Ten Things: College, Etsy, Boethius, and More

1. I’m sorry that I’ve been off here for so long!

2. The wildflowers are in bloom:

3. I’m going to college! If you haven’t heard already, I am delighted to inform you that this July I’ll be heading back to Wyoming Catholic College for the three-week backpacking trip all freshmen start their college career with there. WCC offers one degree in the liberal arts… far from being a useless study, this is the most useful study of all, for it is the study of how to be a human being. We’ll read and discuss the great books, keep learning and pushing our strengths and limitations in the outdoors, enjoy the community of two hundred like-minded young people, and do it all in an intensely, authentically Catholic environment. I can’t wait.

4. As a prerequisite to the above, I’m graduating from high school in two weeks. This one is scary.

5. I’ve just put a couple of illustrated quotes up on Etsy. I really enjoyed making and photographing these, so I hope you’ll take a look, and I’d appreciate it if you’d pass the word along to anyone you think might be interested by them. Pictured is a print of a quote from Charlotte Mason—the original was Mom’s Christmas present.

6. If you want to see more pictures of what I’ve been up to, I’m on Instagram as @emma.vanderpol.

7. One of the pictures you’ll see over there is this proof copy of the novella I’m hoping to self-publish by the end of the month:

8. Some might be surprised that a man who died in 524 could be so apropos in 2020, but Boethius’ writings are no less acute for their being fifteen hundred years old. Try this:

“Are you asking if I know that I am a rational and mortal creature? I know and confess it.”
She [Lady Philosophy] then replied, “Is there nothing more that you can add?”
“Now I know the other, in fact the greatest, cause of your disease: you no longer know what you are.”

Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, translated by Scott Goins and Barbara H. Wyman, p. 28

Need I say more?

9. Yes, I do need to say more. As we began to realize that the Covid-19 pandemic was going to be serious, started to realize the fragility of our material prosperity and security, I read this quote from the same author, speaking in the voice of Fortune:

Mortal, why do you accuse me daily with your complaints? What injury have I done to you? What goods of yours have I taken away? Find any judge you like and take me to court over the possession of riches and honors. If you can show that a single one of these things belongs to any mortal, I’ll willingly agree that what you seek belongs to you.

Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, translated by Scott Goins and Barbara H. Wyman, pp. 34-5

10. And then this:

“But so you won’t think I’m waging an inexorable war against Fortune,” she [Lady Philosophy] continued, “there is a time when she treats man well, not deceiving him at all. It’s when she shows herself, uncovers her face, and confesses her ways. Perhaps you don’t yet understand what I say: what I’m trying to express is strange, and so I can hardly explain it. Indeed, I think Fortune is of more benefit when she is adverse than when she brings prosperity, for in the latter case she approaches under the guise of happiness. When she seems kind, she lies; but when she shows herself fickle and unstable, she is truthful. In the first case she deceives; in the latter she instructs. In the first instance she uses the appearance of false goods to bind the minds of men that enjoy them; in the second she frees these minds by the knowledge of the fragility of happiness.”

Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, translated by Scott Goins and Barbara H. Wyman, p. 60

2 thoughts on “Ten Things: College, Etsy, Boethius, and More

  1. WOW. That first quote is so apt for these crazy times we’re living in. And congratulations on your big college news! That’s so exciting!