11/7/05

Firestone Reading Room

It's never too soon to start pondering where to build your presidential library. I don't ever plan to run for president, but I didn't run for the condo association board, either, and I still came in fourth. Thank heaven only three seats were open, or I would have been drafted into the damned-if-you-do job from hell.

Can't really understand why Texas cities are competing to be the home of Dubya's presidential library. "Presidential library" sounds so diggity dawg scholarly--like the big guy in the Oval Office might have read some history so he wasn't destined to repeat it. Maybe the competing cities are actually fishing for the Rove-A-Rama fantasy amusement park to be built at the other end of the parking lot.

Did some reading Saturday waiting for the $94 "rebuilt pigtail" that would allow the Buick to pass the safety inspection. Undistracted by the aroma of steel-belted radials and burnt coffee, the ninety minutes were a literary holiday.

I'm reading The Tulip and the Pope: A Nun's Story, by Deborah Larsen. Why would a nineteen year-old enter a convent in 1960? I remember being clueless at nineteen, and I've been the mother of idealistic, yet earthly, nineteen year-olds.

In the peaceful anonymity of the Firestone waiting room with the Texas Longhorns playing Baylor on the t.v. and customers rummaging through the newspaper in vain hope of finding the Sports Section, I read about "custody of the eyes" and the prohibition against "particular friendships" in the convent. Compared to Brownie's emails, it was intellectual stuff. I learned what nuns wear to swim lessons.

When it was time to check my rebuilt pigtail on out of there, the mechanic kept trying to read the upside down title on my book's jacket. I told him it was the story of a nineteen year-old who became a nun. Feeling awkward about having this discussion with the young man, I added, "I've never understood how a person can make that choice at that age."

Oops. Was I going to get a celibacy joke from the mechanic, now joined by two other garage guys? No. "I'm thirty-one, and I don't know yet what I want to do with my life," he said.

He put it in perspective for me. Life is about doubt and clarity, making choices, or choosing not to choose.

1 comment:

talky123 said...

Thanks for posting what you are reading. It sounds good. I'll check it out.

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