Sancta Sanctis retires on 17 Feb 2010

7:30 p.m.

One of the blogs I regularly read is Sancta Sanctis by Enbrethiliel. She writes well and it shows in her prose. And blogging is writing at most edited once. How much more would her words show when she writes for a living, when she writes for the sake of writing–that search for the perfect word, phrase, sentence, and paragraph that ends up, after one night of sleep, deleted and sent to trash, so that what is left is the perfect prose, clear, precise, unencumbered, as perfect as diamond. I haven’t yet drooled while reading her prose as I would while reading Fr. Horacio de la Costa and J.R.R. Tolkien, but I admire her upbeat mood, her frank speech, personal and profound.

When Enbrethiliel announced that she is retiring Sancta Sanctis on Feb 17 for good, many of her readers felt sad. But parting is part of life. They help us prepare for the last parting at death. The parting of a once close friend who forbids you to contact her forever and continues to think ill of you–such a parting is worse than death, and the wounds in the heart remains fresh for years, which only time and God’s grace can ever heal. On the other hand, parting of a close friend who is forbidden to contact you, but continues to think well of you and pray for you–such a parting is a parting of joy, a parting that is not really parting. It is a communion. A communion of the saints.

But writing is a tough job and I saw that it already took 30 minutes to write up to this point. That is one paragraph per 15 minutes. If the average number of paragraphs in Sancta Sanctis is ten (10), that means Enbrethileil took two and a half (2.5) hours to write one blog post. If she rewrites it, that would take another hour. That is three and a half long hours.  In Biblical terminology, that is “times, time, and half a time.” But I think she is the sprinter type, typing the words as fast as she can, then edits her piece as fast as she can. I am the plodder type. It takes an hour for me to write a satisfying paragraph, on the average, after all the revisions and merciless pruning. But for this piece, I won’t prune much, as I watch the clock ticking by. I am now on my 45th minute in writing.

What shall I say? Sancta Sanctis is dead! Long live Sancta Sanctis? Writing a graceful ending is difficult. And I don’t know what Enbrethiliel has in mind for her last paragraph, for her last word. The end counts. Strunk and White said that we must place emphatic words at the end. St. Ignatius said that in all our actions, we must always keep in mind our end. When we die what will people say of us? When we meet our Creator, what will we say to Him?

The clock is ticking. I have shown that this piece of writing takes an hour of blogging time. That is why most bloggers copy and paste articles from other bloggers to save time. And I also do the same, to save my energies for important writing pieces. And I think the end of Sancta Sanctis is worthy of my writing time. The clock in my computer says it is few minutes before 8:30 p.m. It is time to stop. But I still have a few minutes to write my last words:

Farewell Sancta Sanctis. Fare thee well.

8:30 p.m.


About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

2 Responses to Sancta Sanctis retires on 17 Feb 2010

  1. Enbrethiliel says:


    This is a beautiful tribute, Quirino. I’m very touched. Thank you!

  2. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    You’re welcome :)

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