First Things links to an article in support of leisure. It's said that it's a mark of civilization decline that we can't find enough things to fill our time without work. It's a new thing, the article says, where we don't have the capacity for play, for spontaneity, but instead engage in passive consumptions to fill time, like watching tv, listening to the radio, etc... Although it seems like we've been declining for quite awhile since Baudelaire said more than a hundred years ago that work is necessary to avoid despair and boredom. I wonder how much of the cause is as simple as our preference for sedentary activities. We've evolved to run long distances, being made to outrun prey not in terms of speed but endurance.
Summer is in full swing. Blogging grows light, I grow fatter, and sobriety grows scarce. It’s a good thing. Peter Leithart on the author of summer, Ray Bradbury:*"He is at his most exotic when exploring the mysteries of a summer evening in a small midwestern town. Streetlights blink on, fireflies flicker over the yard, cicadas and crickets chirp in the warm air. As you walk down the sidewalk, you can hear the clatter of dishes through open kitchen windows, the creak of swings and rocking chairs and the murmur of the men sitting in the yellow dome of light on the front porches, a whiff of tobacco smoke hovering overhead."
Recently been fascinated by the deutercanonicals, specifically ol' Ben Sira. Bought "An Introduction to the Apocrypha" by a Protestant writer, an impulse purchase if there ever was one. But I'm fascinated by that period between the end of the OT canon (Malachi) and the beginning of Christ's time. Those three centuries have a lot of things going on in them, and it's worth seeing the context of the Jewish state of mind leading up to Christ.
Me Glad I'm Not in Ireland:
"Feelin' hot, hot, hot!" So goes the ultimate cruise ship hymn, one that I feel juiced by only retroactively. When the song is playing in the hot sun under a "cabana" of drinks, it strangely seems trite or forced, a sort of "mandatory party". But now, thinking about it, it makes me feel good remembering the music and wishing I were there NOW, celebrating, and feeling the RARENESS of being inside one of those special 2 vacation weeks a year, 2 out of 52, that great 4%. How often do I really feel the heightened moments of that 4%? A much better question is how often do I feel the heightened moments when receiving the Sacrament?