I’m a few chapters into ‘Micah Clarke’ by Arthur Conan Doyle, and it is brilliant. I tried to read the book a springtime or two ago, but decided to stop because, as engrossing as the story is, the book exposed to my mind how badly read I was.I think it’s safe for me to read the book in full now.
The process I began in November of copying the text I read at every opportunity, during my almost mindless work duties, has helped me form reading skills I would’ve probably gained at about the age of twelve or thirteen, if certain hard to tolerate events had not occurred at that time. Everything about the book ‘Micah Clarke’ seems very familiar to be, and not because I’ve half-read the book before…I can’t explain it. I guess it is just very well written and it has firmly grabbed my imagination by it’s badly pressed lapels.
I’m going to carry on chaining myself to the desk every working-day lunchtime until Maundy Thursday.
When I return to work on the Tuesday after the Easter break, lunch times will involve exploring public spaces within a two mile radius of the offices and taking photographs and writing notes which will be transformed into blank verse, song or prose of some sort.
It seems that library cards will become a thing of the past in the not-so-Distant future. Something worth thinking about. ‘Contactless’ has become the norm.How long will it be until fingerprint, eye or face scans become commonplace when checking a book out from a library, buying meat and veg from the shop,or gaining access to one’s place of employment?
- I found myself watching a programme on Channel 4 last night called ‘The Last Leg’, a mainly non-satirical and unfunny comedy/satire show was on extra bad form.
After getting all serious about recent awful events in Christchurch, denouncing’far-right extremism’ etc.. A significant part of the rest of the show was filled to the brim with distasteful jokes about steroids, ‘roid rage is funny apparently, it got lots of cheap laughs from the late-night studio audience at least.
I wonder whether the heavily-muscled man who seems to have murdered lots of innocent people in Christchurch has ever used steroids.
I’ll finish this train of thought now. And leave you with a few paragraphs from the third chapter of ‘Micah Clarke’:
This white-bearded and venerable village philosopher would sit by his cabin door upon a summer evening, and was never so pleased as when some of the young fellows would slip away from their bowls and their quoit-playing in order to lie in the grass at his feet, and ask him questions about the great men of old, their words and their deeds. But of all the youths I and Reuben Lockarby, the innkeeper’s son, were his two favourites, for we would come the earliest and stop the latest to hear the old man talk. No father could have loved his children better than he did us, and he would spare no pains to get at our callow thoughts, and to throw light upon whatever perplexed or troubled us. Like all growing things, we had run our heads against the problem of the universe. We had peeped and pryed with our boyish eyes into those profound depths in which the keenest-sighted of the human race had seen no bottom. Yet when we looked around us in our own village world, and saw the bitterness and rancour which pervaded every sect, we could not but think that a tree which bore such fruit must have something amiss with it. This was one of the thoughts unspoken to our parents which we carried to good old Zachary, and on which he had much to say which cheered and comforted us.
‘These janglings and wranglings,’ said he, ‘are but on the surface, and spring from the infinite variety of the human mind, which will ever adapt a creed to suit its own turn of thought. It is the solid core that underlies every Christian creed which is of importance. Could you but live among the Romans or the Greeks, in the days before this new doctrine was preached, you would then know the change that it has wrought in the world. How this or that text should be construed is a matter of no moment, however warm men may get over it. What is of the very greatest moment is, that every man should have a good and solid reason for living a simple, cleanly life. This the Christian creed has given us.’
‘I would not have you be virtuous out of fear,’ he said upon another occasion. ‘The experience of a long life has taught me, however, that sin is always punished in this world, whatever may come in the next. There is always some penalty in health, in comfort, or in peace of mind to be paid for every wrong. It is with nations as it is with individuals. A book of history is a book of sermons. See how the luxurious Babylonians were destroyed by the frugal Persians, and how these same Persians when they learned the vices of prosperity were put to the sword by the Greeks. Read on and mark how the sensual Greeks were trodden down by the more robust and hardier Romans, and finally how the Romans, having lost their manly virtues, were subdued by the nations of the north. Vice and destruction came ever hand in hand. Thus did Providence use each in turn as a scourge wherewith to chastise the follies of the other. These things do not come by chance. They are part of a great system which is at work in your own lives. The longer you live the more you will see that sin and sadness are never far apart, and that no true prosperity can exist away from virtue.’