Friday, December 28, 2012

January: “The Chance You Had is the Life You’ve Got”

A blog (web+log) is fundamentally a journal, or should be, or must be if you have as few readers as this one. So during the last four days of the year, I thought I would read over my blog for 2012 and cull moments that still matter to me, and remember them, and use them as springboards for moving forward.

Twelve months, twelve moments, and twelve resolutions, sort of. Let all the resolutions be little things, not men flying tricolors from barricades, but gestures, gazes, songs.

In January, in training for the Camino de Santiago which I would begin with Marian in May, I was home in Massachusetts with Katie, reading a book that moved me as few have.

The book was Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry (pictured above). It is the fictional narrative of a married woman looking back on her life.

This is the post.

Here is an excerpt from the book.

The chance you had is the life you’ve got. You can make complaints about what people, including you, make of their lives after they have got them, and about what people make of other people’s lives, even about your children being gone, but you mustn’t wish for another life. You mustn’t want to be somebody else. What you must do is this: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks.” I am not all the way capable of such, but those are the right instructions.


Here is my resolution: To read a book aloud with Katie this year. Maybe Hannah Coulter.

2 comments:

  1. All right, you got me. I had already resolved to read more and read better, and Berry had long been on my "someday, maybe" reading list. So, I'm starting with Hannah Coulter. I've already placed a hold on the book with my local library. Should have it in my hands within 10 days.

    This line is what grabbed me, "What you must do is this: “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks.” I am not all the way capable of such, but those are the right instructions."

    I know I am _not_ capable of such, but that admonition is a theme I keep bumping up against.



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  2. EPG, You won't be disappointed. And after you finish Hannah, you'll want to read "Jayber Crow" by Berry as well.

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