It's been a weird week. Well, not really. Everything is the same as always. I'm wondering if Bakery Setbacks deal me harsher blows than I think they do (or they should). And I'm wondering why I feel lonely after seeing friends this morning, making a possible new friend at ballet tonight, hanging out lots with Phillip this week, talking online. Anyway, I'm just in a morose sort of headspace and no one is interested in that so HEY, time for Reads & Recommends!
I finally finished The Lost Peace: Leadership in a Time of Horror and Hope, 1945-1953. I will say that I learned a lot. There is a lot of basic Factual Information of which I was completely unaware and because this book sort of assumed the reader knew all that stuff, it didn't go too in depth. Which was good! Just enough to cover the basics. I found it super engaging, easy to read (unlike a certain WWI book where I had to read each page 5 times), and full of authorial insight which I like my history books to have. THAT SAID, I'm not sure what I thought about the authorial insight. I took his point about America maybe getting caught up in emotion and fear and not creating the best foreign policy, but the other half of his thesis rested on Gee, If Only Stalin Hadn't Been So Suspicious And Paranoid! Which... oh, and Mao being a nicer guy. While I'm sure there are things the US could have done better in the interest of world peace, I don't see Stalin and Mao having made poor decisions so much as acted like the crazy evil wackjobs they were. And rethinking their actions, wondering what THEY could have done better, seems... I don't know. Pointless. ANYWAY.
Not like you're going to read that. How about this? The Dark Power of Fraternities, by Caitlin Flanagan in the Atlantic. A fascinating read, even if Wazzu didn't have such a starring role. OH WAZZU. I actually remember one of these incidents (the one at UW she mentions later on.) I don't really know what I think about fraternities. I have absolutely no experience with them and hardly any with people who belong to them. My biggest question coming off this article was: when are you officially not your parents' problem anymore? Is a college supposed to monitor a student's behavior (in place of his parents?) (Aaaand, I just wrote a whole bunch on this subject and deleted it because I sounded like a twerp. Shut up, Me.)
MOVING ON. I loved this. Loooooved this. Jennifer Fulwiler on following your dreams. I'm not sure the bakery is my "blue flame" (what IS my blue flame?!) but it made me feel a lot better about my horrible backyard and the fact that I don't care what we eat for dinner.
I also loved this. Go Ahead, Let Your Kids Fail. This speaks to me, as a recovering Three. ("Stop talking about the enneagram!" the internet shrieks. "NEVER!" I shout back.)
This is not of interest to you, I'm sure, but my heart grew ten sizes when Phillip forwarded me this local NPR piece on the Catholic Seafarer's Union. I used to be very involved with local maritime stuff in my working days and went to many a fund raiser at this center - it's where I won my big TV! This priest is a kooky guy - he sells a CD of himself singing hymns and sea shanties - but he's also an amazing servant to an underserved and largely ignored community. I was glad to see his ministry got some attention.
This is an interview with Dawn Eden, former music journalist and Catholic convert, about abuse. Don't open it if that's triggering for you. She's kind of amazing, though. She brings hope to a very hopeless place.
And speaking of hope in hopeless places, here's a video of the Pope - like, an IPHONE video with the POPE - talking about Christian unity and asking evangelicals to pray for him. Holy heck.
I'm off to a churchy retreat for college students this weekend. Ostensibly I am there to volunteer and serve, but we all know that this is going to be good and serving for ME. Things have been a little too much Small Business Frustration and not enough Jesus lately. xo