Monday, March 17, 2008

Thinking Again

The other day I was reading through some of my early blog posts. Seems that my two year blog anniversary has passed. Anyway. I was struck by how the posts have changed. Two years ago it seems that I was...well, thinking more. Or perhaps thinking about a wider variety of things. That may not be true; maybe it's just that I was writing about a wider variety of things. I'm not sure. Regardless, reading those old posts and thinking about the things that were on my mind two years ago made me yearn for deeper, richer thinking.

I started thinking about the books I've read recently. They haven't been trashy books by any means, but for the most part they have been practical living sorts of books - books on parenting and marriage and the like. Books with good ideas, but not wholly original ideas, as the authors would lead the reader to believe. For the most part they are rather poorly written and wordy. A well written pamphlet could relay the same information as the 300-page book. They use eight metaphors to explain a concept that is already straightforward and easy to understand. They are tiresome.

I browsed my bookshelves in search of a promising book that I have not yet read. I came across C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce. You really can't beat C.S. Lewis when it comes to originality, good writing, and clear thinking. I had not realized that The Great Divorce is a story. I had thought it to be one of Lewis' apologetics books. I'm sorry to say that it had been sitting on my shelf for years, unread, and then reading it took just an afternoon.

Then I read a few blog posts that whet my appetite for better reading and thinking even more. Bob wrote an interesting post on books, and the post continues into the realm of thinking in general in the comments. Then I found that all of Hansoniana's January posts deal with this issue as well.

I'm sitting here watching a very squirmy little girl on the floor. She has her feet on the floor, her head and hands on the floor, and her rear in the air. "Look, Mommy, I made a tunnel!" My days with this little girl are full. For her, there is nothing mentally tepid about our life. We read a lot of books. We learn about shapes and numbers and motion. We practice pulling up to put pants on and pulling down to take them off. This morning we talked about the difference between a shadow and a reflection as we found our shadows on the ground and our reflections in the puddles. We add new words to our vocabulary (well, to her vocabulary) daily. My husband and I are constantly amazed by how much she is learning, and how quickly. I'm sure all parents feel the same way. But I need to remind myself that an intellectually stimulating day for my two year old can still easily leave my own mind unexercised. That doesn't mean I have nothing on my mind; rather, it usually means I have way too many things on my mind, leaving no time or room to think about any one thing very deeply.

Just something I've been thinking about.

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