Pleasures of June

The shadow of the walnuts is one of the pleasures of June here. After the rain and the humidity had passed the leaves move in a sunlit breeze like water. The Olentangy is high, and all the lower branches of the trees dip their leaves in its swift surface.

Another is that I get home late and read for a bit, and I’ve been doing Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and it has gone very well. The book holds up the third time through and the first time reading, not listening. Really, it almost makes me want to pass a resolution to read fiction only for an hour every night before going to bed–at least for fiction. I’m leaning a lot toward redoing some Jane Austen next and Harry Potter again before the year is out that way. I seem to have hit on a really good measure for that pleasure. I binged when I got back just having access to so many things, but now it is time to temper that.

And it works out well for the other stuff. I read non fiction in the mornings. I just finished Great Tom, which I found an interesting, insightful, impertinent at times and altogether useful biography of Eliot. It was an early biography, like the Greene and Hooper on C.S. Lewis which I’m also presently doing, and so not cluttered with the burden of responding to other’s work. Nothing like being able to follow at leisure these kinds of interests. It gives one a lot of things to think about and on its own is a pleasure: following these interests deeper. With Lewis I’ve got the advantage of all the correspondence, which I did very slowly. With Eliot I still have his correspondence to look forward to. I finally found a copy of Barfield’s English Words and I think it is getting time to do Richard Weaver again, to see about getting that a little clearer.

And that brings me to a third: writing. I scribble stuff in my notebooks, the various notebooks all the time. That’s the part still struggling for a good place in the new schedule, though it’s not doing all that badly. It is interesting what a cup of coffee in a place with no other distractions will accomplish. The pleasures of writing are not all pleasures of having written something.


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