Saturday, December 26, 2009
Reading: The Blind Delight of Being
Most of you have probably unwrapped a book or two over the last couple of days, either by surprise or design. Or maybe you received a gift card to choose just the right book for yourself.
Diane Cordell writes a wonderful post about reading and refers to a poem by Richard Wilbur entitled "The Reader." Here a young woman returns to stories that "charmed her younger mind."
She...Still turns enchanted to the next bright page
Like some Natasha in the ballroom door—
Caught in the flow of things wherever bound,
The blind delight of being, ready still
To enter life on life and see them through.
I felt similar thoughts as I opened one of my gift books Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson, the author of Three Cups of Tea. The caption for this second book is 'Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.'
Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, writes a wonderful foreword. He reviews "the muddled war' in Afghanistan, which is now in its eighth year, and points to the meaningful success story of education. It is encouraging that nearly eight and a half million children will attend school this year and 40% of them are girls.
Greg Mortenson, the founder of 131 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, knows the importance of education in nation building. His schools provide education to 58,000 students.
Hosseini emphasizes the importance of women and education. "Women have to be given access to schools, and their education has to be one of the cornerstones of national reconstruction and development." He quotes Mortenson's repeated saying, "If you educate a boy, you educate an individual, but if you educate a girl, you educate a community."
Finally Hosseini praises Mortenson for "taking the time to learn the local culture,..and to appreciate the role Islam plays in people's lives..."
What book accompanies you on your favourite reading chair while you enjoy the twinkling lights and rippling fire?