Wednesday, January 28, 2009

On Making Progress

I've been cleaning bookshelves. It's like calling on old friends.
The temptation is to stop, to flip through pages, re-reading something here and there, examining illustrations and photographs, lingering over some portion of text that touched me, or challenged me, or made me think of something differently.
That's not a good way to make progress, at least not the cleaning kind of progress.
But then, maybe that's the trouble with progress. So often it means charging ahead, ignoring what's right around us, ignoring old friends, ignoring the pleasures of here-and-now.
I like progress, and I especially like bookshelves with a certain amount of neat-and-tidy, where I can find what I'm looking for, although I'll admit to a fondness for overflowing bookshelves -- they are like an adventure waiting to happen.
But progress is a means to an end, and it's important to remember that the end result of progress, of neat-and-tidy, is nothing more or less than the ability to visit with those old friends, whenever I feel the need for company.

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