Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reading and Writing and Gratitude

It's easy to get too busy to read, and too busy to write.  My sporadic blog posting reflects the cycles of the academic year: some times I'm full of time to post and full of ideas for writing; other times, I'm simply too busy to write.  Those too-busy-to-write times seem to come more often than the other times.

Still, I make myself promise to write -- books, articles, reviews, essays -- as a means of self-discipline.  If I'm reading, I'm learning.  If I'm writing, I'm learning even more.

But I am busy.  So all this posting will do is acknowledge the giants upon whose shoulders I have been sitting this past week: Plato's Phaedrus; Augustine's City of God; Mooney's Lost Intimacy in American Thought; West's Prophetic Fragments and American Evasion of Philosophy; Apuleius' De Deo Socratis  and his Asinus; a handful of Rorty's essays; Royce's Problem of Christianity; a handful of books on environmental philosophy (trying to sort out both some ethical issues and the practical matter of next spring's syllabus!); and, as always, a smattering of Peirce.

No, I don't usually read quite that many books in a week.  (Actually, I think I'm leaving out a half-dozen or so - oh, yeah, there was some Rauschenbusch in there, and some Martin Luther King, too.  Lots of social and political thought about religion, politics, freedom, and creativity, mostly.)

Last week was a marathon of reading and writing.  The result was a book chapter and sketches of about ten other articles.  Not sure they'll all get written - I only have so much time, remember?  But the most important part of this has been not the words on the page, but the way those words have served as a tool for thinking.  For that, and for the life that allows me to do that at all, I am very, very grateful.