I started the last book of the four, A Column on Fire, by Ken Follett, and unlike the others, it was a relatively slow start. I could not get into the story. After two weeks, I can usually knock out the 900+ pages but not this time. It could have a bit to do with the world’s crazy state over the last two weeks, more particularly right here in the US.
I started the book just before the Capitol riot, so that I may have been a bit distracted with all the news leading up to the senate’s vote certification, but as I read, the story seemed a bit boring and slow. It takes place about 300 years past the end first book, maybe that was part of the reason, and the way of life seemed to be a bit more global as it was shaping up than the more local description of life taking place in Kingsbridge.
As I was 50 pages in, I realized I had no idea what was going on with the two characters that were the book’s focal point at this point. I decided to put the book down for a day or two and start from scratch that has not happened yet.
What did happen was a bit more critical, history and I have not focused on my peaceful reading activity; I think that will start again today. It was a bit hard to focus as the country was on the brink of a coup and a possible civil war. Gladly it seems peaceful heads and the rule of law has prevailed, but it was a scary moment in history.
For the first time, we had to militarize Washington to protect against possible violence, 25,000 soldiers, and a walled-off city. The outgoing president did not concede his loss, invite the new president to the Whitehouse, share transitional government information, and worst of all did not attend the new president’s inauguration. It is the singular thing we do that shows the world a peaceful transition of power. It is inexcusable.
I try to find a positive in things as much as possible and what this dark time showed was just how delicate a country is for freedom and a balance of power between the government and the citizens. It is good to see the US take our rightful place on the world stage again and civil discourse between the president, the other government branches, and the citizens.
Today the news will go off. I will watch in the morning and the evening, but I will spend my day doing some of my relaxing tasks; a bit of training on codecademy.com and starting A Column of Fire again, hopefully with a better focus and a more enjoyable read.
As I write this up, one final thought we lost a great one yesterday, Hank Aaron, the true home run king, and just today Larry King, a legendary radio personality. Even if you never followed either of these guys, you knew their names.