Summer is indisputably here. I can feel it in the heat radiating from my bare feet and in the heaviness of the air in the house. I can see it in the long shadows of a light, bright evening making patterns on the lawn, and I can hear it in the fly buzzing against the window pane across the room from me.
It is, I see, rather some time since I’ve blogged about what I’ve been reading, which is rather a shame. It’s not because I haven’t been reading–never fear!–but more because I haven’t read anything that I’ve had a real urge to blog about. I did consider blogging about Lilith, but considering my mixed feelings about it, that seemed too much like hard work…. I am, however, in the heights and depths of a wonderful novel at present which I’m sure will appear on here later this summer. It’s just that it’s over 700 pages so it can’t exactly be read in a sitting. And, while I’m reading it eagerly, I wouldn’t want to gallop through it. It’s too beautiful for that, and beautiful things should be savoured.
And they should be savoured all the more in the face of evil and horror and grief. You’d never know from my blog about most of the sad and trouble-filled and wrong things that cast shadows in my life or the bigger ones that haunt this world of ours. For the most part, I share and write about lovely things, whether in books, poetry, or my own experience. I must admit that there’s not a whole lot of virtue in my doing that, as I dislike reading and writing about unpleasant things anyway. But I do think there is also an important principle here, and it–as well as my personal preference–affects what I blog about.
You see, there is of course a place for talking about evil and sadness. An extremely important place. But it’s also possible to overdo it, and to focus so much on the world’s problems that we forget about the world’s wonders (“there’s still so much that goes so right, and beauty abounds”, Andrew Peterson sings). We need to be refreshed by goodness and beauty. To be reminded that they do exist, so that when we must battle with evil, we have a clear and hard and bright picture of what it is we’re actually fighting for. We need to focus on goodness so that we stay sane and stay joyful.
Think about good and lovely things.
It’s what Paul tells us to do, after all.