Saturday, March 13, 2010

Seven Pleasures by William Spiegelman

William Spiegelman, a professor of English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, has written a collection of essays, Seven Pleasures, about everyday things that make him happy: reading, walking, looking (at art), dancing, listening (to music), swimming, and writing. Each essay is a light, personal meditation on one of these activities. The essays are engaging and enjoyable to read, but ephemeral and soon forgotten.

I am glad I read this book, though not for the Spiegelman's essays themselves. More intriguing is this idea of ordinary activities that can bring one pleasure. Reading Seven Pleasures made me wonder what ordinary activities I would class as bringing me joy. Like Spiegelman, I too enjoy reading, looking at art, listening to music, and writing, but are there any other activities?

I couldn't think of many beyond those I share with Spiegelman. Just hanging out with my eight year old son can bring me real joy. I love tea and drinking a cup good Chinese black tea is a very ordinary happiness I enjoy every morning. But truly, reading is the ordinary happiness that I come back to over and over.

What about you? What are the ordinary everyday things that make you happy?


Read for:

  • Numbers Challenge

  • GLBT Challenge - because Spiegelman happens to be gay, although he only mentions it in passing and it doesn't really have anything to do with his essays.

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