After eating lunch, I worked more on mapping out my work history and then had to do laundry. Laundry was finished around 7 pm and then I ate leftovers for dinner. When all that was done, I felt very relieved and in the mood to treat myself. So, I decided to splurge and get a book at Borders written by Porter Alexander. I also chatted on the phone with shynessislife and caught up on all the news. Now, it's 9 pm and I'm feeling a bit exhausted. Time to sit back with tea and one of the many books I now have to choose from.
When I left off in Gen. Pettigrew's story, he was in a hospital in Baltimore vividly describing a certain facial reconstruction operation. Standing in the warm, humid laundry room and already feeling a bit pekid, I found that my stomach was barely up for that. At least Pettigrew was not too terribly injured and is now taking in the sights and sounds of Baltimore.
I think I will leave Gen. Pickett's letters for my lunch-breaks at work, since I don't have them in book-format and read them from the computer. They are short and very pleasant to read here and there, especially after working on long and complex data-sets.
I'm eager to start Alexander's book, since he seems to have some interesting stories and observations to share. In the book about Pettigrew, there was an incident mentioned where poor Alexander was up in a hot-air balloon to survey to area when the anchor cable was cut and he floated off into the sky. He made a safe landing eventually, but was nearly shot down by the Union and then Confederate troops. Poor fellow! Porter Alexander was in charge of Gen. Longstreet's artillery at Gettysburg. I was quite happy to see him in Gods and Generals, too, wearing that same bright red kepi.
With all this scattered reading - Dana's California adventures of the 1830's, Gen. Pickett's love letters, the fictional journal of Gen. Pettigrew, and now a book written by Col. Alexander - I suppose I am going to get a little muddled in confusion between places, people, and events. Somehow, this is how I enjoy reading. I always get bored when I am forced to read about history in a strict time-line fashion. Snippets of scenes here, there, earlier, afterwards, and somewhere in the middle are easier for me to relate to. I guess that's because I think about historical information in relation to the individuals - and places, dates, and situations only take on meaning for me when I see them in the context of someone I recognize.
The end of the days of the samurai is much more lamentful when viewed from the the perspective of the revolutionary teacher Shoin. The political forces of the Landsraad, CHOAM, and the Great Houses takes on a balance and urgency in light of Paul Muad'Dib. Jehosheba the royal wife of the high priest appears only briefly in the Scriptures, but at a most pivotal moment in Christ's family tree. And old Lo Armistead, over the wall at the Angle and about to be shot down a few hundred yards from his dear friend. Don't forget the lazy Heian court official Minamoto no Hiromasa who wrote flute compilations still in around today, whose memory is preserved in classic theater and modern film as a sort of comic relief.
Reading the histories and the tales is like digging into a box of gems, pulling out a handful, and holding them up to the light to watch the colors and rainbows that shine reflected about the space.
Meanwhile, Gen. Pettigrew is on crutches and unhappy to be a prisoner of the Union Army. I'm sure that he hardly feels interesting at the moment.
And instead of starting my new book, I've sat here rambling on with techno music filling my headphones, waiting for a slice of pumpkin roll to thaw from the freezer. I'm so thankful that I live in a country where I have the freedom to do these things.