Sunday, October 23, 2005

Anne Bradstreet and Luke Timothy Johnson

My reading the past week has been a book about Anne Bradstreet, the author of the poem I read at L and T's wedding a few weeks ago. It is Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life of America's First Poet, by Charlotte Gordon. I don't know how I got caught up in this -- I have about six other books, at least, waiting to be read -- but it is for some reason very fascinating to me at this particular moment to read about this particular woman. It has a lot to do with the way it is so carefully written, I think. It is obvious that Ms. Gordon did a tremendous amount of research. She tries to get inside the mind of her subject and discern how it must have felt to be in the unimaginably difficult situations Anne B. found herself in, including spending nine or ten weeks on a ship with the other emigrants to America (her first and only experience with sea travel) and, upon landing on the shores of what is now Massachusetts in the early summer of 1930, finding that the settlement where this group of Puritans were supposed to be wintering in a couple of months was pretty much non-existent. They had little hope of finding adequate supplies and building reasonably warm shelters in order to get through the winter. Consequently, 200 of the settlers in this group of about 700 died that first winter. I think I, and most of my contemporaries, would find that rather daunting!! But Anne B. and her little group persevered.

Next Saturday I am hoping to go to a talk on "Faith and Possessions" by Luke Timothy Johnson, a professor from Emory University. From what I have been able to read about him on the web, it promises to be a great lecture. It would be interesting to hear him talk on the topic of his interview (if you haven't already done so, click on his name above for the link to the interview -- it's at the bottom of the page the link takes you to) but that isn't an option this time. If you live in the Charlotte area and want more info, click here.

That's about it for now...time to get ready to go to Mass. More later!

All blessings!!

No comments: