Saturday, October 2

Book Report

Twelve by Twelve
by William Powers

I liked this one, but it didn't have enough of what I really like - the day to day descriptions of life. He goes off on tangents at times, and he gets philosophical quite a bit what annoys me at times. Thinking too much into things always annoys me just a bit. (Reminds me of my college days when a writing teacher would put an empty paper cup on the table and ask as to meditate on what this cup would say about our society to someone who might dig it up in 500 years. Totally too much into crazy town for me but when forced to, it was not hard to come up with the obvious mystical answers).

But I did really like his thoughts on solitude: "whereas loneliness is clingy and needy, solitude is expansive and luminous." His distinction between loneliness and solitude is a good one for me. I have often wondered if there was something wrong with me for not wanting to deal with many people. If I was strange or really anti-social. People sometimes assume that the lady who lives in the house alone with her cat must be lonely. Maybe she just seeks solitude for the joy it brings.

The whole idea of the 12 X 12 house is to simplify and what comes from that simplification. A great quote: "part of the joy of simplifying one's material life is that you don't have to work long hours to buy and maintain a bunch of stuff."

Taxes and retirement savings aside, the need for disgusting amounts of wealth is, well, just that - disgusting. Not that I think people who make a ton of money should be obligated to donate a ton of that money to charity, but I just think that all the waste and need for more, more more is not good for anybody. Priorities and the need for them are a great lesson I took away from this book.

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