I really have no idea what I’m going to talk about. I have been going through ideas all morning, trying to determine which one to choose, and I can’t seem to get plugged into any of them!
A bit frustrating.
I could talk about the weather.
It’s cloudy today and supposed to hit 80 degrees, but it sure doesn’t feel like that now. I am wearing a wool shirt, over a long sleeved t-shirt and am comfortable outside. The forecast did not predict rain, but it sure looks like rain from the North.
I was just thinking about writers who have influenced me. And even though I have read Classical and English and American literature while at the University, my favorite writer is a contemporary one — the one who lived with the guy who wrote Catcher In The Rye, JD — a book I have picked up twice and never been able to finish. I hear it’s about his breakdown, but I just can’t follow the route of his disintegration, the disintegration of his psyche. And yet, Salinger produced an American Classic.
Well he lived with a woman who was much younger than him for a number of years who was a talented columnist. I remember reading her columns when I was about her age, and marveled at her ease with the language. Simple and clear. This is not to say that she did not follow Classical Principles when she wrote. After all, who is more simple than Plato? And yet to try and read him leaves you scratching your head. So simplicity comes in various forms. I personally like fluidity and the simplest language possible.
For me, that represents the ideal.
But hidden behind that simplicity is a larger truth. Something that lights up our mind. And beckons us to respond: Why, yes!
Ask big questions.
Imagine an 8 year old asking —during a tour of the church with the priest —what would happen if God died. Instead of engaging me in a theological argument, he dismissed my question and told me not to think that way. God never dies, he said. But that answer was not satisfactory. It ignited Doubt in me immediately. I did not accept his response as appropriate. The question was clear enough. Now was the time for discussion, and not the disintegration of an 8 year old.
Yep. That’s just one episode that was influential throughout the rest of my life.
It’s amazing how intelligent children are.
They certainly don’t get enough credit for it!