2005-05-24 - 9:45 a.m.
So I figured out yesterday that my bike ride on Saturday was 20 miles -- 20 miles exactly. If I had gone on to Maddy's stable, it would have been 22 miles. I hadn't realized I was so close. Anyway -- that's good, because it wasn't exceptionally painful (although I'm feeling really tired today, for some reason). I think I went about 8 mph, which is pretty slow, but I am an old woman now, and also out of practice. 12 mph used to be my average rate, but that was 20 year ago, when I was young and in shape. It was also such a pleasant ride, because it's really pretty out there. So --
Maddy ended up having a private lesson, because no one else showed up. That was nice. C., the owner and E., Maddy's teacher, wondered how much Maddy had grown in the past few months, and actually, I think she's grown a lot. I think she's as tall as me now, or at least as tall as Nora, who's not quite as tall as I am, although very close. I like the people at the barn. they're the kind of people who are kind of standoffish until you know them, but by the time you know them, it's quite comfortable.
I talked with Lynn over the weekend. She's very busy, but sounds happy. We made plans to go on a bike trip in 2007. Nova Scotia. I can't wait, actually.
I'm still reading Gilead. It's pretty wonderful, actually. The main character is a preacher. I'm not actually sure what his denomination is -- Calvinist, I think, whatever that is. The amazing thing, though, is that the writer seems to be exactly in the head of a 76 year old Calvinist preacher living in the, what, 50s? in rural Iowa, even to the point -- or perhaps especially to the point of knowing what he would know. I mean, knowing what books he would have read, and using those books and the bible verses he would have known to shape his thoughts. I meant to bring the book with me and give you a quote, but there's a point where he's thinking about something, and then he says, Ralph Waldo Emerson had a lot to say about that. It's some kind of tiny point, really --
It goes along well with thinking about Ulysses, and what I always have thought was so wonderful about that, which is using other books to make sense of your own life.
And if you think about it, I guess that's what preachers do -- put lives in the contexts of texts.
Although, I was raised Catholic, I think Catholicism is a bit different. I think Catholicism is more of a mystery, and perhaps that was the point of protestantism, anyway -- that people could read the texts themselves and come to their own conclusions.
I'm not a religious person, and I'm not talking about the nutcase Christians who would deny evolution and see sin everywhere. This guy seems to be more open minded, and using texts -- religious and also just philosophical, I think, in the same way Joyce used texts in Ulysses -- to make some sense of his life.
I think I haven't actually gotten to the meat of the book, either.
Things with Nora seem good -- she seems cheery, and seems to be working hard. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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