You are on page 6 of the 1st AA Grapevine ever printed
Copyright © The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., June 1944
The Pleasures of Reading
Intellectual stimulus, philosophical fortification and wholesome distraction will be found in a collection of three books, superficially diverse but having a common denominator, published in a compact volume as part of The Modern Library under the title of The Consolation of Philosophy. The first book which bears the title of the volume, was written by Boethius, a Roman office-holder of the fourth century and philosopher by avocation. His discourses are agreeably set forth in the form of a dialogue with Lady Philosophy. The second book is The Imitation (or the following) of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis, technically a man of the cloister but soon adopted by the world as a meditative poet and mystical psychologist. No greater inspiration for those who would “go home again” has ever been written.
The third book, Religio Medici (the religion of a physician), is the work of Sir Thomas Browne, a seventeenth-century physician. It is a full-bodied and humanly inconsistent discussion of those matters which have troubled spirits everywhere and in every time. The doctor wrote candidly, sometimes quaintly and often amusingly, if not intentionally so (he says that man is the whole world and woman, the rib, the crooked piece of man! Biologically, however, he is less orthodox p.398). But he also speaks of that har-
mony of things which both he and Bill call the “music of the Spheres”. Each in his way, all three writers strove for and undoubtedly attained the equableness of life and serenity of spirit. Royal S.
Good Night, Sweet Prince, by Gene Fowler; Viking Press, 3.50. A biography of John Barrymore worthy of thoughtful perusal by all alcoholics. Written with sympathetic understanding, the book, to this reviewer, makes these points: 1—The fire of genius may survive alcoholism, but the genius dies. 2—The strength of a self-sufficient ego is a weakness in fighting alcoholism. Jack R.
Further Reading Pleasures: Consolation of Philosophy, Modern Library #226, 95c. The New Testament (Authorized King James Version, Pocket Edition) 25c. The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, Macmillan, 1.50. Christian Behavior by C. S. Lewis, Macmillan, 1.00. The Case of Christianity by C. S. Lewis, 1.00.
|Ounces of Prevention
Keep an indexed notebook of member's names with you: for phoning and writing A.A.s. Call a member when you have jitters, depression, discouragement, resentment . . . When you can't sleep, write a letter to an A.A. in Service or on the road and out of touch. Put a habit-forming reminder in your shaving or make-up kit. This starts the day with a
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a definite statement that you won't take a drink. Make a hospital call. When you feel low, get to the next meeting, anywhere in the area; or go to one of the A.A. luncheons. Never let yourself get hungry. For that five o'clock time try a light snack, frosted chocolate. See our Time on Your Hands Column . . . and send us your own Ounces of Prevention.
TIME ON YOUR HANDS?
This column will deal specifically with one or two “time fillers” in each issue, but we want to cover the kind of thing you are most interested in. We hope, therefore, that you will send in requests for information and that you will also send facts about your own interesting hobbies and occupations, be they intellectual, practical or just plain fun. THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS in Manhattan, Long Island, New Jersey, Westchester and Connecticut have Adult Education courses, (for the small sum of 1.00 in most cases) in practically everything, from Political Science to Public Speaking. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY and N.Y.U. have extension courses (catalogs on request) in such diverse and ambition-provoking things as Geology, Music Appreciation, Short Story Writing, and many etcs. THE LIGHTHOUSE, 111 East 59th Street and the AMERICAN RED CROSS, 315 Lexington Avenue, give courses in reading and typing Braille and you will find an amazingly varied list of other ways you can help your country by calling your local RED CROSS or CIVILIAN DEFENSE VOLUNTEER OFFICE (War Council). The NEW YORK HOSPITAL FUND, 370 Lexington Avenue, wants men and women for messengers, elevator operators, ward, clinic and dietary aides. THE WAR MANPOWER COMMISSION, 11 West 42nd Street, wants men and women volunteers to join the U. S. CROP CORPS for summer and fall harvesting and work in canneries. Applications should be made now at the U. S. EMPLOYMENT SERVICE, 124 East 28th Street. This would seem an ideal way to rebuild one’s health and help Uncle Sam at no expense.
There is a fascinating place in the Village called THE CLAY CLUB, 4 West 8th Street, where long-suppressed artistic ambitions can materialize into Greek vases or undraped nudes by playing around with hunks of wet clay. THE HAYDEN PLANETARIUM, Central Park West and 81st Street, gives courses in Celestial Navigation and Star Identification, Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30. The cost is $5.00 for ten lessons. The METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART offers concerts in the Morgan Wing each Sunday at 3:45 P.M. and in the Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park, (Fifth Avenue Bus No. 4 marked Cloisters takes you to the door) religious and secular music of the middle ages can be heard Sundays and Tuesdays at 3:30 P.M. A booklet of the museum’s lectures and special exhibitions will be sent on request.
Copyright © The A.A. Grapevine, Inc., June 1944
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