Friday, September 17, 2010

Gail Caldwell on God

I recently completed Let's Take the Long Way Home, by Gail Caldwell, a memoir of her friendship with the writer Caroline Knapp, who died too young of lung cancer. Caldwell writes the following passage about her struggles after the death of her friend:

What I took away from that dark alleyway was that, when it came to God, I needed not to know—needed the humble ignorance as to whether anything existed outside that grim tableau. In the months that followed, I kept thinking of the phrase "requisite mystery," as though that could capture my necessary position in the universe now, poised on the line between Knowing and Not Knowing, between what seemed to me the arrogance of religious certainty and the despair of a godless world.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This American's Dream: Please, May I Never Be Rich

Recent research shows that wealth diminishes a person's ability to savor and enjoy simple pleasures. Other studies show that inadequate income is associated with both immediate unhappiness and more general life dissatisfaction.

I am lucky enough to know I will never be poor, but, please, may I never be rich.