The Enigma of the Blog Title Explained in Living Color!


Cerulean Sanctum in real cerulean blueEver since Cerulean Sanctum debuted back in September of 2003 (after I put to rest my previous blog started in 2001, The Boiled Frog Blog), at least a dozen denizens of the blogging world have attempted to deconstruct the title of this blog. All have gone down to ignominious defeat in their vain efforts to pierce the veil.

So here today, I lay before you all my entire motivation/reasoning/cunning for coming up with the blog name that confounds the great unwashed, Cerulean Sanctum. I will bust myths, teach the ignorant, and astound the gullible, all from the pinnacle upon which my humble hermit’s office rests, and without so much as a square inch of safety net below me.

Look now to the center ring…!

  • The only Latin I know consists of what Noah Webster tells me. I took Ancient Greek in college and French in high school. I wanted to become fluent in Russian, yet both colleges I attended canceled their Russian programs the summers before I arrived on campus, leaving me scrambling to find another class to take instead. Based on my rusty Greek and my comatose French, I can add the two together with my passable English to guess which words are Latin and which are not.
  • Despite the fact that the only Latin sentence I know is “Et tu, Brute?”—how marvelously appropriate—I did score a perfect score on the Test of Standard Written English on the SAT. I was able to use this perfection to no discernible advantage at either Carnegie-Mellon University or Wheaton College. I am fitfully attempting to manipulate it to my ends now.
  • In choosing my blog’s name, I wanted something with a touch of the exotic, something that if listed in a myriad number of links would stand out and make people say, “What the heck is that? I think I’ll click on it to find out!”
  • I wanted to convey a place of respite, of thought, of camaraderie with Christians who are looking around and wondering how we got to the weird place we are now. I wanted a sanctuary. As a charismatic, I also wanted to maintain an aura of the majestic and the mysterious. Sanctuary became Sanctum.
  • Poetry moves me; I love to write it (even though there’s not a dime to be had in doing so.) As a writer, the lyricism of words stirs me. Something had to come before Sanctum and it had to have consonance and rhythm.
  • I’ve always been the square peg in the round hole and as a result have run afoul of many folks who could never put a finger on me without having a figurative fist do the follow-up. I’ve never truly felt the sting of real persecution like that of the underground churches in China or the Soviet-era martyrs, but I’ve felt enough of the American variant—light though it be—to count it a friend. Persecution passages in the Scriptures move me as a result. In the course of thinking where this blog would go and how it would exist to challenge the Western Church’s status quo and American “easy believe-ism,” the Lord laid this passage on my heart:

    …They shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
    —Luke 21:12-28 KJV {emphasis added}

    Out of the sky He will come and we will enter our ultimate Sanctum. And what is the actual color of that sky? Cerulean—the official name for the blue that encompasses our world.

And so the ne plus ultra of titles had come.

But there is one more interesting piece of trivia. After I had decided on the name, I surfed around to see if there was anything like it out on the Web and I stumbled upon this astonishing piece of synchronicity. So not only did I have a name, but this blog is destined to be the blog of the new millennium!

Now you know the secrets; the mysterious has been unveiled. I hope none feel diminished for want of one more mystery now gone t0 resolution.

With that—and the lateness of the hour—I bid you till another day, Adieu!

{And yes, the image above is done in pure cerulean, being RGB 155/196/226 and HTML code 9BC4E2.}

11 thoughts on “The Enigma of the Blog Title Explained in Living Color!

  1. bob (a.)

    Dan –

    What a neat idea to use a Latin phrase to name your blog and then to explain it to those of us who don’t have a Latin clue.

    It may be of interest that I first learned of your blog yesterday via a post by Adrian.

    After about ten minutes worth of Latin to English the best I came up with was:

    cerula -ae f. [a little piece of wax].


    Thanks for proving once again that the battle belongs to the Lord!


  2. Dan: ��make people say, �What the heck is that? I think I’ll click on it to find out!��

    Now I would have thought, if anything, that the name of my blog, Lunar Skeletons, should have elicted precisely the same reaction. I mean something like: �Lunar Skeletons? What in tarnation are those? I’ll click on this hyperlink and see.�

    But, alas, as far as I can tell hardly anyone bothers to read Lunar Skeletons, despite all the effort I put into it and no matter how tiredlessly I try to promote it.

  3. Jennifer

    Wonderful! That perfect English score has served you very well. My pastor also went to Wheaton College! What years were you there?

  4. Gaddabout

    Hmmmm. Based on your thought process, it’s not a far etymological leap from “Cerulean Sanctum” to “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (a profound movie which I think suggests pain is neccesary to the flesh so we do not take for granted the blessings of love and fellowship).

    I’m glad you took the leap into the blogosphere with whatever title. I would have benefitted from the substance of your blog, under whatever title you’d choose.

  5. Julana

    If Pantone is for you, who can be against you? 🙂 They know color.

    You need to create a profile, enable comments, and link to more people. Adding a photo would help. You have interesting things to say. People have to be able to get a feeling for who you are. Also, they like to feel you are interactive. My humble opinion. I put this here, because I can’t find an email address on your site.

  6. Julana

    I just want to add that the article Moonbones refers to on his site (re razing houses in Africa) was a subject covered on the Urban Cartography blog last week, right after its coverage of the Kelo decision,which Dan covered here.

  7. PurpleMD

    I thought it was from the X Files…there’s an episode where a guy could make people see, think or believe whatever he wanted. He had a police car drive into a bottled water truck by saying that his favorite color was cerulean blue. The brand of water was Cerulean Blue Water.

  8. My curiosity got the better of me on the post that asked the question about the moniker; but I knew there’d be a perfectly logical reason for it.

    Now, when I read about being caught up in Thessalonians, I’ll think of the wild Cerelean Sanctum. 😉

    Blessings brother,

  9. Pingback: Cerulean Sanctum » How to Botch a Blog Transition–In Other Words, Help!
  10. Well, being on slow Amish time has caused me to come late to the discussion. But I’m glad I made it. I have been caught up in the beauty of God’s clouds lately, so this is a very timely subject, personally. I love your title as much as I loved Latin in high school (took an extra year of it for fun). But more than anything, your drawing my attention to the Luke passage as we approach Easter turned on the light switch for me. I had even titled a pic from a few days ago by the closing words. Though not predominantly cerulean, I think it is a wonderful illustration.
    Thanks, and keep blogging.

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