I have fond childhood memories growing up on Mahalani Circle in Kaneohe, of wanting nothing more than to be outside with my friends, exploring the neighborhood and beyond, occasionally getting in over my head in the school of hard knocks. All the while, my older sister who is now a respected professor and author herself, was perfectly content staying indoors, day after day, reading book after book in her room. I never understood her infatuation with the written word and the great authors, but was secretly impressed with her ability to read novels like “For whom the Bell Tolls” in a day.
Some 50 years later, I have to admit I’ve only read a handful of great books cover to cover. But the one that left a lasting impression was Bertrand Russell’s “A History of Western Philosophy”. Took me the better part of 2 years, but it was a memorable journey, to say the least. He struck me as an amazing source of history, knowledge and common sense.
That said, I’m far more in tune with the philosophers of music, and those who poetically shed light on the vast ironies extant in everyday life. Lately, one such musician I’ve had my ear on is the ever rebellious, often troubled, awkwardly talented Todd Snider. His head-on take on life almost always resonates perfectly with mine. A simple line from his song “If Tomorrow Never Comes” sticks in my head recently:
”If I judge the judgmental, then what am I”?