I just picked up this book on a whim at the library. Honestly, I thought it was about food, which I could pore over 24/7. In fact, it didn’t have a thing to do with eating or food at all. Instead, I found a true gem.
Travels with Epicurus, by (the salty old) Daniel Klein is lovely. I highly recommend it to anyone who is getting older (ha ha, i.e. everyone). In his case, he’s getting on into his 70’s and a visit to the dentist has him questioning how to tread a more graceful path into his golden years. It takes him on a journey to Greece…part travelogue, part meditation on life (he does have a philosophy degree from Harvard), it will capture you, make you think, smile, and ponder your own particular life’s journey.
This is a short book, only 164 pages, but worth every moment you will spend reading it. I don’t care if you’re 30, 40, 50 or more, it is relevant for every adult.
Let me share a few tidbits with you that he elaborates on in the book…
The Greeks have two words for time, Chronos, which is the dimension of time and its duration from past to present to future, but they also have another word, Kairos, which denotes not only the quality of time spent, but it’s particular significance to an individual. Too bad we don’t have such a delineation in the English language. Perhaps we might learn to have more Kairos time rather than Chronos time…
He references an Ingmar Bergman Film called Wild Strawberries, which I haven’t seen, but am going to. It is the story of a man reviewing his life captured in the course of a single day, as well as Federico Fellini’s film 8 1/2. Both films depict characters who learn to accept their lives, warts and all.
He references many philosophers, from Plato and Aristotle to modern thinkers. He also quotes poets and authors including this transcendent passage from William Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence” that I will leave you with:
To see the World in a Grain of Sand, And Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour.