Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
"Without those forerunners, Jane Austen and the Brontes and George Eliot could no more have written than Shakespeare could have written without Marlowe, or Marlowe without Chaucer, or Chaucer without those forgotten poets who paved the ways and tamed the natural savagery of the tongue. For masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice."
- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
"I told you in the course of this paper that Shakespeare had a sister; but do not look for her in Sir Sidney Lee's life of the poet. She died young--alas, she never wrote a word. She lies buried where the omnibuses now stop, opposite the Elephant and Castle. Now my belief is that this poet who never wrote a word and was buried at the crossroads still lives. She lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed. But she lives; for great poets do not die; they are continuing presences; they need only the opportunity to walk among us in the flesh."
- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
When I was young and Mormon--all my girlfriends would giggle and plan their weddings and the number of babies they would have. I would smile and nod and join in, trying to believe it was what I wanted too.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
In case you didn't know, I write for a little publication known as the Exponent. You can visit me there if you like a good discussion. Here is my article for this month:
This past week in Europe has been overwhelmingly stressful for people. With the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, (and my subsequent reading on the causes of the eruption), I've been reminded of the religious bent to look at each natural disaster as a sign of the times. After all, that is what the Bible teaches us to do.
Job was an extremely pious man. He was also very prosperous. He had seven sons and three daughters. It was proposed by Satan that Job was ONLY pious BECAUSE he was prosperous. Thus, to prove a point (because God needs to prove his points), God allowed Job to be tried—with almost every possession and family member taken away. Then he got boils and whatnot.
When Job’s wife had felt that Job had suffered enough she said, “Do you still hold to your integrity? Curse God and die!" (Job 2:9-10). Job responded to her, “You speak as one of the foolish ones speak. What? Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” Apparently, Job accepted the idea that the natural disasters that killed his family and took away his possessions were all apart of God’s plan. This idea is reiterated throughout the scriptures. In Matthew 5:45, “For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
Recently in the news, the Iranian cleric blamed the regions earthquakes on promiscuous women. It was the women that caused 25,000 people to die in Bam. Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi told worshippers in Tehran that, “they had to stick to strict codes of modesty to protect themselves. ‘Many women who do not dress modestly lead young men astray and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes. What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble? There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes,’ he said.”
Similarly, the Rabbinical Alliance of American issued the following statement about the profound effects of allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the military:
“When Americans are suffering economically and millions need jobs, it’s shocking that the Administration is focused on its ultra-liberal militantly homosexualist agenda forcing the highlighting of homosexuals and homosexuality on an unwilling military. This is the equivalent of the spiritual rape of our military to satisfy the most extreme and selfish cadre of President Obama’s kooky coalition….
"Thirteen months before 9/11, on the day New York City passed homosexual domestic partnership regulations, I joined a group of Rabbis at a City Hall prayer service, pleading with God not to visit disaster on the city of N.Y. We have seen the underground earthquake, tsunami, Katrina, and now Haiti. All this is in sync with a two thousand year old teaching in the Talmud that the practice of homosexuality is a spiritual cause of earthquakes.”
In reading various articles this week, you can find the belief that God has been behind every major “natural” disaster that has occurred in the world. And why it may seem ridiculous to many of us today—most Christians live by these ideas—as they are constantly illustrated in the Bible and The Book of Mormon. The Great Flood, Sodom & Gomorra, The Tower of Babel, to the destruction of the Nephites time and time again. All of these things, I was taught as a child, were signs of the times—signs of the ending of the world…and that ultimately, it would be the sinning nature of humanity that would bring about these natural disasters. It makes sense, in the context of orthodox religion, to blame 9/11 on gays wanting to join the military and women letting their hair down. Doesn’t it?
Um, not really. That’s the thing. Don’t these ideas, when based on fundamental logic—tend to illustrate just plain ridiculousness? Doesn’t it seem weird to believe in a God that would flood the earth because women wanted the right to be in control of their bodies, or a God that casts fires on the state of California right after it approved same-sex marriage, or a God that would wipe out New Orleans because of the rampant gambling and drug usage? What about a God that preordained a system of ruling that has a man at the head and several wives that adhere to his priesthood power? What about a God that promises to burn the world at his coming? What about a God that based the Plan of Salvation around the violent murder of one of his children?
That’s the problem with me lately. I can’t seem to take that God seriously anymore.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
I heard a joke the other day about a pious soul who dies, goes to heaven, and gains an audience with the Virgin Mary.
The visitor asks Mary why, for all her blessings, she always appears in paintings as a bit sad, a bit wistful: Is everything O.K.?
Mary reassures her visitor: “Oh, everything’s great. No problems. It’s just ... it’s just that we had always wanted a daughter.”
Taken from a great article about the old Boy's Club in the Catholic Church that you can find here.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The greatest challenge, is not looking to the illusions for meaning, definition, and answers.
The greatest mystery, is figuring out who you really are.
And the greatest reward of living in the jungles of time and space, is having predicaments, challenges, and mysteries that you have absolutely aced, crushed, and unraveled.
Lucky you, The Universe
Aha! Do you know what your thoughts did last week?!
Oh, yes you do.
They became the things and events of this week. The things you thought would be difficult became difficult; easy became easy; boring became boring; and fun became fun. Where you thought there might be surprises, you were surprised. And where you thought there might be land mines, there were land mines.
Bravo! You can add this week to the list of your most creative accomplishments.
Now, can you guess what your thoughts this week are going to do?
You are awesome, The Universe
If you would see everything filtered through the light of truth you'd never, ever again know sadness, lack, or limits. You'd see that you are safe. Bathed in love. Surrounded by admirers in both the physical and spiritual realms you grace. You'd see only beauty, perfection, and meaning. And you'd realize that just as the stark contrasts of time and space and the illusions of have and have not imprison you, so too can they make possible wings that will lift you higher.
Seek understanding, or as it was once put, seek first the Kingdom of Heaven, and everything else will be added unto you. (Same thing, different audience, grossly misunderstood to this very day.)
Cawwww, cawwwwwww, cawwwwwwwww.... (Soaring bird sounds.)
Tallyho, The Universe
As if the most accomplished among you didn't have their own piercing doubts, fears, and worries; didn't have spells when they believed they were inadequate, lost, and dependent; hadn't at times felt downhearted, discouraged, and all alone in the world.
Yet still, you know their names.
It's like time and space were made for you,
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thanks to my sweet friend j. I have now listened to this little npr concert about five times through this morning. And if it wasn't clear why I was single as of yet, it is because I am planning and plotting on marrying the Avett Brothers...yep...ALL of them.