December 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm (Education, The Whim) (, , , , , )

augustinescribeI had great plans for the year 2013.  I do every January.  I make lists, I plan reading schedules.  I try to join way too many book clubs.  I set unreachable goals.  More specifically, this year I wanted to read through Susan Wise Bauer’s Autobiographies and Memoirs list.  It’s about 25 books long, I think, starting with St. Augustine’s Confessions.  It is December.  I am still reading Confessions.

I’ve read Confessions before in college.  It’s not a difficult read, just an important one.  It’s the book I save for early mornings as I watch the sunrise with my coffee.  Sometimes I read it aloud to my daughter over breakfast, a lot of times I hunker down in the early light and keep it to myself.

I’ve been keeping a lot to myself over the past few years, which goes against the very core of my being… or the very core of who I am told I am.  Throughout my life I have been compared to a babbling brook.  Information, life experience, anything goes in… and out it babbles in the blink of an eye.  I come off extremely extroverted to people who know me least.  I find this ironic because I have so much that I don’t share.  I am so back and forth with what feels the most natural (hold it in or spill the beans?) that I have a hard time deciding what teachings are right (hush up and keep it to yourself or Confess?).

After reading The Sparrow and re-reading Augustine’s Confessions in the same year – in the same month, really.  You’d think I’d have something deep and eloquent to say about Confession.  Or, perhaps, you’d think I’d spill out a confession of some kind in this blog post…

All I’ve got for you in the form of a confession is that the first time I read Confessions was during an all-nighter 12 hours before a test for my literature class at a Baptist college.  Note the sarcasm when I tell you the experience was so enriching.

Instead of a true confession, I am reminded of a previous post in which I determined I was not very thoughtful.  Instead, I sit here lamenting the fact that I have hardly accomplished anything I set out to do in January at all.

I console myself by saying, hey at least I got published this year! (Which seems very anticlimactic when your book is not a Steinbeck level masterpiece.)  It might not be the stunning work of art I dreamed about writing since childhood, but people seem to like it and… there’s always next year!

Again, I say that every year.  And thus starts the cycle all over again: A January list of books to read and goals to accomplish.  Stepping stones that I believe will turn me into a scholar with at least half a brain.  I have a feeling I will lie on my death bed at 105 and say to the heavens, “No, not yet! I’ve learned nothing! And I haven’t figured out how to be thoughtful!”  We’ll see.  Visit me when I’m 105 and I’ll let you know.  Even though I’m a woman, I suspect I might have a beard like this guy by then…


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