Have you ever wished to get into someone else’s head? How does Tom Brady survey the football field or Elon Musk process business decisions? What was Octavian thinking after the battle of Actium? Each person has their own unique way of approaching the world, yet we may also speak of distinct “minds” of history. W. Harry Jellema identifies at least three such minds: the classical Greco-Roman, the Christian-Medieval, and the Renaissance-Enlightenment-Contemporary—each its own objective entity with its own voice. As C.S.
“Split down the middle. One half is sister, one half is Queen. A strange, hybrid creature, like a sphinx or Gamayun, as I am Ganesha, or Minotaur. We are half people, ripped from the pages of some bizarre mythology, the two sides within us, human and Crown, engaged in a fearful civil war which never ends, and which blights our every human transaction as brother, husband, sister, wife, mother. I understand the agony you feel and I am here to tell you it will never leave you. I will always be half king. My tragedy is that…. I have no Kingdom.”
In 7th grade, we are working through the book The Lost Tools of Writing. If you haven't heard of this book before I highly recommend it. The book instructs students on how to write a persuasive essay. As the year progresses, they learn new concepts that help with invention, arrangement, and elocution.
Throughout this last year, I have enjoyed reading a variety of beautiful stories on the Daily Gathering; we read and discussed the story of a rabbit who desired to be real, a Mermaid who sought an immortal soul, and a cowboy who lassoed a tornado. These, and many other stories, have brought the participants into a world of fairies and giants, witches and kings, and wonder and joy; they have taught the students how to attend through imagination, narration, discussion, and comparison.
From the very beginning, God has ordered our days. In the Creation week, He made the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night. He rested on the seventh day, giving us a pattern of work and rest to follow in our own lives. Our calendars have, however, become far more numerous and complicated - work calendars, family calendars, and school calendars now direct how we spend our time. Sadly, the Church calendar is rarely the one setting the rhythm of life, even for Christians.
Let us imagine a group of isolated fifteen year olds with a normally distributed variety of talents and virtues. Let us assume these fifteen year olds are in a community that they inherited, that has a governing structure, habits of mind, and patterns of behavior. It is a normally distributed tradition in its virtues and vices.
Boys are not quite right.
“Normal” boys do inexplicable things – from swinging on vines over dry, rocky creek beds to sword-fighting with trees. When he was only 4, my nephew would crouch into a three-point stance, say “hut-hut” and charge into furniture and walls while pretending to play football. My son, Ian, and his friend, Jaxson, make a game of running into one another to see which one falls; each round punctuated by thunderous laughter. Only on occasion do we waste our breath with a call to “be careful, boys!” or “watch that table!”
“Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.” - Plato
For the third time that day, William slowly walked down the long stone hallway, past the statue of Michael the archangel, to the principal’s office. After two bouts of “horseplay” ended with a good talking to and one paddling, he dared to pull Emily’s pigtails. Now, as we all knew, the funeral dirge had begun. His father would be called and William would soon wish for the comparative gentleness of the principal’s paddle. Even Mrs. Walters, our fifth grade teacher, and little Emily seemed to empathize.
I lay on my back, staring at the sky with my feet above me on the hill. My bike flew overhead - that much I knew - but where it landed was a mystery. The ditch crept up on me, as tends to happen on unfamiliar roads, while I was trying my best to keep up with my friend Michael. He knew the curve like the back of his hand, but I approached it way too fast and hit the embankment, flipped over my handlebars, and landed with a considerable thud.