Monday, January 10, 2011

More Joe

I've been snatching quick reads from the Joseph Campbell biography that I posted about yesterday, in between kitchen patrol, clients, laundry, studying, running herd on kids, etc. etc. etc. He's very, very inspiring and rather electrifying in his quick mind; ever curious, had an amazing capacity for forming connection between people and ideas. It's terribly interesting and thought-provoking, and I'm only in the third chapter or so.

But even at that, what I'm struck with most is how much his life and career were formed by the class he was raised in. From my viewpoint, the Campbells were rather wealthy. There were nannies. Servants. Trips to Europe and Asia in the days before cheap air travel. These were people with money, and a lot of free time. Or at least, the mother and children were. The father seems to have spent a lot of time in business pursuits.

So yes, he had a prodigious mind, and an endless curiousity. But he could follow his interests and even finish an entire thought through without jumping up to hang the laundry, feed the kids, and all the other whatnots of usual life.

In some ways I'm jealous, and I think, "Boy, I could sure make hay with those resources behind me, too." But then on further reflection, probably not. I work best under pressure. If everything was handed to me, I'd probably just fall into a coma on the couch.

Maybe that's the most impressive thing about him - that in spite of the wealth and opportunity, he could discipline his mind (and body, he was an excellent athlete too) to accomplish all these things.

More reading tomorrow, I hope.

Life keeps getting busier! That must mean I'm increasing in capacity!

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