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View From Your Table

Devon, England

The reader writes:

Thought I’d share the view from my table this morning – deep in the English countryside in Devon, with a pot of hot tea, with Vaclav Benda’s collected writings. I’ve been so inspired by him having read Live Not By Lies that I invested in him for my holiday reading.
What a man. And, in the face of great evil, still so funny in a way that only those with confidence and hope can be. This cracked me up, from “A Small Lesson in Democracy” — a story from when he was losing his university job after signing Charter 77:
“[The director of the institute] regretted my inadequate sense if responsibility with regard to my five small children, and contrasted this with the sleepless nights he spent on their behalf. He went on to say he suspected that my good mood issued from a hidden income from abroad. Thinking about the undesirable state of my family finances, I wanted to make a sharp protest, then however the hidden treasures laid up in heaven occurred to me… Since I had some doubts as to whether the director would consider heaven to be a domestic or foreign institution, I confined myself to a restrained reply
May we keep the same good mood in the days ahead.
The Benda family is always good company!
I should start doing VFYTs again. Don’t know why I got out of the habit of doing them, but I think we could use them again. The rules are this: take an image of what it looks like to be seated at your table. Don’t take a photo of what’s on your table alone, but rather show it in broader context. We want to get a sense of place, even if that place is only the interior of your own home. Also, no faces (I’ll make an exception for people in the distance, in a crowd).

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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