The Leaden Echo
(Poem: “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1918)
Many of us seek ways to find a respite from the stress of our daily lives. We awaken to an alarm clock and prepare for the day’s demands. How many of us awaken and thank God for the jobs we have? For the joy they bring us?
Henry David Thoreau declared: “Our life is frittered away by detail … Simplify, simplify.” Most of us separate work and play, making the best of our jobs but waiting eagerly for the weekends, holidays, and vacations.
How many people follow the lives of celebrities? Reality shows? Why?
Seeking relief from the pressures of contemporary life, we escape into a variety of entertainments. But do commercial television and the popular film industry provide deeply satisfying experiences?
To escape in entertainment is ultimately unsatisfying if we return to our ordinary lives without renewed spirit, insight, or inspiration.
The Golden Echo
Literature can offer a profound haven from daily stresses. Well-crafted fiction can imbue characters with vibrant and complex emotions. Lyrical language can enrich a reader’s appreciation of human thought.
Plots that twist and turn, “upping the ante”, can captivate the reader. This experience can nurture the soul.
There is something exquisitely special about cuddling up with a good book. The magic of written words is that they work in harmony with a reader’s imagination. Television and films portray increasingly graphic action. Books leave visualization to the reader’s imagination, fostering a more interactive relationship. Too many television shows and movies involve superficial relationships, clichés and contrived situations. We learn little from them about the meaning of life.
C.S. Lewis maintained that, “Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”
Literature can provide a genuine experience leaving the reader more in touch with his/her feelings. Emerging from an engrossing read, one feels more alive. Feel the waves, the mist, and the excitement of confronting Moby Dick!
The late British critic, Cyril Connolly, argued, “While thought exists, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living.”
In the end, television and popular films are an escape and entertainment while literature creates a haven for your mind and emotions.
I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new
iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog
and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the superb work!
Great blog you have got here. Interesting articles re education and parenting. It’s difficult to find quality
writing like yours these days. I really appreciate individuals like you!
I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoyed its information and your presentation. I have you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post|
Nice post on teachers and education. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites I
stumble upon every day. It’s always interesting to read through content from other writers and use a little something
from their sites.
I was just looking at your Escape or Haven? | Teachers Are Heroes! website and see that your site has the potential to become very popular. Your content is great and relevant.
Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate the time you took to post your thoughts and reactions.
Our lives are often too hectic and I believe we need to pause, take deep breaths, and be kind to ourselves. Being kind to others also enriches us.
Stay in touch!
Magnificent goods from you, man. I’ve understood your ideas during previous visits. You
are just fantastic! I really like what you’ve posted here, really like what you’re stating and the way in which you
say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for others and keep it smart.
I can’t wait to read far more from you. This is really a wonderful web site.