Wednesday, June 15, 2016

When work is fun, it becomes play.

I had never owner or used a weed-eater.  The Black & Decker model I bought a Lowe’s was easy to assemble.  The directions for assembly, maintenance, and use are clear.  One push of a side button on my battery-operated model and the machine comes to life.  Put-put-Brroomb!Brroomb!  Take that, weeds!

Shining for Jesus. 

The clerk in a department store, speaking to a child, I suppose who had been to church or Sunday School or Bible School, said, “Yes, keep  up that good work and you will shine for Jesus!”  As I paid for my purchase, he said he had recently been named salesman of the month and “It is all to the glory of Jesus, who gave me the job and the abilities.”  After I paid, he wished me a blessed day.

I did not need to wish him a blessed day.  He has it, and is verbal about it.  Doesn’t “shining” indicate silence?


Notes on Reading.  Art and Quotations.  Tasha Tudor, The Springs of Joy.  Rand McNally & Company, 1979.

Tudor presents artwork of wildflowers, branches of flowering trees, animals, and children, dressed in nineteenth century dress, enjoying outdoors: playing with pets and farm animals, climbing, having a picnic, fishing, wading, watching the moon.  With the art are quotations, mostly from the nineteenth century writers, including James, Hopkins, Wilde, Twain, Emerson, Whitman, Thoreau, Browning, Shaw, Poe.

For decades, I’ve enjoyed looking at the book in times of rest.  It’s time to let it go.  Some of the art still brings smiles, but the images of children in dress of long ago no longer appeal to me.

Notes on Reading.  Fiction.  Don DeLillo, Zero K.  Scribner, 2016.

The settings of this novel contrast, and the contrast indicates the tension of the ideas, those of loving life and those of despairing of life.

There is the building, built in a desert, “in this harsh geography, beyond the limits of believably and laws,” where people are placed in cryonic suspension, frozen until a later date when they will be brought back to life, usually when a cure has been found for a disease they are suffering.  Some healthy people can opt for the process in Zero K, people who no longer want to live without a beloved.  The building is marked by long hallways with doors, similarly painted, many of which lead to nowhere.  There are screens which project tragedies and suffering of the living, an artificial garden, and somber people, looking forward to leaving life.  Rooms are windowless; people are dour, food is unappetizing.

The settings of ordinary life of the protagonist, in cities with his girlfriend and her adopted son, and remembrances of the past, detail the joys of everyday life, including the ending in which a boy notices the sun lighting up streets in Manhattan, “whose urgent cries were. . . finding the purest astonishment in the intimate touch of earth and sun.”

It is a complex novel which exposes tension between life and death.  Questions of ethics, purpose of life, and meaning of human relationships are explored.


About billwednesdayblog

Retired high school English and French teacher.
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1 Response to Wednesday, June 15, 2016

  1. Weed-eaters are wonderful machines 🙂

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