This month marks a somewhat terrifying milestone in the life of my family. In a couple of weeks, our daughter will be a teenager. It's been coming on for a while now – the eye rolling, the constant texting, the bikini-clad beach walking – but I've been in denial.
As a columnist, I'm what they call a "generalist." I know a little about a lot, and a lot about very little. I'm extremely interested, but only moderately informed. (When you spread your curiosity so thin, your knowledge tends to be wide, not deep.) So, you'll have to go elsewhere, reader, for your experts and specialists, your connoisseurs and aficionados. Here on this page, it's all amateur hour, all the time.
It ain't easy writing a column from a high-rise condo in Myrtle Beach while attending a family reunion. This festive get-together has been happening every summer for as long as I can remember, and with almost 30 people in attendance – ranging in age from 8 months to 75 years – it's not particularly conducive to contemplation. Or concentration.
Here I am again, hoping to kindle a column while burning some calories. It happens a lot. Whether I'm dealing with "weighty" issues, striding away on the elliptical machine, or going nowhere fast on the treadmill, there's something about physical exertion that causes my writer's brain to kick into high gear.
Let me tell y'all about a book I just read. (I know, I've been doing a lot of that lately. I'm kind of on a roll.) It's called Practical Mysticism: A Little Book for Normal People, by Evelyn Underhill. It was published in 1914, so you won't find it on the New York Times bestseller list. You may, however, download it on your Kindle for $.99, an investment I highly recommend.