Friday, January 11, 2013

Reading Heidegger

“It’s required,” my dissertation chairperson said. And so I bought the book. Being and Time. Interesting title, I thought as I climbed into bed. I’ll read a chapter a night. Be done in no time.

I was in the middle of page two when I stopped. I hadn’t a clue about what I’d just read. Okay. I won’t leave a paragraph until I understand. After several hours, I fell asleep in the middle of paragraph one.

I did get through it. Even wrote an interpretation of part one for my committee. They accepted it. Truth is I don’t think they understood any more than I. You see there aren’t enough words, enough appropriate phrases to try to present what Heidegger was trying to say. We should all be standing around, mouth open, in awe of life, of being. But the world would be too quiet and so we talk and write about it, endlessly.

I’ve been having that conversation as long as I can remember and I’m still having it. No answers, just lots of questions. And I’ve made wonderful friends along the way, people curious about life and living. It’s a bottomless pit—the study of that. Thank God (literally). Life would be so dull otherwise.


  1. We should all be standing around, mouth open, in awe of life, of being.
    What a profound truth Ruth. Out attention is fractured most of the time but the master work is all around us - I suppose artists simply grab hold of it for a split second so we can see it.

  2. I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one who struggled to understand what the deep philosophers were trying to tell us!