Mary, Martha, Lazarus

Since writing the last, I've felt some remorse for sounding ungrateful, and I've wondered about the other side of the story. After all, many men have missed out on their babies and children because of the model that sent them out to work, and the same men might have missed their other callings (writing, for one) because work was importunate. Whatever's to blame, we still haven't figured out how to arrange work and family equitably, but this seems to me part of a larger problem about the nature of work itself. Our industries and appetites still reflect the nineteenth century, to the detriment of family as well as community, environment, creativity, spirituality and much else that makes up human flourishing. We need to find a way to keep house and put food on our tables without sacrificing time for love and reflection. We need to value soul-making, inside and outside the home.

Meanwhile, I'm far from ungrateful. I'm enjoying the slower life, the season of keeping quietly at home, the time and space to think about these things, and to cherish them.


My recent reads include Marilynne Robinson, Jonathan Franzen and Tim Winton. I'd love to dwell on them, but since time's scarce, here are my 140-character reviews:

Cloudstreet is the house where two ramshackle families shack up in a post war pact, on which Lady Luck and the Lord each cast their shadows.

The Corrections puts a modern family whose foibles border on surreal near the heart of a sharp critique of almost everything America now is.

Housekeeping’s reflections on sorrow and transience pool in the hollows of a gentle story of finding and keeping family in the face of loss.