Wednesday Morning Eruption

Karl Barth and colleague Eduard Thurneysen

The drilling machine for the Aargau lecture (“Biblical Questions, Insights, and Vistas”) is going at full strength and an unbroken pillar of smoke is rising from my pipe to the ceiling as in the best times of my life. Until now the progress has been “at the face” but not yet of any magnitude, and it has yet to be seen whether or not the direction of the tunnel is right.

Karl Barth, letter to pastoral colleague Eduard Thurneysen, March 17, 1920

Studio Eidolons
The volumes, papers and index cards continued to accumulate

Oh friends, what a day this has been! I awoke this morning with staggering “visitations” of ideas that somehow emerged during my sleep. Sitting up in bed with coffee to enjoy “executive time” I resumed my reading of Heidegger’s 1936 lectures on Nietzsche and suddenly a torrent of philosophy and ethics ideas surged to the surface of my consciousness. Laying aside the book and reaching for my journal, I scribbled out eleven pages of draft, then moved down the hall to Studio Eidolons and set to work, using one of my drafting tables (I wanted to look out upon “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood”–the autumnal morning sunlight was gorgeous, throwing a new quality of light across the lawns in the 59-degree temperatures).

For over an hour, I wrote without stopping, scribbling on legal pads, index cards and in my journal. I didn’t open the laptop till this evening to compose a lecture manuscript for next week’s classes. The remarkable thing is this–for the past couple of weeks I was cranking out a lecture a day. Today I suddenly realized I had material for several weeks’ worth of lectures. The longer I read and wrote the more excited I became. As I worked, I recalled something I had read from one of Karl Barth’s letters many years ago. I had to locate the text and post it above. I felt his enthusiasm as I worked through this exciting day.

The four-semester hiatus following my retirement had me genuinely concerned that perhaps I no longer “had it” and needed to stay out of the lecture hall. Now, I can hardly wait for 9:00 Monday morning.

Thanks for reading. Wow, what a way to begin the autumn season!

2 Responses to “Wednesday Morning Eruption”

  1. Stacy C Says:

    Great read, thank you.


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