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Showing posts from November, 2018

Top Ten Classic Friendships

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Haven't participated in Top Ten Tuesday in a while, but I'm excited for this week's topic: top ten platonic relationships from books.  Families, friends, and mentors - classic literature is chock-full of great examples!

Davey Balfour and Alan Breck Stewart from Kidnapped (Robert Louis Stevenson) - I have to reread this book every so often.  I just love the complex dynamic between two friends who have such different backgrounds, views, and goals.Gandalf and Pippin from The Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien) - Another duo who don't get along too well at the beginning - Gandalf, the no-nonsense wizard, and Pippin, who is just a bit clueless.  Nonetheless, when push comes to shove, they're on each other's side and find common understanding.
Mudpuddle, Jill, and Eustace from The Silver Chair (C. S. Lewis) - Probably my favorite group of characters from the whole Narnia series!  I admir how they're all three loyal to each other and their quest.  Maybe less real…

Nature Walk + Thoughts for the Week

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Well, it's finally come - the end of a long, much needed, and memorable weekend.

Today my family and I went for a walk at a local bird reserve.  We've been going here for over a decade; it's like visiting an old friend now.  Autumn is the best time to see it, though already a lot of the maples have lost their leaves.




After a short detour through the woods, the trail opens up to the tidal flats, home to plenty of sea gulls, mallards, and Canadian geese.  I've always thought this looks like something out of Middle Earth.




Though a cold day, it was a great way to unwind and mentally "reset" before the coming week.

Speaking of which, work has been pretty exhausting, and I'm trying very hard to stay positive.  Rapid changes and new responsibilities are the challenges right now.  I hope things will get easier by January.

To offset the stress, I've been alternating between several books:
The Concept of Anxiety - Kierkegaard, aforementionedOpen Letters - Václav…

Reading, watching, and writing updates

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Reading
Something not immediately evident from this blog is that I'm a recent "fan" (for lack of a more precise word) of Soren Kierkegaard's writings.  His book Works of Love changed my life in 2016, but being so profound in topic, it was not a book I felt comfortable writing a review on.  I did review Fear and Trembling, though once again, not delving too deeply as I felt myself inadequate of completely analyzing it. 

I approach philosophy as outsider, not from the "ground up," so many cross-references are a bit lost on me.  However, there's something addictive about Kierkegaard in particular that makes the struggle worthwhile.  It's like listening to the ramblings of a friend who would be incredibly obnoxious if he weren't so incredibly brilliant, even obviously to outsiders like me.   


The Concept of Anxiety has sat on my bookshelf for a while.  Right now I'm going through a great deal of anxiety (though not the worst I've ever experi…

Pe Ell's Polish Pioneers

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What was life like for the Polish immigrants in Pe Ell, Washington, one hundred years ago? As told in the words of their descendants today, this book preserves their experiences; their joys, their sorrows, and their struggles to make a better life for themselves and their families as they assimilated into a new country and became Americans.
I stumbled across this book at the thrift store this past summer: Pe Ell's Polish Pioneers by Leo E. Kowalski.  It seemed really obscure but I decided to give it a try.  Lately I've been hankering to learn more about local history, beyond Lewis & Clark and Captain Cook (though their stories still excite me), and I've been interested in Polish history since encountering pieces of it in college courses.  The lesser known episodes of history are my favorite, so I thought I might like this one, which takes place in Pe Ell, WA, just two counties south of Seattle.

The story begins with an overview of Poland, ca. 1900.  The once-power…

Lord of the Flies Revisited

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However Simon thought of the beast, there rose before his inward sight the picture of a human at once heroic and sick. Earlier this year, I considered the question "What Is a Classic?", in part as a mental exercise and in part to determine what I could reasonably talk about on my podcast.  With a detour to Ishiguro, my general conclusion was that classics are determined by the culture, and as "the culture" in a generic sense becomes surpassed by infinite subcultures, the classics will eventually consist of whatever disparate books are revered by those subcultures.

If you're still with me... I didn't really talk about the books I, as a subculture of one, consider to be classics.  If I created a personal list of classics, it would not be equivalent to my "axes" or favorites, though there'd likely be some overlap.  I guess that's because I see the former list evolving as my values evolve, and the latter list comprising fixed milestones.  Any…