let me tell you a story:
back in my college days (which we call university here in Australia) I was a real book fiend. Would spend hours each day in the campus library, perusing different sections, different shelves. A real eclectic reader – history, science, psychology, philosophy, literature – basically everything. And where did this intense curiosity spring from? one work I encountered in my post high school days: JM Robert’s magnificent ‘Penguin History of the World’. (the Penguin here being the publisher, not the animal :-))
this one book triggered an intellectual landslide. All those subjects not treated in my formal schooling days; here they were brought up in a beautiful narrative history; one that excited the mind, elucidated the field, and sparked a thousand other avenues of thought. Reading and re-reading this blockbuster tome (coming in at 1000+ closely printed pages) blew me away. This is an Awakening, in every sense. We’re talking about the History of the World here folks! that means everything comes under its purview; dictators, kings, and empires may form the broad brushstrokes of history, but inside of that the rich endeavorings of humanity are taking place: philosophical enquiry, inventive science, art and dance, the struggles of the family within the societal structures. History may be the canvas here, but it is by painting the little details that the true image is formed.
This book I read and re-read two or three times over when was 19. It fairly well set my course for the next 10 years. Intellectual pursuit of answers, book knowledge in every form. I read and read and read. I lived the life of an omnivorous gorging bibliophile. That was my life.
and against this backdrop the rest of my life was spinning away. I studied, I worked, I studied some more, and I worked some more. The sustenance of my life had to be maintained, but every spare minute I had was ploughed into those never-ending pages of knowledge and insight. Biographies gave me a glimpse into the manifest lives of great men; popular science informed me of the latest findings in genetics, evolutionary psychology, particle physics, and cosmology. Spiritual works informed the meaning and purpose of all things. Literature fired the imagination full of possibilities, poetry set the heart alight. It was a glorious Mental Awakening.
I left those years behind me a little way back. Fully sated, I needed time now to digest. Put all the pieces together.
but that story, my friends, is for another day.
blessings and peace
String Trio #1 :: scored for violin, viola, and cello