September 12, 2011

Friday Musings

Read much of the genteel "Pleasures of Reading in a Distracted Age" tonight. Talk about a singeing remark! The slothful dons of 18th century have nothing on me - they look like ambitious cusses compared to me. That was a bit disconcerting but, on the other hand, one always likes to read about oneself, even if unflattering. The author, Alan Jacobs, emphasizes re-reading, saying that he constantly monitors when he's ready to re-read an old favorite, being careful not to re-read too frequently since there's the law of diminishing returns to reckon with. It reminds me of the pleasure I get from Chesterton and how much I enjoyed the re-read of Orthodoxy. Who knew that I would like a book titled "Orthodoxy" more when I was 47 than when I was 37 and freshly converted? Chesterton is one whose prodigious output makes one feel one always has something new to read. Shakespeare's like that too; you read his whole oeuvre and then you can start over with new eyes. Mental note: read some Chesterton on this vacation! It seems crazy to have to REMEMBER to read one of your favorite authors, but such it seems. I am free as a bird for five days, as free as I ever get, and I hope I make good use of it. Also want to read some Pat Conroy and dream I'm at the beach, sucking down liquor and squashing sand on my soles. Oh sweet liberty, may I read, read like the wind! Cite me for textual inebriation this week.

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Heard some wonderful jazz songs of Champian Fulton (there's a name for ya). She has an amazingly unique and goose bump-y voice, the type that could sing "Happy Birthday" and you'd sit there entranced. I also got the latest Brad Paisley album because I have every Brad Paisley album and even though he's starting to sound repetitive to me, I have trouble passing up one of my favorite all-time artist's work. John Anderson's "Seminole Wind" is playing in my earbuds now and the only song more autumnal is "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald". You'd think I'd want to stiff-arm Seminole, but I don't, I embrace it and turn up the volume. The season is *new*, and there's something exciting about any new season like any new song or book or movie. The desire to be current sometimes outweighs the desire to be where you'd rather be. Or perhaps, deep down, I really do like autumn. It's a season with a sense of urgency about it.

My bibleolatry seems a bit tamed of late by continued readings from Second Chronicles. Not all Bible books are created equal, it would seem to me, and yet I want to treat the whole Bible the same: as if 2nd Chron were the equal of the Psalms. I tend to want to resist a hierarchization of the Bible despite the fact that I'm fine with the Church doing it - she does it by choosing our daily readings. She decides, in her wisdom, which parts of the Bible are most important. And that's as it should be. It's 72 different books, not one book. God is not a one-size fits all God. He's not likely to speak to me as clearly in 2nd Kings as in Colossians.

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