I am reading a couple of books right now. They are way out of my comfort zone and, at times, out of my comprehension.
The first book is “On The Origin of Time” by Thomas Hertog. Hertog was a friend and co-worker of Stephen Hawking. It is about Hawking’s letting go of his earlier theories about the universe to his ideas nearing his death.
The second book is “The Big Melt” by Emily Riddle—a book of poetry and the first such book I’ve ever bought. Riddle is Indigenous and writes from that perspective. Every few pages, her writing smacks me in the face, and I need to pause my reading for a day or so to reflect on her thoughts and reflections.
Stephen Hawking and his fellow big thinkers are difficult for me to comprehend. I always do pretty well – until I turn the page. Then I know I couldn’t possibly explain anything I just read to another person.
Thankfully, there is no test the next day.
So why do I keep slogging through it, now on my second renewal from the library?
I looked back at the few times I interrupted what my wife was doing to read a paragraph to her. There was a pattern. One was the unabsoluteness of the science of studying the universe, starting with the Big Bang theory. What the big thinkers have had to live with over time is the inevitable evolution of the theories – being absolute for a short moment. Even Stephen Hawking admitted towards the end of his life that he had it wrong and was accepting a newer absolute – until it too will be proven weak in its explanation of the universe.
The poetry book challenges my life experience – it broadens it. Riddle briefly commented on what it would be like if NHL Indigenous player Ethan Bear sat cross-legged on the ice during the national anthem. The imagery shocked me when, in fact, I had seen American Black NFL players take a knee during the anthem—essentially the same action.
I’ll be taking a rest from these types of books and reading a ‘time well wasted’ action thriller.
Please give this a bit of a think. Have you read any book that you struggled with, yet you completed it? What prompted you to preserve? How did you come across the book in the first place?
Try going a bit further and include a TV show or movie that didn’t quite catch your interest, yet there you were, present to the end.
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