In The Beginning
My sister and my mom often tease me about the literature, especially poetry, I enjoy reading. They are very literal individuals and get frustrated when I attempt to list reasons to begin reading poetry. When I say, “Choose an image from the poem,” I am met with, “Which image? I don’t get the poem. Why do I have to choose an image?” So we do not get very far in our fostering-love-for-poetry lessons. Although I tease my mom and sister about their lack of love for abstract and obscure poetry and prose, I often find myself hurrying past form, meaning, metaphors, and imagery in order to be finished with my own reading. Lately I have needed a reminder of why I love reading. My aunt happens to be quite well-read. When I was growing up, she made certain to quiz me on the books I was reading in school and introduced me to books like A Confederacy of Dunces and plays such as Romeo and Juliet. We didn’t just read together, she wanted to talk about them, and we still make references to books that we have read as if they are great inside jokes. Years after she helped to develop a love for reading in me, my aunt is developing a love for reading in my cousin. She is homeschooling this year and my aunt is choosing to assign books which go along with their history lessons. Naturally, I asked for the list and am reading along. This is spawned from pure laziness—I get to discover and re-discover classics without doing research or spending time deciding which books to read. Right now my cousin and aunt are studying colonial history, and so we are reading Elizabeth George Spear’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond
. I’m having a difficult time putting it down! My point is not that we should burn our Boethius, Sidney, or Sartre books on literary criticism (insert sarcastic tone here) because I know that all of you are reading these right now. I am merely pointing out that sometimes, it is good to read the books that we first fell in love with and which originally fostered our love for learning. Try it, and when the next Ruminate
arrives in your mailbox, I promise that you will have a greater understanding and appreciation for the gorgeous writings included.
Whitney Hale serves as a reader for Ruminate from 2007-20010. She received her BA in English from Liberty University and is currently working for the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She writes in her free time for a few organizations and is a strong believer in the reconciliation of people from all places, races, and backgrounds. She is still madly in love with her high school sweetheart whom she married at the ripe old age of 19 and they have two toddler boys who are 19 months apart.
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up. We don't allow comments that are disrespectful or personally attack our blog writers.
Also in Ruminate Blog
I love that idea, that we are pilgrims on a journey through time. I love that we humans try so hard to find our places on that long road. And I love that you and I are ineffable, numinous pieces of some great mystery we will never fully understand.
I wake with a kind of jolt in my stomach: I know where I am, but I do not know when I am. When in time am I? Are my children both sleeping in the other room? Will I hear their small feet pattering on the floor as they come in to wake me? Will they tumble into bed with Eric and me?
As a witness of thought, it struck me deeply that I must be something much more than what had been running through my mind. I was so identified with thinking that I truly mistook thought for who I was.