Sunday, April 19, 2015

Book #16: Only the Lover Sings

My reading choice this week reveals another layer of my pathology when it comes to books, this time specifically in acquiring them. I ordered Only the Lover Sings after hearing about it during some podcast interview or another. It clearly struck a chord for me, but I didn't read it straightaway and now I have no memory of exactly why or in what context it came to my attention.

Josef Pieper was a German Catholic philosopher who passed away about 20 years ago. This is a slim volume of speeches and essays he wrote, primarily in the 1950s.

After reading it, I now have my suspicions about why I bought it, but they are many and varied. Which means I'm glad I read it. The essays explored several ideas I've been contemplating, including contemplation itself. Also among them: Working to survive in relation to pursuits that exist for their own sake, the rhetoric of silence, creativity, connectedness, the need for us to truly see what exists--from a perspective rooted in love--if we want the journey of humanity to progress, to transcend. And, ironically, memory.

The challenge in writing a short post about a collection of essays that address a wide range of things is figuring out what to home in on. I took pages and pages of notes, far more than I want to put here.

So I've decided I'll simply share this recent experience, which came to my mind more than once as I read:

When I woke up the morning after we returned from last week's lovely soul- and family-nurturing trip, Roger kissed me. I had been thinking about papers I needed to grade for one job and hours I needed to put in at my other job, especially to make up for the time I'd missed. I started to whine about having to return to "real life."

He kissed me again.

"This is real life," he said. "This is real life."

1 comment:

Louise Plummer said...

Roger knows.