Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Contemplating Wealth and Glory

This morning John was reading to me from Frederick Buechner, The Longing for Home, and one of the lines that stuck out was "Solomon, in all his great and tiresome glory." Last night, the reading was from Thomas Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again. One of the characters has virtually nothing in his apartment; even books are considered clutter. Those readings stirred in me thoughts about things. I glance out on to the river as I write, ever conscious of the water rising and the big ice chunks forming. The river is higher than it was last year at this time, and last year we had a February winter flood. At the time and looking back, it was no more than an inconvenience---having to kayak out to higher ground where we parked our vehicles. But it could have been much worse. And this year it just might be the big one. The flood might wash right through the house. I look around me at my book shelves. Are the books merely clutter? Many of them are. They sit there gathering dust. But if the flood waters come in, we'll be doing all we can to save our clutter. If the flood waters take all our clutter away, we'll still have libraries were we can find more than Solomon's glory in books written by the likes of Buechner and Wolfe.