Things i’ve been reading over the last few weeks:
David Eagleman’s Sum: Forty tales from the afterlife has been filling my imagination with ideas of heaven [note: i don’t actually believe there’s a heaven, but i’d love to be proven wrong]… I’ll write more about this when i’ve finished it, but in essence it’s not a book about heaven, but about being human now.
Chris Baker’s The Hybrid Church in the City I rarely read christian books anymore – they don’t make me think enough in the areas i need to think about at the moment. I do try to read at least one a year to keep my hand in though – and a bloody good choice this turned out to be.
Jeremy Denk’s blog… it’s ostensibly about classical music, but like Eagleman’s book above, is really about everything else
The year of practical thinking: learning one new thing every day
[i’ve realised i like reading people who learn, not people who know stuff…]
Things I can’t wait to read:
Mark Vernon’s How to be an agnostic
Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes
I’ve been thinking a lot about writing. For some reason I’ve had a number of people asking over the last week why I’m not writing for the paper at the moment – mostly it’s because I added another whole massive area of work to my already existing work last year, and I needed to focus all my thoughts and energy to do that justice. It was timely, though – I needed a break from always having an opinion. And I think, if I’m honest, there’s another reason that i’m beginning to understand: the stuff I most want to write at the moment is not easy to read; I know that the way I use language is too fluid to not be misinterpreted, and I can’t bear for where I am to be misunderstood.
I started a piece last night with the words ‘I don’t doubt. I simply don’t believe’, but no matter what 800 words follow that to unpack it, people will simply read those first words and respond to them – to correct me, pray for me, advise me or interpret me. I know I live much happier without anticipating or receiving those interventions… A wise lecturer once told me to always discard my first paragraph and to simply start with the second, and I’ve spent a lot of time doing that over the last few years. But I just feel like this is the time to honour the first paragraph for a while, and that it might be best if I do that in silence.