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50 BOOKS 2008
I Am America and So Can You by Stephen Colbert
2)) The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

First of the all, The Year of Living Biblically is a book I recommend highly. It's non-fiction, the diary of a Jewish-born, agnostic New Yorker who spent a year trying to live his life while taking the Bible as literally as he could.

SIDE NOTE: He also has another book, The Know-It All, which chronicles his reading the entire Encylopedia Britannica. Haven't read that one yet.

Anyway, reading it caused me to think a lot about my own spiritual health. I've spent the however-many years (5? 6?) since I started building a spiritual life for myself being very inward-focused. Who am I, what's my purpose here, etc. Those are all good questions to ask, and I feel like I've been finding at least part of the answers, but recently it's had me feeling (whadda-ya-know) very self-centered. I need to start reaching outward- recognizing more of the mysticism and spirit of the world and people around me, not just myself.

I think I can start by being more thankful. There's a passage in The Year of Biblical Living where Jacobs describes the thanksgiving prayers he gives before every meal, and it resonated as something I could try. Maybe not necessarily thanking God for the food, but thanking the animals that gave their lives, the plants which grew their fruits, the farmers who raised them.

The first thing I went to eat after thinking about this last night was a Fruit Roll-Up, and I wondered whether I'd be thanking a bunch of chemists for that, so I looked at the side of the box. The first ingredient listed is pear, and sugar cane is on there too. I imagined a pear tree and sugar plants, and thanked them just before I took the first bite. It was delicious.
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A Better Word for Weird

November 2008

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