notes in the margins

i love buying old musty first editions at half price books or other serendipitous booksellers and finding notes scribbled in the margins.

do you write in your books? i don’t. it seems almost like a desecration to do so. the only book i write in is my Bible. (if you want to chuckle at that odd phrase be my guest.)

but i’m an adult now. sort of. i can buy my own books; i can write in them too. maybe. someday.

here are some more thoughts from n.d. wilson’s notes from the tilt-a-whirl … which i am still reading but am much closer to finishing now. he’s made me decide i need to make a list of books on living. tilt-a-whirl and g.k. chesterton’s manalive would definitely be on there.

from “the problem of evil and the nonexistence of shakespeare”:

are you in shadow? are you in pain? next to you, is hamlet a happy man? has the rock been lifted, removing the sky, tearing your life in half?

do not cry to me. i can only cry with you. i will not die for you. i am still too young in the meaning of love. talk to the Fool, to the one who left a throne to enter an anthill. He will enter your shadow. it cannot taint Him. He has done it before. His holiness is not fragile. it burns like a father to the sun. touch His skin, put your hand in His side. He has kept His scars when He did not have to. give Him your pain and watch it overwhelmed, burned away by the joy He takes in loving. in stooping.

in the end, when your life is of a different sort, your first flesh will be dust, and of your grief, not one grain of ash will remain.

is that not amazing? i love that picture of the infinite God stooping to enter our tiny anthill of a world. it also reminds me of walter wangerin jr.’s the book of the dun cow, which is another book to add to a list of some sort.

here’s more, from the chapter “your mother was a lizard”:

the world is seen in many different ways, but those who see Chaos as their father are the most confusing to me. i stare into their eyes, like a girl in a wheelchair, and try to sense any real difference in what they’re seeing.

     have you noticed the dragonflies?

they’ve noticed the dragonflies.

     they can’t really have noticed. did they see the nymphs? do they know how they swim?

they’ve seen the nymphs.

     but they’re like jet boats. they pressure-fire water out their anuses. that’s their propulsion.

they know. i know they know. we see the same things, and somewhere behind our pupils, those things become completely different.

that last part in bold is something that continually confounds me. how can you not see the love song? how can you not feel the joy that brought the universe into being?

yet, if i’m to be honest … so often i wall myself away and can’t see or feel it, either.

next year is the year of learning how to live, and  not merely being alive.