Monday, September 20, 2010

On Connections Again

I've talked before about "making connections" in our homeschool. (Some examples are here, here, herehere.)

Connections are still important to us, and they still seem to happen spontaneously, providentially, delightfully.

Today's example:

I'm reading The Screwtape Letters with Anne and Betsy. In Letter XI, Screwtape describes to Wormwood the four causes of human laughter:
I divide the causes of human laughter into Joy, Fun, the Joke Proper, and Flippancy. You will see the first among friends and lovers reunited on the eve of a holiday. Among adults some pretext in the way of Jokes is usually provided, but the facility with which the smallest witticisms produce laughter at such a time shows that they are not the real cause. What that real cause is we do not know. Something like it is expressed in much of that detestable art which the humans call Music, and something like it occurs in Heaven—

We spent a fair amount of time talking about joy, the laughter with friends and family that erupts, bubbles over, is out of proportion to the circumstance. The relationship to music.

Soon we moved on to another book I've long loved and am sharing for the first time with the girls, Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. Have you ever read it? You must. You must. 

Twelve-year-old Douglas Spaulding is experiencing something as the book opens:

And he knew what it was that had leaped upon him to stay and would not run away now.

I'm alive, he thought.
What is it? I asked the girls. What is he feeling?

It's hard to describe ...

You know it when you feel it ...

That joy ... laughter ....

The first day of summer ... Christmas ... a best friend ... the breeze when it's just right .... 

"And it reminds me of a part of Our Town,"  I said.

Yes! I know the part you mean!

And then Ramona chimed in: "It reminds me of this phrase: 'drink the wind.' You know, Mommy? Remember that?" 

I do.

I remember.

We're connecting.


Mary Kate said...

Dandelion Wine was my oldest son's favorite when he was 13! At 15, he has since moved on to S.E Hinton's books, and touching a bit on things like Animal Farm and a lot of WWII biographies and biopics.

Melanie B said...

Oh I adore Dandelion Wine! Such a delicious book. I went through a major Bradbury phase when I was in high school-- I even had a collection of his stories on audio tape. And I always think of it in conjunction with its darker shadow Something Wicked This Way Comes. And The Martian Chronicles. Oh maybe I need to go through another Bradbury phase as soon as I'm done with my current Japanese Catholic kick.

Sally Thomas said...

Me too. One of my favorites. I need to have my almost-13-year-old read it.

kort said...

this morning the not-yet-reading 6 year old was looking at the illustrations in Horse and His Boy. she says, it's like C.S. Lewis wanted us to already know Shakespeare.

yes, yes. connections.

Dandelion Wine in now happily on hold at the library...all the copies are already checked out, and two other readers are in line ahead of me. lots of people reading Bradbury in Portland! thanks for the recommendation.

Karen Edmisten said...

Thanks for stopping by, kort! Just visited your blog and it's lovely.
Enjoy Dandelion Wine!