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Showing posts from January, 2013

Evading Noise, Finding Company

In Shadowlands, a movie about the life of C.S. Lewis, the renowned writer and professor says we read  "to know we're not alone."

I believe this is the truth behind scrolls, books, and the printing press. Perhaps it is not the whole truth behind the creation of their content. Perhaps the truth behind that is that we write and record because we believe we are not alone. How else could we explain the insistent calling to share what we know, to leave it behind for another to discover?

We also read to learn, but I believe Lewis's insight stands behind most reading-to-learn. Whether reading to learn, escape the daily grind, or travel toward wisdom, back of it all we sense that the learning, entertainment, escape, or journey comes from someone else somewhere else. This may also explain why I feel that a room which holds many books welcomes, comforts, and reassures me. (This assumes books with good and honest content. I wouldn't find books by Hitler or Lenin of comfort. On…

Recovering Silence

I spent my Christmas vacation with family in Minnesota. While we have winter in Texas, Minnesotans live winter. In Texas, we can lose--or gain--winter for a few days in any given winter month. Short-sleeves and sandals are often seen in January. The Bradford pear trees frequently bud during a warm week in February. Easter can bring snow and ice. It is very instructive for this Texan to spend time where winter is lived, as well as experienced. I find a calm in winter, a calm not related to the scenery which was, most days, shining white beneath a crystalline blue sky. It was a calm that grew from feeling the "state" of winter all around me, a state that invites stillness and going within.

It was my first vacation in at least 12 years where I did not do any work. It was a time in which I could not only fast from news and media, as I wrote about in the posts listed below, but also delve into silence. To sit in a comfortable, supportive chair by a fire and read. And to sit in tha…