive contributions to T & S.

  17. Nate Oman on July 12, 2006 at 1:21 pm

    Kristine & Melissa: Thanks for blogging at T&S and good luck with other adventures. I look forward to reading your thoughts when you drop by the comments.

  18. Kristine Haglund Harris on July 12, 2006 at 1:33 pm

    Frank, it’s spelled y’all!
    ;)

  19. Silus Grok on July 13, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    Fare thee well, indeed… thank you for your generous spirits.

  20. Frank McIntyre on July 13, 2006 at 12:47 pm

    “Frank, it’s spelled y’all!”

    Not a chance. Were you raised in a barn?

  21. Jordan on August 3, 2006 at 8:24 pm

    Love the deference being paid to Michigan here…

    Looking forward to reading more Kristine over at BCC and elsewhere.

  22. Kristine Haglund Harris on August 3, 2006 at 10:00 pm

    Frank, not raised in a barn, but I did go to public school in Tennessee…