50 Literary (or not) Shades of Me

  1. I love Christ and I want to know all about His world. He is Logos. He is the Word. I love words because they tell stories that are the key to me. The rosetta stone to meaning; the answer to our modern “crisis of meaning”; the destination that Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning seeks, and The Awakening to which John Vervaeke expounds upon, and the leap of faith that Kierkegaard insisted upon, and that Dostoevsky illustrated time and again by showing us the consequences of patricide, of atheism, of crime, and of being a man “underground” or an “idiot.”
  2. I am “in” love with my boys. The kind Christina Rossetti illustrated in Goblin Market.

    – Circa 2004

  3. I like the study of words in the Owen Barfield notion of archeological finds of the past that give meaning to the present.
  4. I am a bibliophile. As Churchill noted, if I can’t read them, at least I can take them down to fondle them.
  5. Literary apologetics is a “thing” because there is a way of knowing truth apart from reason. There, I said it.
  6. I don’t trust the opinions of those that don’t read books. As Oswald Chambers pointed out: When people refer to a man as ‘a man of one book,’ meaning the Bible, he is generally found to be a man of multitudinous books, which simply isolates the one Book to its proper grandeur. The man who reads only the Bible does not, as a rule, know it or human life. 
  7. If you hear Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Dean Martin – then I am baking and guests are coming.
  8. I have a crush on Jack (C.S. Lewis).
  9. Shakespeare is surpassing Lewis in my affections on one level– his genius is impossible to ignore especially in making male characters that a girl can love apart from fantasy. Still, not one of his characters thus far has so fully described me as Lewis’ Orual. The highest experience in love is allowing someone to see the “darkest” part of your evil heart, and finding they love you still. Lewis, without my permission, did that examination and wrote it all down for the whole world to read! I should hate him for that! Instead, my love grows fonder.
  10. My boys do not believe that I will ever get the names of various technology devices correct. To which I ask, “why don’t they make the playbox to go wirelessly to utunes so that I can listen to my favorite songs on my walkman?” 
  11. I believe that medium matters. Paperback is relegated to positions of least honor such as garage sales.
  12. I know who John Galt is.
  13. Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite Narnia Chronicle. Eustace taught me a thing or two about dragons and grace.
  14. I have found that “history” tends to iron out the wrinkles in our theology. Literature can’t help but tell the truth about theology.
  15. If I am writing and baking at the same time – I burn things. When the boys smell anything in the oven and see me at the computer, they will quiz me about timers and things of that nature.
  16. Home adornment is not optional.
  17. My maternal grandfather Captain Samuel Winkley (great many times) was a mariner, Captain (of the Ketch ” Mary of Kittery” and “Adventure”) arriving August 9, 1680 at Portsmouth, NH. He married the grandmother of the patriot Samuel Adams (a widow at the time and apparently there were some pesky law suits about the Adam’s malthouse). My uncle married Rev. Brewster’s (of the Mayflower) granddaughter. They became founding members of the Quaker’s in America and attempted to convert Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is written:

    Having returned to New Hampshire at the earliest possible moment,
    he set out with her [his wife] on a long journey to improve her health. “Ellen & I came hither in a chaise this morng. an easy ride of 12 miles from Con-
    cord,” he wrote to his brother Charles from the Shaker village of Canter-
    bury. “Her mother followed us an hour or two later in coach with our
    fair & reverend baggage. Ellen bore the ride beautifully & if tomorrow shd.
    prove fair & she continues as well we mean to go on to Meredith bridge
    … or even possibly to Centre Harbor . . . Mother Winkley or Sister
    Winkley hath given Ellen & I a long & earnest sermon on the ‘beauty of
    virginity’ & striven to dissuade us from our sinful purpose of ‘living after
    the way of manhood & of womanhood in the earth’ but I parried her
    persuasion & her denunciation as best I might & insisted we were yoked
    together by Heaven to provoke each other to good works so long as we
    lived . . .

  18. My paternal grandfather (great many times) was the first cousin of the Governor of Georgia, General Andrew Pickens (of whom the Mel Gibson movie, The Patriot is based). The Pickens were French (Picones) Huguenots (Calvinists), driven out by the retraction of the Edict of Nantes into Scotland.
  19. One of my favorite movies is Braveheart and second is LOTR: The Two Towers. (One could discern a few things more about me based on this info alone).
  20. I secretly long to be a first class Southern Woman – but I fall short in the areas of: owning a Sunday Go To Meeting Hat, cooking a lot of sugary desserts, frying,  and overusing the terms honey, sugar pie, and sweetie.
  21. My son’s friends mimic my use of “hey, buddy,” which is the prefix to all communications regarding chores and attitudes (Shout out to Zack R.)
  22. Conversations about Kierkegaard interest me immensely more than trifles….but I do occasionally watch Here Comes Honey Boo Boo – which has me rethinking all the trifles I may have missed.
  23. I cried when the stray dog providentially showed up on mama’s porch in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy to scare off the thieves. Oh – how He loves us so.
  24. My youngest son cried when I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin to him as a little boy. When I asked him why he was crying he said, “because I don’t know if I could take a beating for that girl like Tom did.” And that my friend is one of the goals of good narrative.
  25. My oldest son cried during My Dog Skip (which is what any good dog lovin’ boy would have done).
  26. Francis Schaeffer used to make me work for every page he wrote, but satisfaction came after much practice. Then it was the economics of F.A. Hayek, the theology of Johnathon Edwards, William of Occam’s nominalism, the educational theories of Rousseau, the political theories of Thomas Hobbes, and some modern philosophers that perplexed me (which you know they do it on purpose – especially post-moderns who insist words to be social constructs). Now, I am in the big leagues with the likes of Hegel, Nietzsche, Foucault, on one hand and Peterson, Zizek, and Vervaeke on the other. As long as one keeps Christ, Chesterton, Lewis, Tolkien, and Barfield in the middle – you can survive the pull.
  27. Pierson

    Kenny Chesney’s Boys of Fall makes me nostalgic. He is a good story-teller.

  28. Cut fresh flowers indicates that company is coming.
  29. I can spend hours in Ulta and think that I just had a good time. Make-up, like fiction, is an “art” that speaks to our longing for the beautiful.
  30. If I were a man – I would wear a bow tie and some sort of checkered shirt. I would practice a slow William Buckley draw and roll my tongue on the last syllable.
  31. I get the Revelation. I’ve read the Histories of the Jewish Wars by Josephus. But mostly I get literature and its genres – an important contribution to understanding the Bible.
  32. J.R.R. Tolkien is perhaps the most masterful writer in turning the entire landscape of biblical redemption, the condition of man, and the longing of man into the best words and deeds. His work is the culmination of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful – and for this – I am in awe at his gift.
  33. Tolkien “got” the medieval as prerequisite to said gifting. He visited the fairyland of Sir Orfeo and the folk tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight where  he discovered the perilous realm of the Eucatastrophe.
  34. I will watch any screen play by Tennessee Williams. He tends to tell the truth about mendacity (untruthfulness). He had an uncanny ability to write me into Cat on a Hat Tin Roof before I was even born, but I did appreciate that my lines were done by Elizabeth Taylor.
  35. Mattie Ross is my favorite fictional Southern Presbyterian (not to be confused with the Cumberland sect – which my family apparently pioneered and of which Mattie said, “I say nothing against the Cumberlands. They broke with the Presbyterian Church because they did not believe a preacher needed a lot of formal education. That is all right but they are not sound on Election. They do not fully accept it. I confess it is a hard doctrine, running contrary to our earthly ideas of fair play, but I can see no way around it.”
  36. Booker T. Washington is the finest example of a leader living out a biblical worldview that I know of….the fact that he did so while under the extreme duress of racism shows his strength of character. His mis-appropriation of trust in the white man makes him no less of a real man, nor does Charles Chestnut’s,  or Frederic Douglass’ mistrust of the same. Slave narratives tend to work on a soul as history does on theology.
  37. Liberal, anti-biblical textbooks are the most peeving sort of book.
  38. My favorite mother in all of history is Mary (of course) – I cannot fathom the pain she must have felt with her son nailed to a cross. If my experience as a mother is any indication, then she felt each wound as deeply and in some sense, more deeply than her child. “He who jests at scars, never felt a wound,” — we all recall those tiny little feet that we kissed with each diaper change — how difficult to see them pierced through.
  39. King Alfred’s mother Judith is my second favorite female in history. She spent
    Judith - King Alfred's mother teaches him history.

    Judith – King Alfred’s mother teaches him history.

    time telling her son of his ancestors, of the Bible, …the Providences of God, and thereby building his destiny to save the Angles and Saxons.

  40. Thirdly – but quickly approaching a bump up to number one – is Monica – mother of St. Augustine. She used the “means” of grace in prayer and tears – to plead the case for her degenerate son to find favor with God and grace among the elect. Oh, how he did.
  41. These days it seems a woman must have a female hero – I do a lot of kicking against that goad – but I have acquiesced and choose Queen Esther – mostly because the way in which God put her so perfectly in history, but also because of the way she obeyed the male authorities in her life and was not remiss to send the ancestors of the Amalekites to the gallows (for whom the men in history allowed to live in disobedience to God’s commands). With her love of getting all dolled up for her man and cooking him not one, but two dinners — she would have made a good Southern woman.
  42. I believe that being a good girl is freeing. Bad girls are uninteresting because they resemble every other girl. Rebel against the current culture and there you will find originality. Dare to be different!
  43. I do not like it when our culture (and the women in it) attempt to feminize boys. If we keep handing our daughter an Edward — she may marry him — but she’ll long for a Jacob (and you Twilight fans know what I’m talking about).


    – Circa 2013

  44. I do like it when boys are allowed to be what God made them – snakes and snails and puppy dog tails – or some sort of thing like that (and that’s not an insult to a boy – in fact – it’s a quite intriguing thought – as snakes, snails, and puppy dog tails are always points of boyish interest).
  45. Children are made for fairy tales, or is it fairy tales are made for children? Either way.
  46. Second to Lewis, Flannery O’Connor knows things about me that are embarrassing. I never know if I am a Ruby Turpin or a Mary Grace; a Julian, or his mother…most likely I am all the above. Shame on O’Connor for calling me a “root hog from hell!”
  47. I like that God, by His Providence, has brought me to keep company with varying personalities, of diverse orthodoxy and orthopraxy. If Whitfield and Wesley could love one another as dearest brothers while hotly contending for correct biblical exegesis – than surely you will indulge me to love both my charismatic and reformed brethren. After all, the Baptist Spurgeon was the Prince of Preachers, Lewis was an Anglican, Milton, a Puritan, Tolkien, a Catholic, Willberforce, a friend of Quakers, Kuyper a Dutch Reformed, Schaeffer a Presbyterian, and John Newton (author of Amazing Grace) was an example that folks like me “do exist.” He was a strong supporter of evangelicalism in the Church of England, but he remained a friend of Dissenters (such as Methodists and Baptists) as well as Anglicans.
  48. After all, with such a diverse pedigree of English, French, and Scots-Irish Patriots – one could expect a lot of coloring outside the lines. Strange that I prefer not to do so. Nevertheless, I find those who do to be interesting at best and a challenge to husbandry skills at worse (I refer to the bearing of spiritual fruit,… in particular, long-suffering).
  49. I have some trouble with Victorian poetry — I think. But not with Robert Browning which remains a paradox to me because while he exemplifies Lewis’ theory of sehnsucht – I don’t like his directness most days. Perhaps he grows on one. Chesterton recommends him, as does Baylor University — so I know I am missing the point here. Maybe his is that secondary friend that Lewis talk about in which we disagree, yet know we need them.
  50. Lastly – well. Some stories are never-ending…and one gets that idea about reality. Eternity is without end and therefore our lives must be as well so there are no truly “last things.” Fiction will one day turn to biography.

3 thoughts on “50 Literary (or not) Shades of Me”

  1. Mrs. Castle,
    Although the voyage of the dawn treader (#13) is not my favorite I absolutely love The Chronicles of Narnia, with the Magicians Nephew or the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe being my all time favorites.

    I also get emotional in dog stories(#23) and I loved reading The Little House on the Prairie books when I was younger!

    I also love spending time in Ulta,(#29)and I completely agree that makeup is very much like art!

  2. Ulta is awesome and it strikes me much like Hobby Lobby when I can’t quite decide which colors/items I should purchase to finish the project 🙂

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