Should I share my reading list, which surprised me both in size and depth? Of should I tell you of the nearly calamitous error I almost committed (AGAIN) and left me wondering what sort of Freudian hangup I have?
Well, when it comes to books I was surprised that I had read as many as I did, because it seems I never have time to read books. A quick count of those I have read since arriving here, an arbitrary line but clear, lands at 8 a year roughly. Not enough of course, but I favor fat ones - The Odyssey, Theodore Rex, War and Peace, Les Miserables, Grapes of Wrath. Or chewy ones - Aquinas's Logic, Paradise Lost, the Will to Believe, Confessions of Augustine, Christianity and the Social Crisis. Gary Dorrien's three volume history of liberal theology was both fat and chewy.
There were a few fun ones - February House about the bohemian Brooklyn digs where Auden and Britten and Gypsy Rose Lee and others lived during WW2. I indulged all of Patrick O'Brian's sea stories. Pollan's Omnivore's Dillema and H. L. Gates' memoir Colored People, and Ambrose's Undaunted Courage which is about the Lewis and Clark journey. For some reason I read a first person account of man who moved to a small town, very small, hence the title, POP. 485.
Most were classics in their area - Thucydides, Voltaire, Kundera, Waugh, Wolfe, Fennimore Cooper. Or about momentous subjects - Mozart, Beethoven, the Holocaust, Joseph Priestley, The Civil War, Krakatoa, women in the Developing world.
And it pleases me that I can remember so much of what I read.
Which brings me to my near calamitous mistake, and its antecedent. Let me start there:
A year or two ago we arrived a day late for my annual convention of co-religionists. This is a highlight of our little band of eccentrics, being spread so thin across the land. For some reason I mis-remembered our hotel reservation by a day so that when I arrived it was gone. Because it was a convention, there was not a local room to be had. I was livid, at myself, but livid.
This evening, as I began to assemble all the data for this year's late June event I was utterly startled and then horrified at myself again, because in my head it was a week later than it was. Yes, a whole week. Yesterday in plucking weeds I disturbed an ant's nest. They immediately swarmed and swirled and looked quite agitated and frightened. That's how I felt this evening.
I shall adapt of course, and all will be arranged, but my trust in my own mind is measurably less. For someone who usually plans travels very well, though, that I have twice made errors for this one trip makes me wonder a bit. A third error on a similar professional trip - again a scheduling mistake that cost a night's lodging - gives me pause.
It is after nine p.m. now, and my new practice is to read a psalm in English and Hebrew (halting and partial) and then meditate for 15 minutes. Having made such a mortifying confession I will now go do that.