Well, it’s finally come – the end of a long, much needed, and memorable weekend.
Today my family and I went for a walk at a local bird reserve. We’ve been going here for over a decade; it’s like visiting an old friend now. Autumn is the best time to see it, though already a lot of the maples have lost their leaves.
After a short detour through the woods, the trail opens up to the tidal flats, home to plenty of sea gulls, mallards, and Canadian geese. I’ve always thought this looks like something out of Middle Earth.
Though a cold day, it was a great way to unwind and mentally “reset” before the coming week.
Speaking of which, work has been pretty exhausting, and I’m trying very hard to stay positive. Rapid changes and new responsibilities are the challenges right now. I hope things will get easier by January.
To offset the stress, I’ve been alternating between several books:
- The Concept of Anxiety – Kierkegaard, aforementioned
- Open Letters – Václav Havel
- Manalive – G. K. Chesterton. (So far disappointing, to be honest.)
If you’ve never read Havel, I suggest dropping everything (as soon as is convenient) and reading “The Power of the Powerless” which you can find online. Though a political piece, it can be read apolitically as well. It is a call to “live within the truth” – as profound as it is simple, and as terrifying as it is essential. I have started reading some of his other work in Open Letters and finding it just as excellent, so far.
Kierkegaard I shall soon finish; only about 26 pages to go. It is tough to read, because in The Concept of Anxiety he is replying to a myriad of other philosophers (e.g. Hegel) and I am lost most of the time. It seems like a book I’ll want to reread in the future.
I have found one quote I like very much. It’s reminiscent of Myshkin’s “even in prison” quote from The Idiot, although a little less fanciful:
But life is rich enough if one only knows how to see. There is no need to travel to Paris and London – and it does not help if one cannot see.
It’s something I believe in wholeheartedly.