Thursday, April 06, 2006

our daily bread

i suck at devoting time to bible study. its such a big book that it seems a little like reading anna karenina* on steroids. if you're reading in bed, you constantly have to devise new ways of propping the book open -- it's tough. like the norton anthology of fill-in-the-blank literature, its not something you do for fun. i should, but i don't.

i want fiction.

i want poetic prose.

i want metaphors and suspense.

i love reading books that allude to biblical stories or that manage to convey biblical truth so subtley that our postmodern world passes right by the reference. as the kings of convenience say, this 'love comes like--surprise!--ice on the water' (my punctuation and out of context insertion, not theirs). that is, i'm often moved by these allusions, but i half think it's because they're unexpected, like blessings which i did not seek.

so, as pastor richard might say, that leaves me sucking slop at the mouth of the columbia. sure, i get some fine h2o here and there, but i also have to contend with chemicals, household waste, and 1,152 miles of unknown nastiness.

i think that moms have a 6th sense about these kinds of things, so mine shoved me toward the source. she sent me a free subscription to our daily bread, a poor, time-crunched, mainline protestant's version of the book of common prayer. so, like a dutifully bored and thirsty son, i've been using these daily devotionals. each entry includes a verse, a half-page of commentary that alternates between cheese and insight, and--drumroll please, here comes the real reason for this blog entry--a closing poem.

a few nights ago i was pleasantly pondering the application of paul's command to 'live peacably with all men,' perhaps i was even praying, when i came across the
abcb rhyme scheme of the final four lines. maybe the devil was in that rhyme, because i was suddenly ripped from the realm of the spiritual into the charcoal sky of the literary gre. there i was thinking, 'what kind of stanza uses an abcb rhyme scheme?'

a ballad.

amen.

so, read your bibles little lasses and laddies and whatever you do, beware of the literature gre. it will warp your every perception, sidetrack your studies, and make your blog messy. remember, friends don't let friends gre.


andrew david 'a new kind of accomodation' puerto vallarta, mexico.

*from my perspective, tolstoy is 0/2. i disliked the death of ivan ilyich and i doubt i'm going to finish anna k.

4 comments:

Whitney said...

I really liked Anna Karenina! It was very hard to get into at first, though. Keep trying.

andrew said...

i'm getting more and more bored with the book. its becoming a struggle to get through it. i don't really care about the characters and the sentences, at least in my translation, fail to keep me interested. besides, one of my gre books spoiled the ending.

andrew said...

when did you think that it got better? i'm already half way through...one of my favorite professors once told me, 'andrew, there are so many good books out there. don't waste your time reading books that you don't find interesting.' so perhaps i'll try a few more pages, but i think i might side with dr. reinsma on this one.

Whitney said...

It got better for me after about 100 pages or so...maybe this isn't the book for you! I actually agree with dr. reinsma as well. So many books, so little time.