"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? …. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."
I hear echoes of this T. S. Eliot poem everywhere, but especially today, on Ash Wednesday:
Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden, Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehood Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still Even among these rocks, Our peace in His will And even among these rocks Sister, mother And spirit of the river, spirit of the sea, Suffer me not to be separated
They came rolling toward me, just like this. I asked the little guy what his favorite thing about his friend was. He said: “Mailbox!” I asked what their favorite thing to do together was. He said: “Fire extinguisher!”