Confessions

December 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm (Education, The Whim) (, , , , , )

augustinescribeI had great plans for the year 2013.  I do every January.  I make lists, I plan reading schedules.  I try to join way too many book clubs.  I set unreachable goals.  More specifically, this year I wanted to read through Susan Wise Bauer’s Autobiographies and Memoirs list.  It’s about 25 books long, I think, starting with St. Augustine’s Confessions.  It is December.  I am still reading Confessions.

I’ve read Confessions before in college.  It’s not a difficult read, just an important one.  It’s the book I save for early mornings as I watch the sunrise with my coffee.  Sometimes I read it aloud to my daughter over breakfast, a lot of times I hunker down in the early light and keep it to myself.

I’ve been keeping a lot to myself over the past few years, which goes against the very core of my being… or the very core of who I am told I am.  Throughout my life I have been compared to a babbling brook.  Information, life experience, anything goes in… and out it babbles in the blink of an eye.  I come off extremely extroverted to people who know me least.  I find this ironic because I have so much that I don’t share.  I am so back and forth with what feels the most natural (hold it in or spill the beans?) that I have a hard time deciding what teachings are right (hush up and keep it to yourself or Confess?).

After reading The Sparrow and re-reading Augustine’s Confessions in the same year – in the same month, really.  You’d think I’d have something deep and eloquent to say about Confession.  Or, perhaps, you’d think I’d spill out a confession of some kind in this blog post…

All I’ve got for you in the form of a confession is that the first time I read Confessions was during an all-nighter 12 hours before a test for my literature class at a Baptist college.  Note the sarcasm when I tell you the experience was so enriching.

Instead of a true confession, I am reminded of a previous post in which I determined I was not very thoughtful.  Instead, I sit here lamenting the fact that I have hardly accomplished anything I set out to do in January at all.

I console myself by saying, hey at least I got published this year! (Which seems very anticlimactic when your book is not a Steinbeck level masterpiece.)  It might not be the stunning work of art I dreamed about writing since childhood, but people seem to like it and… there’s always next year!

Again, I say that every year.  And thus starts the cycle all over again: A January list of books to read and goals to accomplish.  Stepping stones that I believe will turn me into a scholar with at least half a brain.  I have a feeling I will lie on my death bed at 105 and say to the heavens, “No, not yet! I’ve learned nothing! And I haven’t figured out how to be thoughtful!”  We’ll see.  Visit me when I’m 105 and I’ll let you know.  Even though I’m a woman, I suspect I might have a beard like this guy by then…

saint-augustine-by-carava-007

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3 Comments

  1. Chris Rogers said,

    Your “Confession,” like everything you do, is amazing. I believe we all feel at the end of a year that we’ve let ourselves off too easy, we didn’t accomplish as much as we’d hoped, yet you expressed it in a way I can only read and say, “Yes! She’s exactly right.”
    I still need to obtain a copy of The Bookshop Hotel. I really can’t wait to read it, and I know a couple of people who would enjoy having it as a gift. I’d hoped to stop by, buy it directly from you and get an autograph, but I suppose I’ll have to be content with getting it online.

    Enjoy your holidays knowing you touch a great many people with your love and enthusiasm for writing.

    • Anakalian Whims said,

      Thank you! As for The Bookshop Hotel, order from Good Books in the Woods and let them know not to ship the books until I sign them for you. I’ll pop by the store and take care of it!

  2. Meb Bryant said,

    Love the post. Your angst reminds me of my own feelings of guilt and inadequacy, especially during the holiday season. Years ago, an older woman advised me to put away the compulsion to be perfect. Best advice I ever accepted. First, I gave up the idea that I needed to make Christmas sugar cookies from scratch. (seems silly now) Lately, I have lamented not having read the top 100 required reading novels from a random list from some unknown source. So many books, so few hours.

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