Slow reading

I took time last week to read.  I read every day but sometimes you need to step back and just read (and cook meals and walk the dog and everything else).  My goal was to get through three books.  I made it halfway through one.

The last time it took me this long to read a book was Madeleine Thien's Do Not Say We Have Nothing.  Her fictionalised account of the effects on two families of the Cultural Revolution in China was historically compelling.  Her weaving in of mathematics and classical music required and rewarded mental agility.  The reason it took me so long to read, though, was that the prose was so beautiful I kept putting the book down to ponder a phrase or sentence.

“The only life that matters is in your mind. The only truth is the one that lives invisibly, that waits even after you close the book. Silence, too, is a kind of music. Silence will last.”

“What happened if you melted a person down layer by layer? What if there was nothing between the layers, and nothing at the centre, only quiet?”

The book I am halfway through, and will cite later when I am done and have processed it all, Is Charlie Angus' Children of the Broken Treaty.  It was a gift to welcome me to the United Church Ministry from General Council Office.  I should thank them I suppose, but I keep putting it down because it is profoundly upsetting.  It's the 21st Century and we are doing a dreadful, sinful job of treating Canadian Indigenous persons as human beings. Right now that's all I have to say about that.