We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
As I toil towards my goal of unloading 2000 books from the Maggie's HQ, it's tough not to flip through each one in case you might change your mind. My books are part of me, it seems. That is stupid.
Take Emerson. I open a random page. No, dammit. I can not understand the guy and I never could figger out what he was getting at. Not blaming him because as far as I can tell he is a deep thinker and his essays remain widely appreciated. "It's me, not you."
My Dad loved him, but I have lower IQ than my Dad. I blame my mother's side: rich practical business people.
I had to downsize since we were selling our house and moving to a small apartment in DC. Deciding which books I had to get rid of was gut wrenching. So many were part of my life. I would look at one and remember that time of my life when I bought it. I finally did sell many to a used book store hoping they would make a new owner happy.
I blame my mother's side: rich practical business people
In traditional Jewish communities wealthy businessmen seek a scholar for a son in law, underwriting his Torah studies. A sort of trophy husband.
I could read Emerson any day and every day. One of the keys is reading Emerson as he tells us to read: "Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst. What is the right use? What is the one end, which all means go to effect? They are for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book, than to be warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite instead of a system."
In other words, read him partly for the truth and the inspiration you find in his writing, and don't worry so much whether or not you are getting or following all of his meaning. There's much more to him than that, but if you can stop thinking that you "don't get" what he writes and actually appreciate what you do get, you mind find that there is more and more to appreciate.
Fair enough, but after starting off with a good —or simply an attention-getting statement — Emerson then wanders off into clouds of wooly prose.
I follow him for only about a sentence before he loses me, and then I shut the book, snarling at him, annoyed for such little result. And now you tell me it's basically my fault for not being inspired.
Well, maybe it is me. But if so, best that I chuck out every book of his in the house because me and Ralph are never going to have a meeting of the minds.