July 27, 2008

certain summers are just in-between. maybe in-between is a bad word for it, because the very feeling of in-betweenness arises from not quite knowing what bookends this section of time, not knowing what’s next. this is one such summer.

i know these summers from my reading habits. the last one stretched from a may college graduation to a december flight across the atlantic to macedonia. and there were the months before cindy and i got married and the summer before starting college before that. i tend to read indiscriminately at times like these. these times are secretly relaxing. i know that from how i read too.

i spent the summer before cindy and i married immersed in blake, perusing bertrand russel, and scribbling poetry in worn out comp books (a habit i have yet to break). the summer before macedonia (i tend to think of all the waiting months beginning in may, faltering and rerouting in october, and ending in our departure on december 6 as “summer”) i read bits of foucault, checked out a medieval literature reader, and studied a primer on symphonic composition. this summer i’m bogged down in charles taylor’s masterful a secular age and barth’s first volume of church dogmatics. in between fruitless go’s at these massive texts, i pound out quick terry pratchett novels or whatever comic books the local library contains.

i’ve also been gloriously enraptured in dorothy day’s the long loneliness. augustine’s confessions topped my ma-comps reading list, undoubtedly the most spiritually-incisive of the texts i read. day’s autobiography rings with the same spiritual-yet-this-worldly tones, the same reflective writing style. one thinks of merton’s seven storey mountain. reading the text is refreshing, a stand-in for hours spent walking a creek or watching the waves roll against the beach. it’s been my respite in this stifling hot city of workaday reality.

to close: a pic of my favorite summer read.

Kierkegaard at the Aegean

Reading on the Aegean