"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

06 July 2006

Daze of our Wives (and other topics)

No, I didn't come up with that cool title. That would be Dawn Eden, bless her soul. :) It is the title of my review of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique in Touchstone in January. The review isn't available online at Touchstone, but has been reprinted by Catholic Education Resource Center, where you can read it at this link if you are at all interested.

My review of Joshua Wolf Shenk's Lincoln's Melancholy is in the final stages of editing, but I don't know when it will appear. I'm told the review hopper at Touchstone is overflowing, so it will probably be a while. Still, it feels good to have done it and have it accepted.

Shenk writes the following in reference to Lincoln's having defined a specific purpose for his life:

This sense of purpose was indeed the key that unlocked the gates of a mental prison. This doesn't mean [Lincoln's] suffering went away. In fact, as his life became richer and more satisfying, his melancholy exerted a stronger pull. He now responded to that pull by tying it to his newly defined sense of purpose. From a place of trouble, he looked for meaning. He looked at imperfection and sought redemption.

I think I need to put this before my eyes every moment of every day. I'm too easily oppressed by melancholy, by circumstances, by my own sense of inadequacy and frustration. I need to learn to respond by doing the work before me and leaving the results to God. Would that it were as easy to do as to say!


Fieldfleur said...

What a wonderful quote, Beth. Yes, purpose can help pull you out of all encompassing despair. I like that -- hopeful ... a beam of light to follow.

Sounds like you're busy with writing. That's great! Keep going!


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