Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nick Hornby and two of the fruits

self-control in green and black

I don't take novels on retreat.  In fact I tend to read very little on retreat.  In fact I rarely pick up a novel at anytime.  Apparently I have decided that novels are a distraction while art supplies are a path to God.

However, this summer a new assistant popped up in my classroom, who was just a bit enthusiastic about reading novels.  So when I was at the library a week before retreat, I checked out a Nick Hornby novel and then made the mistake of opening it before packing.  But with the exact number of short chapters left as days of the retreat, I figured I could treat myself to one chapter a day.  Then prayed for self-control.

How To Be Good, gave this man of silence some things to think about while on retreat.  The family centered in the novel needed some of my hope and while the last paragraph begins with a promise of that hope, the last line sends one into despair.

But that is life, isn't it.  You hope and hope and sometimes you are given a gift that lifts that hope; than an e-mail, a blog post, a news story, or a random thought can send you in the opposite direction.  Somehow those moments are generally not as strong as my desire to live in hope.  And that is a blessing I don't care to forget.

And I only read one chapter a day.


  1. Now I understand why you want to go to Mount Hope.

    I hope the retreat has strengthened all that is inside you and refreshed your creative spirit.

  2. I appreciate the nuances in this post. I have learned from experience, and from the writings of Rumi (and the Bible, and Rilke . . .) that just as soon as I get used to one thing, its opposite is likely to be hovering around the next corner.

    The stained glass "fruits of the spirit" are simply gorgeous.

  3. Lovely glass, as always... :) I'll have to go check out that book. I've read a couple of Nick Hornby's other novels, and enjoyed them.

  4. Snowcatcher--- yes, the retreat renewed by spirit
    Ruth--- maybe we aren't ready to see the opposite at first
    Blackswamp Girl--- I would recommend the book. let me know what you think.


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