As I have said before, my mother was a librarian and her father was a Professor of English, which may explain why I have been a heavy reader all of my life. Even when I was working full-time, going to school for those early classes we all disliked, spending my afternoons in the shop and many evenings in rehearsals, I almost always sat down to read for a while before going to bed. And I might be reading almost anything, from a popular novel to a scholarly study related to Shakespeare. I found it much easier to unwind with a book than any other way.
Unfortunately, my favored position to “curl up and read” has included putting my left ankle on my right knee and placing my chosen material in the lap created by doing so. My recent operation has made this difficult (and somewhat painful) as the force which this exerts on the (newly operated on) left knee has proven to be quite uncomfortable. Hence, I am stuck trying to find a different position in which to read and the mending/healing process has made even just sitting, for the extended periods of time necessary to satisfy my reading habit, difficult. As a result, I’ve been going to bed early, not sleeping particularly well and NOT GETTING MY READING IN!
I realize that I have little to complain about, it the grand scheme of things. I have a wife who dotes on me far more than I could possibly deserve and no serious concerns about access to food, shelter or any of the “needs” of life. What I consider to be fantastic health care is readily available, and museums, concerts, plays, etc. will be/are in the process of returning so that, once my knee is up to it, I can easily have a more than just satisfactory life in my retirement. I just miss my reading. I do get some done, but it’s not enough to be really satisfying!
Anyway, since I’m not reading enough to suit me, I thought I’d do a blog post related to that topic. So, here’s some of what I found buried in my files of “stuff and junk” which seemed to be at least vaguely related to the subject at hand.
I guess that the first thing I should include is this from Non Sequitur; one of my favorite comic strips. I find it probably as least as important as anything else I read on a regular basis. I’ve had this one in the file for a couple of years, but it just might explain how I feel about reading in general:
Getting a hairdryer through customs...
A young woman on a flight from Ireland asked the priest beside her, “Father, may I ask a favor of you?”
“Of course, child. What can I do for you?”
“I bought my mother an expensive hair dryer for her birthday. It is unopened but well over the customs limits and I'm afraid they'll confiscate it. Is there any way you could carry it through customs for me? Could you possibly hide it under your robes for me?”
“I would love to help you my dear; but I must warn you, I will not lie!”
“With your honest face, Father, I'm sure no one will question you!”
When they got to customs, she let the priest go first. The official asked, “Father, do you have anything to declare?”
“From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare.”
The official thought this answer a little strange, so he asked, “And what do you have to declare from your waist to the floor?”
“I have a marvelous instrument that has been designed for use on women, but which, to date, remains unused.”
Roaring with laughter, the official said, “Go ahead, Father.”
I think this explains the concept of “equivocation” both precisely and completely.
In further thinking about reading, I was forced to wonder how much easier so many aspects of life might be if people were simply more careful about reading and following instructions.
Case in point:
In perusing other miscellaneous stuff in my files, I ran across this listing labelled as “Not so deep thoughts.” In reexamining them, I am less sure that the label can be seen as highly accurate.
Not So Deep Thoughts
1. The things that come to those who wait may be the things left by those who got there first.
2. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
3. When you go into court you are putting yourself in the hands of 12 people that weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty.
4. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
5. It is hard to understand how a cemetery raised its burial cost and blamed it on the cost of living.
6. It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them.
7. Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
Just to close things out for this posting, I want to point out that a while ago (December of 2018, I think it was) I ran across an old friend from my distant past when I was something of a “folkie” while I was in high school and college. He was introduced to us by Peter, Paul and Mary along about 1967 and I had assumed that he had retired long ago. Needless to say, when I ran across him just hanging around in the Conservatory at Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens late in 2018, I was a bit surprised, but glad to see an old friend.
In the meantime, take care of yourself,