I started my week with fruit strewn all over the kitchen counter. The onions and potatoes were in their usual bowls, but ripening bananas and pears were just laying around and the kitchen felt chaotic. A friend of mine contained it all in a pretty white bowl and order descended. Why didn’t I think of that? I’m usually quick to containerize.
It’s amazing to me how quickly the atmosphere of our home falls apart when chaos reigns. I live in a normal house with normal humans. Shoes and jackets are left in living room regularly. There are often dirty socks under the couch. Random glasses sit around. Things pile up until I deal with the mess or make other people do it. I’m the one that is actually bothered by clutter, but everyone else appreciates the absence of clutter once it is gone because the room feels more peaceful.
Another way to care for my mind has been to avoid reading the reports of sensationalist media. I’ve long read news from multiple sources, but following @allsidesnow means that I can get the news from left, right, and center all in one space. Of course, they are still choosing what to show me, but at least it’s easy to find them all. Also, @sharonsaysso is a breath of fresh air on the internet, discussing issues in government in a way that explains the thinking of multiple viewpoints. She makes me think that Americans aren’t as far from agreement as it seems, but that we are being intentionally divided by sensationalist media. It’s easy to act on emotion instead of facts. Finding the facts allows the engagement of rational thought.
John of Damacus, a seventh century scholar, monk and Eastern Orthodox priest, writes
“Nothing is more estimable than knowledge, for knowledge is the light of the rational soul. The opposite, which is ignorance, is darkness. Just as the absence of light is darkness, so is the absence of knowledge a darkness of reason. Now, ignorance is proper to irrational beings, which knowledge is proper to those who are rational.”(quoted in Mangalwadi, The Book That Made Your World 86)
Obviously, I read a lot. Reading grants me both Truth and new information, delivers new ideas (or new views of old ideas) for me to think on, or gets me lost in another world for a few minutes. If I walk by myself, I listen to an audiobook. I read myself to sleep at night. I read for a half-hour in the morning, and I have a book in several strategic locations in my house that make it as easy to pick one up and read a few pages as to scroll through Facebook or Instagram. And Saturday morning is for reading.
BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK
I didn’t read all of each of these books this week. I read FROM all of them. I finished one (noted below). *
- Madeleine L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet (beautiful; I’m savoring it slowly)
- Francis Schaeffer’s The God Who is There (review of the history of Western Civ and philosophy)
- Vishal Mangalwadi’s The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (such an intriguing work. Completely worth the time and maybe free from Audible?)
- Yairah Amit’s Reading Biblical Narratives: Literary Criticism and the Hebrew Bible (Jon recommends; I’m not far enough in to know what I think.)
- Matthew Pollard’s The Introvert’s Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone (Obviously… two introverts over here are learning marketing.)
- Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, which has been making it into our pastor’s sermons this month
- Willa Cather’s Death Comes to the Archbishop (finished; recommend)
- Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace (via audio, but I have a pretty copy)
- Schweikart & Dougherty’s A Patriot’s History of the Modern World, volume 1
*All links are Amazon affiliate links.