Cataloguing an Act of Meditation

This past weekend I decided to finally sit down and do something I have been thinking of doing for a while – make up a list of the books in my home library.  I know it’s not something incredibly exciting, though I did find it a lot less taxing than what I did the weekend prior which included aiding in kitchen renovations at my daughter’s home (truth be known it was more a supervisory role).  So in all honesty this job was a nice change. When I began cataloguing my modest library of hard covers I thought it would be just another simple task, something to keep me occupied for a little while on a cold dreary February afternoon while I recover from football withdrawals.  Though as I pulled one book down after the other, wrote down the title, author and so on it turned in to something else; I started to feel very accomplished.  Not accomplished in the fact that I was finally cataloging my library, but accomplished in the sense of understanding the knowledge I had acquired over the years from all of these books. Moreover the process of cataloging was rather therapeutic and meditative.  I would pull down a stack from a shelf, go through them one by one, write down the details, return the stack and do it all over again.  There was a lovely type of reminiscing that went on as well.  Some I found inscriptions in, some I found dates in which I bought or received them.  It was like looking through a family photo album. In those books are the varied stories of individual struggle against the back drop of major world, economic and political strife.  For example Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom by Conrad Black chronicles not only the former president’s personal struggle with polio, but his many political battles for social and economic change in America, his fight against fascism in Europe and Japanese imperialism in the Pacific.  Richard Reeves’ President Nixon: Alone In The White House reveals the political genius of the 37th President of the United State, juxtaposed by his lack of trust and self destructive behaviour that ultimately resulted in his disgrace and resignation from the Presidency. And Buckner F. Melton, Jr.’s Sea Cobra: Admiral Halsey’s Task Force and the Great Pacific Typhoon recounts the epic struggle against natures most horrific of storms, the typhoon, and how very nearly the US Pacific Fleet came to being destroyed thus possibly changing the outcome of the Pacific War, as had been the case in 1281 when the “divine wind” or kamikaze had destroyed the Mongol invasion fleet that threatened Japan. Once finished and all the books had been set back in their place I took a look and realized a whole unassuming education lay in those pages, reminding me of the uncomplicated, age-old power and comfort of books. | Raymond Matt, CFP, CLU, TEP, CHS | The Ontarian, Writer, Editor

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