Tuesday, February 24, 2009

At the Kilns: Best laid plans...

Perhaps the cause of my non-existent blogging as of late is because I have not fulfilled any of my “At the Kilns” goals from year end 2008.

What have I been doing? I am still reading the Iliad… My “almost finished” in the previous post was a bit hasty. I am still enjoying the masterfully written epic poem, even though it is incredibly gruesome, especially now that Achilles has entered the battle field. I am truly “almost finished” now.

Another delightful diversion from my reading goals is a UK travel book by Bill Bryson. A dear friend and colleague---also a Brit---gave me this “assigned reading” in order to prepare me for my March Break tour of Britain. The book is entitled, Notes from a Small Island. It is a hilarious and interesting read, peppered with the occasional expletive. Officially, I do NOT recommend the book.

My wife and I have also started reading Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice together. This was an idea that emerged during a particularly cozy and delightful tea time. She has read the Austen books countless times. I have watched the A&E Pride & Prejudice countless times. Now that we are reading P&P together, I can’t believe I settled this long with the mini-series. Oh, what I have been missing!

For school, I am re-reading Old School by Tobias Wolff. A student has "accidentally" picked up my clearly marked and personally annotated copy of the novel. There are no online aids or literary guides available, so I suspect a student settled for Mr. Johnston's notes... I also re-read Euripides' play The Bacchae for my Classical Civilization course. I should really blog about this play sometime. I also saw another Greek play, Medea, by Euripides at the Canon Theatre in Toronto. I should blog about that too... sometime...

My “At the Kilns” reading has been moved to “In the Loo” reading… Christian Reflections… “almost finished”… One thing I have learned from Lewis is that I still have a lot to learn from Lewis. Reading a paragraph of C.S. Lewis is like opening a trans-dimensional worm-hole to another galaxy populated by stars of illuminating insight and planets of "down-to-earth" wisdom. What a gift to Christendom he is. I am really looking forward to visiting Oxford in March; hopefully I will be able to be---literally---“At the Kilns” .

As I near March Break, I need to decide what travel reading I will bring... if I will take a Lewis book or two to wrap up my foray "At the Kilns" or if I am going to begin foraging "At L'Abri"... Perhaps I should be more concerned about what I should pack for clothes... but in the advice of Erasmus, who once wrote (loosely translated from Latin), "When I travel, I first pack my books, and if I have any room left over, I pack underwear and clothes." Wise words.