"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The most important book, other than...

I've just finished reading perhaps the most important book in my life, other than...the Bible.
That's quite a claim, not one I take lightly, especially to have been influenced by "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman, and "The Man Nobody Knows," by Bruce Barton (1925), about the manly  Jesus. And of course there are others, including Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness," but that is more the favorite than most important.
I'll admit, my reaction is influenced by three weeks of unexpected illness and mortality, but I started reading it before then, thanks to the "soul-detox" group I'm privileged to be a part of Sunday nights.  The increased emotional and physical stress has perhaps intensified my reaction, but this is a book I've needed. I wish I'd found it 15 years ago. But it "means" more now.
Here's an except from late in the small book (I've got underlines and marks and stars on almost all 167 pages of text):
"The bottom line of the Gospel is that most of us have to hit some kind of bottom before we even start the real spiritual journey. Up to that point, it is mostly religion. At the bottom, there is little time or interest in being totally practical, efficient, or revenue sharing. You just want to breathe fresh air. The true Gospel is always fresh air and spacious breathing room."
Oh, the book? Written by a Franciscan priest in Albuquerque, Fr. Richard Rohr
"Falling Upward, A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.
Read it. You don't have to be "Christian" to gain from it. If you are "Christian," it will challenge you, provoke you, make you uncomfortable, awaken you, perhaps anger you. You will be stronger spiritually. 
Some of my marked up pages

1 comment:

  1. I've never gone wrong with your book recommendations and this seems like just what I need right now. So I have it on my Kindle already.

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