WINTER IS THE season, more than the
others, when Anxiety seems pressed up against my skin. Perhaps reflecting
the lack of external light, the season can feel dark as
I fight off the droning pangs of depression. When I was hunting around
for something lost one gray day in February, I came upon these printed
words written by none other than our editor Arthur Paul Patterson:
Perhaps we can learn at this time to consciously take on a stance
of dependence realizing that we are sustained by the providence of something
greater than our egos."
I stopped, and read it again. It was strangely
enlivening to be reminded that Something Greater sustains me, and by
implication, I am not alone in my struggles in the shadows. I was also
taken aback by the power of reading even of the briefest of texts!
When I allow inspired writing to seep through the cracks of my internal
defenses, a deep thirst in myself begins to feel nurtured. Why is it
that I dont spend more time contemplating that which is Greater
and that which is simultaneously buried within?
for me is learning what others have meant by being human. What are the
myriad of routes, the pitfalls as well as the celebrations, of human
transformation? How is it possible, without pretense, to accept our
natural gifts as well as our striking limitations during our brief time
here? What do cautionary tales say about the tragedies that result when
we fail to come to grips with what, or whom, weve been given?
Reading for me is also about discovering maps that help to chart and
guide my life. By reading about how others have thought and lived, I
start to make the translation to my own journey. Do their maps fit?
Can I identify with others mistakes and triumphs, and understand
others or myself better? Sadly, I admit that often I dont take
the active stance to make the translation consciously enough. I would
rather race to anothers story, another perspective, without dealing
adequately with the revelation in the one just read! Likewise, my skepticism
sometimes makes me too easily dismissive of some books those
that would otherwise be instructive because I can cleverly spot
their flaws. I do know, however, that the process of writing book reviews
(or Book Café recommendations)
is a good way to understand the nuances of meaning that reading carries