Tuesday, October 14, 2008

an anecdote that will probably interest precisely one reader of this blog

Sophia Hawthorne used to call Herman Melville "Mr. Omoo." I find this rather charming. That is all.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

the radical scaling back of one's expectations

I was in the grocery store a couple of days ago, and was trying to purchase less and get more out of the whole experience. I went ahead and splurged on a very expensive (okay, comparatively speaking) Honeycrisp apple. It was exceptionally good. I'm not kidding around, this apple restored my faith in agriculture, median voters, and the American economic system. I kind of now want to tell everyone who's all tied up in knots over the current world situation: go eat a really good apple, and really concentrate* on it while you are eating it. This little Zen sort of moment will do you a world of good.

* by concentrate on it, I mean really think about everything that has to do with this apple. Hold it in your hand, look at it, think about how it grew, and how you ended up getting it, and feel the heft and weight of it, then eat it slowly and think about the texture and the taste. Okay, fine, make fun of me -- I'll go sign up for an OCD support group now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

apocalypse postponed; what to read while you wait

I have been reading a great deal (which sounds remarkably like "I have travelled a good deal in Concord...") and I can definitively recommend the following for a fine diversion, which might come in handy about now, if you are sick to death of politics and politicking and the Cassandrine wails of the media. Yes, I know that titles of books are to be underlined, but I'm on a clamshell terminal here and that is not working out.

"Uncivil Seasons" by Michael Malone
"The Decameron" by Bocaccio
"The Persian Expedition" of Xenophon (I love the little snarky asides -- like the part where he describes the Syrians as very nice but oddly entranced by fish)
"The Red Book Mabinogion"
"The Normans in Sicily" by John Julius Norwich
"Girls on the Run" by John Ashbery
"Local Wonders" by Ted Kooser
"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski (I know, it's an Oprah, but I started it before she signed off on it)
"Genie du christianisme" by Chateaubriand
"Hymn of the Universe" by Teilhard de Chardin
"Akt und Sein" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
"Isis Unveiled" by Helena Blavatsky (I know, I kept meaning to get to it, and now I did)

books you can skip, if you want:
"Special Topics in Calamity Physics" by Marissa Pessl
"Sweetheart" by Chelsea Cain

This is for those of you keeping score at home. Just doin' my part to keep people reading, in the face of crushing indifference.
Creative Commons License
A Microscopic Cog in a Catastrophic Plan by Laura Lorson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at witheringexhaustion.blogspot.com.