May 28, 2007

Various

I’m jealous of my wife's simplicity. Sitting in the living room enjoying the restful earth-tone squares of the rug and the tranquil mason jars of seashells on the shelves of the entertainment center I recall how much she appreciates the natural world and accepts it as a blessing. Animals are seen as proof that God exists; dogs are "angels in fur suits". She lives in the moment much better than me, better able to forget what she could be doing at any given moment. A bumpersticker I can relate to is: “I’d rather be reading” but for her there’s a sense in which she’d rather be doing what she’s doing. Which is why it’s so hard for her to leave a given activity for an ostensibly better one. She’ll work late because she’s in the moment. She’ll be reluctant to drop the chores in the yard for dinner even though the chores can wait. She has no trouble separating out the strands of others’ failures, financial, moral or otherwise, from her life. She’s sympathetic and will do what she can but by living in the moment she feels no guilt for the blessings she's received. You ask how the saints enjoy Heaven while others are in Hell? She has found it - by living in the moment.

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My favorite bible versions o'er time:

Pre-College & College: New American Bible
1997-2003: New Revised Standard
2003-2007: New Jerusalem

Ranking of Interest in Various Civil War Personages:

1) Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
2) Robert E. Lee
3) William T. Sherman
4) Jefferson Davis
5) Abraham Lincoln
6) James Longstreet
7) U.S. Grant

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Been reading spiritual books but as a foil “And Then It Came to an End”, a comic novel about work, but hardly the sort of yearn-fiction I yearn for. The sort of lyrical fiction that you save for an uncluttered Sunday afternoon -- for those peaceful, locked-in-the-book-room days of yore. There a contemplative spirit that springs up on you unawares. After three or four or six hours you’re in a different world.

I haven’t been able to find quite the right book lately. Modern fiction leaves me cold. There’s a warmth and aura and lyricism to Isak Dinesen’s fiction and non-fiction. Warmth and a lack of pretense is what is so appealling. Who would write a “Babette’s Feast” today? Modern fiction is coldness and pretense, though I do generalize.

I’m going to read some Philip K. Dick soon. I hear he has lyricism and Bone swears by him.

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