“What other men have thought is valuable, but its chief value is, not to save us from the labor of thinking, but to enable us to think the better for ourselves.”
From “The Golden Way to the Highest Attainments” by Rev J.H Potts D.D, 1889
Some Mainers (aka “snowbirds”) go to Florida to escape February (and the couple of months prior and after) during their down time. I keep it local and go to the couch! February is a time when I do more reading. The cozy simplicity of snuggling under a wool throw with a cup of tea and good book takes the edge off of one of my least favorite months. I’m actually starting to grow fond of this time of year. The more I accept February as it is instead of feeling righteous indignation in response to things like the short daylight, icy public walkways, the lonely glossy white landscape outside my window that’s devoid of friendly furry or feathered visitors, the more agreeable it is/I am! In fact I often think a good test of true inner joy is not needing summery days to have a sunny disposition.
I just finished “Poor Folk” by Dostoyevsky, his first novel. Have any of you read it? I was moved by the severe poverty and realities of a feudal system in 19th century Russia which was detailed in the correspondence between two people with tragic circumstances. I found myself being angry with some of their “choices” that were heavily influenced by having no viable options, but it also increased my gratitude and appreciation for all that I have. A temporary winter is much nicer than incessant fog, piercing drizzle and cold with coughs that kill which was painfully described in the book.
I’ve just begun “The Idiot”, also by Dostoyevsky.
The “escapism” of reading classic literary fiction feels more like a very thrifty yet rich cultural vacation because it challenges my 2019 worldview and self-opinion. It’s also a marvel to experience beautiful writing originally published in another language.