I will weigh in first on the news today. Romney has picked Paul Ryan to be his running mate. A peculiar man, but a force to be reckoned with….Mediterranean mind and Nordic heart, a Roman Catholic with Catholic social values who will be more loved by fiscally conservative Protestants than socially just Catholics. The man who for years praised Ayn Rand, backing down only when her atheism got to be too much is an intellectual dynamo who pushes his body as much as his mind. Wikipedia reports he does PSX90 most mornings and has climbed nearly 40 of Colorado’s 14ers, interesting in that if Obama and Romney split Ohio and Florida, the election will be decided in Colorado. He possesses twice the boldness as anyone else Romney could have picked and the Democrats should be afraid. As the Games come to a close, the real Games will begin and the world will turn its attention to the world’s most politically interesting nation.
Of my reading, I am coming to the close of The Interior Castle and the flourish and perplexing place that Teresa is bringing her sisters is most interesting. In Koine Greek, perplexity means at loss for a way, to be in a situation where the direction is not apparent. I know Teresa comes to resolve, but where I am at now in my reading involves an intensity of language that can only come from a very deep reservoir of thought that comes from outside of oneself even as it concerns us at the very core of our innermost selves. I read her and know what Otto means by saying we can at once be fascinated and overwrought.
I have also started Duncan’s account of traveling from St. Louis to the Washington coast. In a certain way, my reading is not unrelated. I have a feeling that St. Teresa goes to the high place and stays there, that she is one of a few people who could do such a thing. Duncan has already in his first chapter given away a truth for most of us, especially those of us who call ourselves Americans. We may go to a high place, but we are content to descend.
He looks upon Saarinen’s great silver arch and speaks of how American it is, reaching ever higher from the sensibilities of being grounded to ascend to visions and dreams only to come back down in a different but grounded place. Duncan says this fits our people. We are more romantic than practical and more about experience than thought, but we are also always about purpose.
I have only started his work. He has only crossed over the Mississippi on a voyage that will take him to the high places and eventually to the ocean. His voyage will not be so interior. He will travel the trails of mystics, but his travel will not be discerned in a small room reflecting on the interior life, but in the expanse of the American west.
So I will soon finish one work and let it perplex and nourish me on the interior way and I will start another with its linear narrative about very physical things, which too can be perplexing. I will think the readings will be like my previous accounts of meeting mother Mary and being with my father at the castle of Grafenstein. I will be given over to much in the way of thought of the interior life just as I will be given over to thinking upon what it is like to be out in the world in the great open spaces.