Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sewing in the Sunshine

Had a very 19th-century moment earlier today. Buddy and I went outside so he could dig in the dirt and I brought my mending with me (patches on his pants)... not only did I get to sit outside in the shade working on my own thing while he played but I actually finished the last two pairs... this has been sitting on my project table since we last had cool weather. I had a sudden moment of realizing, not intellectually, but viscerally, that the reason why 19th-century literature and film portrayals of it so often depict women with their handwork is that the only way it can get done, is to always be doing it. I'm fortunate in that sewing by hand is a choice, not a necessity, for me. Still, it made me feel very cinematic today.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yes, I Take My Moral Compass From Rock 'n' Roll

Some unexpected inspiration from the Gospel of Freddy Mercury...

and love dares you to care for
the people on the edge of the night
(children of the streets)
and love dares you to change our way of
caring about ourselves...

               --- from "Under Pressure" by Queen

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Little Light Reading

This is just a nice example of how much of a geek? nerd? I am.

I've ordered a few books from Amazon for my summer reading, and these two arrived on the same day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oh Yeah, Pregnant

I give up. I finally give up. I've been struggling so hard during this pregnancy to maintain the things I'm used to doing, albeit in modified form --- things like making my cards and writing regularly here and watching movies with The Dude on weekends and oh, making plans to do other things --- and I just can't do it. I am so tired. I remember being tired the last time but back then all my time was my time so it didn't matter if I just ended up doing less --- now much of my time is actually toddler time and the little bits that I can make for myself I just want to keep for myself. To have my quiet study time in the morning, and get some kind of workout in before work, to read on the train and then again for a bit before bed. To watch a sitcom or documentary on DVD with The Dude (the thought of an actual movie seems too much right now). Well, and to read as much as possible. Normally winter is my reading season but right now it's really all I want to do.

There are some projects I want to get done before this baby comes --- mostly scrapbooking stuff that I know if I don't do now will end up waiting another 3-4 years (plus I need the space currently taken up by boxes of cards/photos). And of course there's any number of baby preparations that need to be done. I don't know how these things will happen given our schedules in the next few months but I can't worry about that right now. Oh and of course I've now entered into the busy months at work...

This does not inspire hope for the months after Sweet Pea's birth. Sigh.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Some Questions I Have Been Pondering

One of the most influential books I have read this year (or started, rather, I haven't finished it yet) is Mark Labberton's "The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor: Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus". I've been working my way through it since shortly before Lent as a way of grounding and strengthening my commitment to address child abuse and related injustice, particularly the more brutal aspects of it, since I was finding that it was very easy to want to close my eyes again, and I didn't want to do that.

The book is set up as a series of short essays and reflective questions around the themes of paying attention, seeing, naming, and acting. It's slow going on my part, but it's definitely been illuminating. Here are some of the questions that I've found particularly meaningful.

How does your life's momentum affect your capacity for empathy: entering into the lives and needs of others, especially those who have no tie or evident benefit to you? Notice today or this week the time and energy you devote to engage with the needs of others. What does empathy cost you? (p. 46)

What moments or circumstances expose your distance, fear, rejection, anger, prejudice, or dislike of "they"? Why do these responses seem natural and justified? What experiences or voices in your life have contributed to that? (p. 51)

Do you invest energy daily in avoiding problems or pain? What does this lead you to see in your heart? Who is someone you know who does a good job of stepping towards the needs of others? (p. 53)

Sight is how you see. Vision is how you see and your interpretation of what you see. What factors most significantly affect your vision of people around you? Of people in need? Of global suffering? Of individuals who are victims or violence and oppression? (p. 78)

I expect it will take me the rest of the year to work my way through this book but I am grateful to have found it.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Answering a Question I Don't Know How to Ask

...We will go before God to be judged, and God will ask:
“Where are your wounds?”
We will answer, “We have no wounds.”
God will ask: “Was there nothing worth fighting for?”
--- Rev. Allan Aubrey Boesak, South Africa