on rest & russian literature
A few weeks ago I approached the daunting task that is Russian Literature. I have a very hard time focusing and sitting still, so I knew that 800 page novels would be pretty difficult for me. I asked Anna if she would be willing to let me read to her in order for me to focus and stay awake. Our frequent reading times allowed us to truly grasp the text, and, as my Professor would say, to simply "Listen to the music of the music". The speed of the eye (the speed of light) is much faster than the speed of sound. While working through some dense chapters of The Brother's Karamazov, we entered into some amazing conversations and discovered things that reminded me how important literature is. I also learned that when I am out of breath from reading (which happens pretty quickly), it is nice to simply sit and rest. Although I am still learning about and attempting to master the discipline of leisure, and usually resort to sending emails, these times remind me to stop doing and start being. Here are some images from today. The first thing I noticed about my new room is how much I loved the natural light. I plan on capturing it as much as possible this year. In regards to rest, here is an excerpt from Wendell Berry's, "A Timbered Choir", in which "he asks us to recognize the private life of the poem. These Sabbath poems were written 'in silence, in solitude, and mainly out of doors,' and tell us about 'moments when heart and mind are open and aware'"... I hope that I can learn to take rest more seriously in the midst of such a busy year.
The mind that comes to rest is tended
In ways that it cannot intend:
Is borne, preserved and comprehended
By what it cannot comprehend.
Your Sabbath, Lord, thus keeps us by
Your will, not ours. And it is fit
Our only choice should be to die
Into that rest, or out of it.