All of these works I find true and beautiful. Each inspire me in different ways. Some resonate with my deepest longings or sooth my deepest wounds. Others seem to pull me out of myself, while others warm my soul with memory.
I've needed so much hope, and honestly as someone who has struggled with depression for years and then the health issues of the past few months, it's been quite hard. Some of my biggest fears are being forgotten or not believed, of having no voice or significance, of being disposable. That may be rather self-absorbed, but God knows we are dust, and His promises assure us of His faithfulness. The past few months, years really, but especially the past few months have been filled with reminders of Who He Is, that He is the only God, His name is Jealous, and there is no other Savior. He will fight for me (though not always in the way I want). It is as if anything that is not Him, even good things, is being stripped away.
I once read somewhere that Plato said we would not be ready to learn until we were about fifty because that is about the age in which we realize we do not know anything. As much as those in education--public school, private school, home school, community college, and universities--may discuss having a teachable spirit, I have found that those are sometimes the very places in which it is the riskiest to admit that you do not know.
The next day, I had my students write journal entries (funny or personal—their choice) based on the following prompt:
I just wish (insert a person here) would understand…
I thought I would provide a list of books that have been helpful to me as I continue on my journey in humane learning.
Over the past fifteen years the devotional and literary aspects of my spiritual life have taken different forms...
The week following Fall Break, I read selections from Books I and IX of Paradise Lost with my students, and it struck me how Satan appeals to Eve by focusing on what she can do to better herself.
One of the best ways to put off writing is to read about it.
And at the same time, we all need to be taught. Continually. Or, perhaps more accurately, as Lewis recalled Dr. Johnson saying, we need to be reminded.
In this spirit of procrastination, learning, and remembering, I would like to recommend ten books for writers plus three new ones from my "to read" list.
I remember being in about fifth or sixth grade when I first realized that I was reading multiple books at once (and thinking that maybe it wasn't such a good idea.)
One of my favorite stories has become Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I first met Alice a few summers ago when I learned I would be reading Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There with my eighth graders. Naturally, I thought Alice and I might need to become better acquainted. Sixth months later, I adapted both novels for the stage (with a greater emphasis on Wonderland and a few beloved scenes and characters from Looking-Glass), using Martin Gardner’s annotated version.