Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

At some point in the future I’d like to spend one year devoted to philosophy – specifically, to the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

As chance would have it, Mokhotlong has established a book club featuring Jenn, two of the Mokhotlong-area Peace Corps Volunteers (Matt and Devin), and myself. First on the list: Zen.

I gave myself a full week to read this book. In light of events the week before, my mental state throughout the first chapter was a bit under par. The moment I caught up emotionally, I realized that a single week just wouldn’t cut it.

With each chapter I found myself pausing to reflect, to insert myself into the story and grapple with the concepts presented therein. I highlighted notable works and phrases at first, later critical examples that illustrated a point well, and finally entire passages that corroborated or contradicted my line of thinking. I added dozens of notes, especially when angered, but my first-edition Kindle makes note-taking difficult and a pen always seemed too far out of reach. I completed the book thrilled by the challenge of the story’s thesis and hungry for a re-read. The text demanded it.

Thus I propose to myself:

A one year project in which I take the book in sections. Reading, Reflecting. Writing. Reviewing. Reworking.

It seems like a luxury for which I will have little time to spare for due attention, but the book will be re-read someday regardless. I hope my scattered notes and highlights will reignite this desire for true contemplation…and make sense.


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