I’m back in Holland. Eileen and I arrived safely at the Grand Rapids airport. She drove home. My sight has deteriorated to the point that when I am tired and it is night it is difficult for me to see the road signs. This is not safe. Eileen was not too tired to drive us home.
I go to pick up my new glasses today. I’m looking forward to seeing better.
I read about a fourth of Al Franken’s new book on the flight home yesterday.
I started Eddie Izzard’s new book but decided it wasn’t that interesting for flight reading. What I need for reading on a airplane is something light that will draw me in quickly and keep me interested. Franken’s book did this. It’s fascinating how he moved from a successful comedy career in writing and performing to being a United States Senator from Minnesota.
It’s also reassuring to read a book by a politician whose politics I largely agree with and approve of.
This morning working on my Greek I realized that I have successfully reviewed my way back to where I was a year or so ago. Now as I begin work on the chapter which uses Plato’s prose I understand the grammar much better than I did. This is good.
I haven’t heard from my boss about the funeral today. I am going to assume that I am not needed. I think she forgot I was on vacation as well. She seems to be stage managing this funeral from Vermont. The funeral isn’t on the church’s calendar. I’d like to sneak over and get some practice time in today, but don’t want to run into a funeral. I emailed the office but haven’t received a response.
In addition to reading Franken, I also started Ursula K. Le Guin’s Words are My Matter. I have admired her writings for years. I had to put her book aside because it was too thought provoking for a mind numbing plane ride.
However, this morning I gathered all the Le Guin I could find to decide which book(s) to take with me to the cabin. Here are a few thoughts from Le Guin that I did digest on the plane ride.
“So long as we hear about ‘women’s writing’ but not about ‘men’s writing’—because the latter is assumed to be the norm—the balance is not just. The same signal of privilege and prejudice is reflected in the common use of the word feminism and the almost total absence of its natural counterpart, masculinism.
“Reading is a means of listening.”
“Home, imagined, comes to be. It is real, realer than any other place, but you can’t get to it unless your people show you how to imagine it—whoever your people are. They may not be your relatives. They may never have spoken your language. They may have been dead for a thousand years. They may be nothing but words printed on paper, ghosts of voices, shadows of minds. But they can guide you home. They are your human community.”
This resonates strongly with me. My human community is not only my loved ones in the flesh but my loved ones who are ghosts, not only voices but voices that sing through the music I love.
Regarding how one reads these days, on paper or on screen, Le Guin observes
The technology is not what matter. Words are what matter. The sharing of words. The activation of imagination through the reading of words.
I love that.