Monthly Archives: July 2005

A quote from The Mermaid Chair (by Sue Monk Kidd):

“Sometimes I experience God like this Beautiful Nothing,” he said. “And it seems then as though the whole point of life is to just rest in it. To contemplate it and love it and eventually disappear into it. And then other times it’s just the opposite. God feels like a presence that engorges everything. I come out here, and it seems the divine is running rampant. That the marsh, the whole of Creation, is some dance God is doing, and we’re meant to step into it, that’s all. Do you know what I mean?”

Once again, I’m up way past my bedtime, engrossed in yet another (non-thesis-related) book.

This time it’s Sue Monk Kidd’s latest, The Mermaid Chair. My mom left this one for me last month. I’m a fan of Kidd, ever since I read her Dance of the Dissident Daughter, months ago. My attraction to her works is due to her desire to reconcile a fundamentalist-evangelical upbringing to an attraction in the feminine aspects of the divine. In many ways, I can relate to that quest.

The Mermaid Chair is part bildungsroman, in that it traces a middle-aged woman’s journey from deadened spiritual cold to a self-awakening — and it’s part romance, in that it tells the story of a special relationship that forms in the process. Now I’m not normally a person that enjoys reading conventional fictive romances — but this one was different, and I found myself engrossed — and yes, staying up until 5AM to finish it.

For one, it’s set in the South. I think I was alleviating much of my homesickness by reading these pages. Everything from watching the Braves play on TBS, to eating shrimp & grits, benne wafers, and the thick salt-laden marsh air helped me remember different aspects of home.

There’s also many elements of the story that remind me of some of my own personal issues that I experienced before leaving home for the adventures of the Great White North.

Maybe that’s what is keeping me up so late tonight. Isn’t it funny how a book can remind you of past feelings in a way that is so intense that you feel like it only happened yesterday? Lately I’ve been reminded of my past in so many ways — and the weight of it all is overwhelming.

Last post before the long weekend –

The next blogger get-together event is gonna be on Saturday, August 13th, in the afternoon.

More details to be posted later. Leave comments below, and if anyone is inspired to design a graphic for it, that’d be grrrrrreat.

Enjoy Saskatchewan Day long weekend, everyone!

If you’re looking for an educational distraction (aren’t we all), check out the latest online issue of Science magazine. It’s their 125th anniversary special, and they’ve got 125 big questions facing scientists and researchers for the next quarter-century. They’ve made most of this issue of their magazine open to the public.

Interesting stuff.

The internet can be a good thing.

It’s brought all sorts of friends into my life that weren’t there before. It exposes me to different perspectives of the news, so I’m not stuck hearing any one political party’s line towed. Two years while reading another friend’s website, I discovered my thesis topic. I’m now able to read about the life events of different family members and friends, while I’m living miles and miles away. Plus, I’ve got a written record of the last 3 years of my life — documenting all sorts of changes of mind and heart.

But, then again, the internet can be not so good.

It’s distracting — it’s a little too easy to blog or surf, rather than doing what you’re “supposed” to be doing. Not only that, but it’s time consuming. I can “just check my email” for an hour or more. Plus, there’s some awful content on some pages on the Internet.

And then, of course, you’ve got some trolls who think it’s perfectly fine to visit your page, once, and then make a substantive comment on who you are as a person. Either there have been some insightful-at-first-glance people who just happened to stumble upon these cyberpages and comment (not hardly), or there are some jerks whose hobby it is to hand out blanket judgements and stereotypes of people they don’t agree with. Or these are just people from my past who’d rather anonymously comment than deal with me in person.

I don’t mind people disagreeing with me — it’s what keeps this life interesting. But just as I wouldn’t go up to someone I just met and accuse them of hiding a lesbian relationship, being an inadequate graduate student, or a tedious writer — the anonymity of the internet allows anyone to leave such comments on any one’s website. Disagree, but leave the slandering to face-to-face conversations.

It’s in moments like these that blogging gets a little tiresome, and not the hobby (and distraction!) it’s supposed to be.

Who would Jesus torture?

“The Bush administration in recent days has been lobbying to block legislation supported by Republican senators that would bar the U.S. military from engaging in “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual.” according to the Washington Post. The legislation, which is being sponsored by John McCain and John Warner, is worth calling your senator over.

The Bush administration has also opposed legislation by Dick Durbin which prevents prisoners from being sent to other nations which are known torture states. This administration has also opposed an independent investigation into the conditions of prisoners at Gitmo and in other US facilities abroad. At what point can we begin to say that the Bush administration, is objectively speaking, pro-torture?

And what does it say about much of the evangelical community that silence or defense has been the response to this news? This is one of the central moral issues which future generations will look back on to see where we stood, as opposed to much the culture war issues which produce so much heat today. The mainline has spoken out on this issue but it’s going to take Bush’s religious constituency if there is to be an end to such practices.

From here.

History will indeed judge our actions (or inaction) on issues like these.

Who’s up for another Saskatoon (and surrounding area) bloggers meet? I was thinking about having a picnic in a park somewhere, next month.

Any takers? Leave me a comment below or drop me an email, and I’ll get the wheels a-rollin’, if there’s interest enough.