First of all, does anyone have a catchy title for what is becoming a regular Friday feature of what I’m reading, listening to, and thinking about?
Secondly, the books: I’ve finally gotten into The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, by Rod Dreher. It’s a lovely book, though I found the first three chapters very slow going. And I’m really grateful for Andy Crouch’s Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power. I will blog at length about this one in a few weeks when I finish, but for now I will simply highly recommend it. I started listening to Bossypants by Tina Fey. It’s good. I don’t love it. I’m kind of wishing I’d just gone with another Anne Lamott but Audible books are so dang expensive I feel kind of stuck with this one. I suppose it might also tell you something about my sense of humor that I laugh more to Anne Lamott than Tina Fey. But there it is.
And third, a few articles:
“Does our #culture have an unhealthy relationship with porn?” #DonJon#FantasyvsReality http://ow.ly/pnN6x@verilymag (Um, yes, and this article/review of Don Jon discusses that unhealthy relationship well)
Finally, an article from First Things on the “work-life” balance, especially for women, No Happy Harmony. I recommend reading the article in full, but here are two paragraphs from it that have certainly given me much food for thought as I try to work through being both a part-time writer and a part-time stay-at-home-mom:
Parenting requires ignoring for a time the individual quest for self-perfection and excellence and focusing instead on the needs of another person. This can be done only in what Pieper calls “leisure.” He does not mean inactivity or the absence of responsibility but the setting aside of goals, which is the condition of attention and activity that isn’t striving. In leisure we are available, disponible, which is why Pieper uses the term as a synonym for contemplation…
But, if I am right, these two endeavors require different orientations of the self, and we simply cannot approach marriage and family in the spirit of achievement at all. If we try to do so, we will find ourselves frustrated and conflicted. For well-behaved or smart children are not markers of our success; children are ends in themselves, to be loved and cared for as individuals. They need from us something other than our talents; they need us, full stop.