Yesterday, my friend Brett left the book he is reading on the seat of his car – The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley. Just seeing that title made me realize that lately – maybe for the last month or so – I’ve been reading only “light” books. I miss some of the heavier stuff.
I love a good, straight-forward novel. (I’m enjoying Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah for the simple pleasure of the relationship between the two protagonists). But some days, I really want to read a book that I can only absorb in tiny bites, like great cheesecake.
Poetry is perfect for that, and I did just finish Head Off and Split by Nikky Finney this week. That book broke open the rigid parts of me and left me baffled, breathless and changed.
But still, I’m looking for more reading that engages my pure intellect, I guess. Maybe I’ll have to try The Plague Year by Umberto Eco again. I started it last year and then just got busy with other things. Or maybe I”ll plow into purely academic – I’d love to find a great book on pacifism and faith; I haven’t read one of those for a while.
My fear – just a tiny, baby fear – is that I’ll look that mental sharpness I had in school, that ability to engage in an argument just for the sake of trying and testing ideas. I don’t want to lose that for it is as much a part of me as the emotional, relationship-oriented part. I’m a brain and a heart. But lately, I’ve been doing a lot of heart-focused reading, and I miss the mind-focused options.
What I know this morning, on this gorgeous day here in Virginia is that I’m craving something that wrinkles my mind a bit. Any recommendations?