“I’ve learned that terror doesn’t happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren’t being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death.”
— Greg Mortenson Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time
Don, Thomas and I are literally on the road when we read Three Cups of Tea. When we go back and forth, to and fro, an audiobook come with us. We had just finished McMafia by Misha Glenny, which hurled us from continent to continent in search of organized crime. With Three Cups of Tea, we anticipated a slower tempo. Surprise!! Face paced, with cliffhangers and OMG moments, it is difficult to turn off the iPod. Even when all seems dark, there is hope. Dr. Greg promised to build a school. Others believed in that promise. Now half way through the book, schools (plural) are being build, progress and growth are walking hand in hand, and yet time is of the essence.
“What is your idea of earthly happiness? To be vindicated in my own lifetime.”
— Christopher Hitchens #Hitch-22: A Memoir#
via Christopher Hitchens quotes
The snowstorm began early morning and was in full force during my walk to work. Slushy, big flakes clung to my red umbrella as the familiar voice of Christopher came into my head. He has an unusual crescendo at the end of his sentences. His punctuations are clipped, especially if he believes that a truism has been gifted to his reader. Revelling in his intellectualism and debating dexterity, he is a quintessential wordsmith. Words fall liberally from his lips and reach their target with wrenching accuracy. He is honest and has no patience for hypocrisy and ignorance, both of which he believes are in great supply. While he deplores religion, he chose Philippians 4:8, a favourite passage of mine, to be voiced at his father’s funeral. He specified the King James Version, for all others, in his estimation fall short of the glorious writing style of the KJV. (He definitely states his opinion)
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. “
So at the end of day 7, I find I have no quarrel with Christopher. I also deplore hypocrisy and ignorance. And I also take pleasure in the books, authors and poets he refers to with great satisfaction. But that is another discussion.
“Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay.”
— Christopher Hitchens
For the last week, I have been walking with Christopher Hitchens. Every morning, rain, snow or shine, I grab my iPod and head out the door for work. The time frame between home and work is approximately 25 minutes so I have 50 minutes/day with the voice that comes through the stereo headphones. I accomplish two important tasks: 1) Exercising the body and 2) Exercising the mind. For over two years, I have been walking and reading. While I physically end up at work, my travels have taken me to ancient Egypt with Zahi Hawass, pre-revolutionary France with Stacy Schiff, and Cuba with Fidel Castro. Now, I walk with Christopher, a self-appointed contrarian who has strident opinions that challenge, amuse and provoke a great deal of thinking. One Amazon reviewer “”Hitch 22” is a memoir, not an autobiography, by Christopher Hitchens, who seems to go out of his way to ensure that everyone in the world has at least one compelling reason to disagree with him(via Amazon.com: Hitch-22: A Memoir (9781607882329): Christopher Hitchens, Author: Books.) So far, I have not disagreed with him. The first part of the book is about Yvonne, his mother. I appreciated his thoughtful approach to her death and the honest assessment of his response and remembrances.
Just finished “Out of Egypt” – an intriging and fascinating story. It is fiction of course, but very authentic-not at all un-Biblical. I think you would find it interesting with some ideas that we normally don’t think about. But that is not why I am writing to you. She includes a very short autobiography that I know you won’t want to miss. I will bring it along next week-end.
We are on the road for most of our life, whether in the car, on a plane (jet), bus, or sky-train. We use bikes, skies, snowboards, skateboards, and roller blades to get us from point A to point B. And when we want to get into shape, we use our feet to propel us along the trail. My book club seemed to always been on the road. We use travel time, to go places through books: ancient Egypt, K2, New York and Easter Island. Welcome to OnTheRoad Book Club.