Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm continuing on my Wendell Berry stint with Andy Catlett: Early Travels and a book of essays called Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community. I have nine or so books from two different libraries. I'm really having trouble with reading library books. I am going to have to make a choice: either buy my own books so I can mark in them freely or make liberal use of a commonplace book. I'm torn because I really like the idea of copying all the quotes I like and having them conveniently in one place, but I like the ease and speed of underlining and notes in the margin.

Another library book I'm reading is Hold On To Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. Tim's Mom mentioned this on her blog starting here with this post. I just got it last night and already I've been struggling with the miles of underlining I want to do! While Ford was getting ready for bed last night I was reading excerpts out loud to him because this book was full of things that he always says. So far, I can't see that this book was written from a Christian perspective. I think that makes it more interesting because it looks at the historical shift that has taken place in the last fifty years and its consequences. I'm just starting with this so you may hear more from me on it later.

Isn't it funny that your reading material can affect what you notice? Ford and I want away last weekend for our anniversary. One morning we were traveling around looking for arts & crafts stores in the mountains when I saw a group of guys standing around a tractor. It looked like they were working on a fence. Formerly, this scene would not have received a second thought. But this time I noticed the age range of the men and there were young and old working together. I noticed their smiles. It made me think of my readings from Wendell Berry, how the agrarian lifestyle kept the community working together. Suddenly a scruffy group of farmers looked beautiful to me. Instead of everyone segregated into their own activities, they were all working together, probably talking and joking. I could imagine they enjoyed a sense of belonging to something greater than a small peer group.

Add my readings in Hold On To Your Kids and I can not help but mourn the current state of our society. Even our churches. Recently our church moved all of our highschool kids across the street to a college building for their own church service. Up until this point the kids eighth grade and under were in their own programs but the highschoolers had no other alternative to the Sunday morning meetings. This change really grieved our family. Thankfully, children are not forbidden from being in the service so our children are not affected. But that still doesn't quell our grief over the system as a whole.

I'm sure I will have a lot more quotes and comments in the future but Annalise has set up the Settlers of Catan game so I must go now. To be continued....

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