Friday, September 5, 2008


A quick follow-up on the books I mentioned a couple of posts ago. I did finish American Buffalo by Steven Rinella. As I mentioned, I wasn't overly impressed with the book at first. I thought the writing lacked strength and failed to really get the reader interested in the subject. However, once the story turned to Rinella's actual hunt of the bison it got much, much better. Along the way he brings in more history about North America's bison and finally brings the reader along with him. I found two comments within the story rather interesting. First, after killing his buffalo, he talks about the feelings he has about taking the life of an animal that he sincerely loves. Having been in that situation a number of times, I thought he did a wonderful job of explaining his emotional state. I also appreciated is not so subtle jab at non-hunting meat eaters who will readily condemn hunting yet have no problem downing a hamburger or a t-bone. I also appreciated his discussion on Native Americans. He makes a great point about some of the misconceptions we have about how Plains people lived. He notes that while it was very true that Plains people did use nearly every part of the buffalo, they didn't use every part of every buffalo that they killed. However, I don't think he did a very good job of relating the spiritual component that bison play to Plains people to the reader. It's a decent book that I'd certainly recommend you pick up at the library.
The other book I've been reading is Acedia and Me by Kathleen Norris. I'm still working my way through that one and it will likely take me a while now that school has started up again.
Speaking of school, I've really enjoyed my first week back. I've been leaving home at 6:00 a.m. to get to the Abby Church for morning prayer, something that always sets a good tone for the day. Reading and chanting the Psalms at morning prayer is an interesting contrast to studying them in an academic, exegetical manner. I hope to be able to attend morning prayer throughout the semester.

One final thought. I've been purposely avoiding all the political rancor these past two weeks mainly because I get too worked up about these things. However, I can't let the McCain slogan slide. Certainly puts those biblical fundamentalists on the ropes .... doesn't scripture say that God is first? I guess that's one of those little things that can just be conveniently overlooked.

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