Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NCNY Day Seven: {Defining Moments}: Homecoming

Towards the end of September, most colleges and learning institutions will celebrate Homecoming as a way to welcome back alumni. Edie is ushering in a homecoming of sorts for all of us that want to participate in her The Lost Art of Reading Book Club. Like Odysseus, we're all on a personal journey of learning and discovery. Sharing with each other makes the adventure (and homecoming) of life so much sweeter.

A friend emailed me to say she'd be participating in Edie's book club, but wanted some background info that would make The Odyssey, well, less intimidating. I know just what she means. If you've never read Homer's epic poem, I highly recommend beginning with No Man's Lands, Scott Huler's real life exploration of retracing the path of Odysseus.

I'm listening to Cahill's Sailing The Wine-Dark Sea (which is a quote from The Iliad) each evening on audio CD - swoony, dreamy, backstory beauty. Bonus: listening to someone else pronounce names I struggle with is a major confidence builder.

William Faulkner said "the past is never dead. It's not even past." As a spiritual being, I understand his sentiment. As a Christian, I know that my journey in this life ends in a homecoming with Jesus. But here is my personal discovery: our beginning is a homecoming as well, and that is why I love to read the classics. Especially with my children. 

I'm convinced the importance of reading The Odyssey has more to do with our hearts partaking in a connection with our spiritual homeland rather than the lessons learned, although I enjoy those too: ambition and the ever present shadow of insecurity, the loneliness of loyalty and its requirement of sacrifice, the hollowness of earthly glory, our intrinsic need for love and family at all costs.  

Whether through Edie's book club or through the messages on our blogs, we all want to connect, to engage our lives with others. I hope you'll join us this fall. While our eyes are reading, our hearts are going home.

Half a week and our school year begins. You can find more NCNY inspiration here.

xoxo Michele

Why buy happiness when the library shares it. E-books, audio-books, and digital downloads are at your local library, just visit here or your local library website for complete information.