Posted by: Nathan | September 20, 2007

For the first time…

I remember reading something once wherein the author said squi would pay one million dollars to able to read a certain author for the first time (again)*. I couldn’t find the quote, but it’s an interesting idea. Everyone has certain songs, books, movies, TV shows, trips, etc. that squi has experienced so many times that the familiarty of them begins to lessen the mystique.

There’s a lot to be said experiencing things many times: you really get to know the work, you catch what you missed the first time, you can quote it to yourself and others, and it slowly becomes a part of you. However, there is something amazing about doing something you’ve never done or reading something you’ve never read and loving it that is so exhilarating.

I don’t have $1,000,000.00, so the question is theoretical anyway, but I wondered what things I would give a lot to redo for the first time. First one of the top of my head is hearing Dave Matthews Band, especially Under the Table and Dreaming. That record is so spectacular, but I’ve listened to it hundreds of times so that my mind knows every note, every chord, and every solo. I’d love to hear that record without any of those expectations and just experience the music.

Books? To be honest, though I’ve read a few books, I haven’t had the opportunity to reread as much as I’d like. Even some of my favorite books I’ve only passed through once (e.g. A Farewell to Arms), so reading them again will still be pretty new for me. I’d pay a lot to read the Bible with fresh eyes, but God always provides insights to the hungry-hearted.

What books, movies, music, etc. would you love to re-experience for the first time?

*I keep thinking the author was Twain, but I could be wrong. Good answer, though.


  1. This fine post has been sitting in my Google Reader for quite some time; I’ve been delaying comment for no good reason.

    There are a few things that I’d love to experience again for the first time: Beethoven’s “33 Variations”, Bach’s “Partita No. 2 in D Minor”, Brahms’ “Requiem”, “Live at Luther”, “Share the Well”, “Les Miserables”, “Emergence-SEE”, “Mere Christianity”, “Lord of the Rings”, ‘The Sermon on the Mount’, Paul’s Epistles, the last 4 chapters of “Job”.

    That said, I much prefer intimate understanding/experience through repeat encounters, especially with music. For me, it makes the experience that much more beautiful when I know every nook and cranny–it allows me to more fully appreciate God’s creativity. It’s powerful stuff the first time one sticks squi’s head under the ocean’s surface and sees the variety of wildlife and the vastness of the sea. The more time one spends there, however, the more squi recognizes things that weren’t seen on first blush, and the true complexity of the world.

    There’s another side of this for me, too: there are pieces of music that I’d like to perform again, but only after having lived with them for such a long time. Examples of this would be Samuel Barber’s “Angus Dei” and Stephen Paulus’s “Pilgrim’s Hymn”, among many, many others. Again, there’s an intimacy with these pieces (both musically and lyrically) that impacts me more now than it did the first time I sang them.

  2. I agree that familiarity is to be preferred to freshness, but there is something sweet about doing something amazing for the first time. Skiing last winter was such an experience for me.

    Thanks for the list of good stuff to check out! Due to this comment, I will get to experience some of these things for myself.

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