I have been thinking a lot about death lately. It is that time of year. It started with a funeral.
by Donald Davidson
You must remember this when I am gone,
And tell your sons — for you will have tall sons.
And times will come when answers will not wait.
Remember this: if ever defeat is black
Upon your eyelids, go to the wilderness
In the dread last of trouble, for your foe
Tangles there, more than you, and paths are strange
To him, that are your paths, in the wilderness,
And were your fathers' paths, and once were mine.
You must remember this, and mark it well
The Shield of Achilles
by WH Auden
She looked over his shoulder
For vines and olive trees,
Marble well-governed cities
And ships upon untamed seas,
But there on the shining metal
His hands had put instead
An artificial wilderness
And a sky like lead.
In this edition of our Words of Wisdom feature we talk with Laura Berquist, author, teacher, and CiRCE conference regular.
The best American schools have yet to remember why western civilization introduced “school” as the foundation of that civilization. Mostly, that is because the more we talk about school, the less we do it.
For the weekend crowd, this is a sampling of what we've been reading this week.
Christian Classical education is “logo-centric” (among other things) – driven by language, in love with words, books, literature, truth; both logos and the Logos. Living in a time of confused and devalued language, then, proves difficult for many of us. To use one example, the title of “classic” can now apply to any book people are still talking about after a month or so. And to make sure the label of “classic” sticks a smattering of specific categories has been created: “modern classic”, “cult classic”, “destined to be a classic”, and so on.
There is a writing assignment that I do with my classes (slightly modified) that involves studying a picture–really capturing a picture in your imagination–and then attempting to express that picture through writing, through words. Essentially, the assignment is designed to demonstrate the way language always involves some sense of loss; when we try to communicate an experience, a feeling, a memory, an image, we often sense how even the best words seem to leave so much out.
Three sounds – a loud shriek, splashing, and the slamming of the toilet lid – brought me quickly from the kitchen to the hall bathroom. Greeted by a smiling, soaking wet toddler walking rapidly from the room, I knew I was in for something special. I was not to be disappointed. Toilet paper had been spun directly from the holder into the toilet and water covered the floor.