In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?



kitchen therapy and giant bookstacks (along with the rest of life)

These days are filled with many things: catching the last of the sun before sunny October turns to slate November (both of which I adore); reading all over the place (I'm currently reading ten books that I can think of at the moment); journalling off and on, writing where I can; working with food as always--for health and wellness, for relaxation and therapy, for creativity and pleasure; studying French; singing; oh and of course Work--the work with the title, aka being a barista--wherein I care about coffee and people a lot and get paid to wake up really early.

This yoga video I did yesterday, is just exactly right for tired and working me, who didn't feel like doing yoga until I had (finally) pushed play, and my hands were anjali mudra (at the heart).

And this one I did today is, I feel, the essence of yoga. Where the difficulty comes (the stretch, the effectiveness and challenge) is all in the breath, the stillness, and how you hold yourself.

Today, as I cooked up some Tom Kha, I watched youtubes of Nigella, which I find equally relaxing and inspiring.
Here's a delightful one.

Here's such a good article I read this week (thanks for passing these along Mama!)

Oh and look at this beautiful opportunity!

Bible   (always. but more exciting every day)
Lord of the Rings (Lothlorien currently)
Orthodoxy   (Chesterton, a reread)
The Woman Who Smashed Codes   (nonfiction)
Life Together   (Bonhoeffer)
A Gentleman in Moscow   (Delightful)
French Women Don't Get Fat    (inspiring)
Fablehaven   (a loan, 'try this!')
Summer Lightning   (because, P.G. Wodehouse)
Magnus Chase: Ship of the Dead   (on my phone-kindle, Rick Riordan ftw)

Literary Divings

These days I stay at work after I clock out to stay in the working zone and use the energy that I've developed over my busy hours. And I like the atmosphere. The regulars are all known to me, and even those I am less familiar with I feel a human connection to because of their patronage. Strangers and acquaintances are likely to stop and inquire what I'm studying, all spread out across tables, and friends are likely to stop for conversation. Rarely is the distraction too hard on concentration, so I enjoy stopping to talk. It is stimulating, often encouraging. 
The other day a man, pausing near my table, noticed my copy of Orthodoxy by G.K.Chesterton, and asked if I was a fan. When I said I was, he asked if I ever attended the Chesterton Society meetings, or if I knew they existed. I said it sounded familiar, but I had never gone. He told me about it; and when he found out that my studying was voluntary and not assigned for school, he said, then I should definitely check out the Chesterton Society. I found that delightful and encouraging somehow.
Above is pictured my current stack of reads. I've just finished Death by Living, and am working my way through the others. Orthodoxy, as well as DbL, are rereads. The Woman Who Smashed Codes is a new non-fiction book, and delightful so far. As I read, and listen to lectures on C.S. Lewis and writing, (and read about the reformers, look up music and topics that I've thought of between times)... I take notes, and copy down quotes, doodle, list, and journal. Here are some excerpts from that notebook.

"No man who values originality will ever be original. But try to tell the truth as you see it, try to do any bit of work as well as it can be done for the work's sake, and what men call originality will come unsought." CSL

"You cannot produce rational intuition by argument, because argument depends upon rational intuition." CSL

"Until you conquer the fear of being an outsider, an outsider you will remain." CSL

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." -Jesus

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." -Jesus

"And the curious disappearance of satire from our literature is an instance of the fierce things fading for want of any principle to be fierce about." GKC

"These tales say that apples were golden only to refresh the forgotten moment when we found that they were green. They make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water." GKC

"Meaning is the antecedent condition to both truth and falsehood." lecture by Michael Ward

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle

"It is very hard for a man to defend anything of which he is entirely convinced... that very multiplicity of proof which ought to make reply overwhelming makes reply impossible." GKC

"In life and art both, as it seems to me, we are always trying to catch in our net of successive moments something that is not successive." CSL

"A willingness to act when the way forward is unclear and the result is definitely uncertain." lecture by David M Whalen

Here's a link to a brilliant article on a female theologian from the sixteenth century. Such an inspiration! 

Productive Rest

Sometimes, a rare opportunity arises in which I don't have to get up to a pre-dawn alarm. And when that coincides with a Saturday, it opens up a panoply of restful opportunity. Some Saturdays are best started with a shower, cozy clothes, and a pot of tea (hash browns optional). And sometimes, to add even more novelty and rest, I'll watch some tv in the morning. What? ssshhh. Now off to listen to good things while I clean my room....


Someone's book piles look remarkably like mine...

Happened upon this article and found it very encouraging .

Very much enjoying my daily emails of brief bios of the reformers: here's the intro post if you want to check it out.

Now I'm back, a couple of pots of tea later, and my room fully organized. Also, several Hillsdale lectures on C.S. Lewis listened to: a wealth of stimulating food for thought, full of both nourishment and things to mull over; and I finished the writing course from N.D. Wilson.
During the week, I've been reading through Orthodoxy and Death by Living after work, both of which I've read before and love. I'm also studying French now! as some of you know I have long wanted to do. I am greatly enjoying the 'homework' I've set myself these days. My brain wants stretching. I'm writing more as well, and just went and practiced some algebra for no apparent reason. It's refreshing. More later.