Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I wish anyone who reads this a merry Christmas, happy new year, and a joyous holiday season in any event or way that they choose to celebrate. I'll be back in 2009.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
For months I had been hearing people tell me: your life is about to change, your old life is about to end, and so on. And I listened and thought: yeah, yeah, I know.
I didn't have a clue.
I have never been more elated or more frightened. I have never felt more grown-up in my life. The closest thing I can think of to this experience is when I entered a very rigorous 2-year program of volunteer missionary service 12 years ago and overnight my life changed completely. But while that may bear some resemblance, it really doesn't come close in the degree of intensity. The nature of my parenting tasks will change in 2-3 years as my daughter becomes potty trained and learns to talk, but she'll be my responsibility for the rest of my life. She's so cute and beautiful that I agree to it without hesitation.
Not yet 12 days have passed since her birth and I already feel like I have been through a grueling initiation into a really cool, really exclusive secret club. If my eyelids droop from lack of sleep, I still can hold my head up and say, like Ed Fitzgerald scratched on a highway railing outside of Barstow: "today I am a man." I've done something even harder than hitch-hike across the country during the Great Depression.
It's odd being back at work now, doing what I did before and yet knowing that my life is completely different.
And yes, after cleaning up after dogs, changing baby diapers is a cinch.
(See my Flickr photos for more views of her cuteness)
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I have written things in my notebook that I thought might make good blog posts until I kept writing. I have not used my typewriters as much as I have wanted. Other typecasters have attested to the addictiveness of typewriters. It amazes me that after almost 9 years of fairly regular (sometimes) journal-keeping and freewriting I still have to work to allow myself to take the risks of actually getting things onto paper whether I have thought them through or not. While I'm at work, unable to write anything down, my head swarms with ideas. Sometimes I'll jot something down in order to try to remind myself to write about it later. Later meaning not only when I'm not at work but when I'll be able to express whatever idea it is brilliantly and effortlessly.
I still have to remind myself of the work and discipline that go into writing.
I expect and hope that when this summer exile is over that I'll be so starved for my usual work that I'll be amazingly productive. But I'll have to make sure to allow myself time to write too, and I hope that the hunger for that will also drive me to that fearless risk-taking and demanding discipline.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I got a different temp assignment. This one has me working from Tuesday thru Saturday and thinking fondly of stocking shelves. Yes, that's right. The reason I am thinking fondly of my previous assignment is that this one involves cleaning out dog cages which contain sometimes staggering amounts of feces. Dogsh*t (I'm compromising - trying to keep the blog G-rated, but I can think of no better word for the stuff I encounter daily in those cages) is one of the most noxious substances on the planet: wickedly stinky and often amazingly sticky as well, needing vigorous scrubbing to undo the chemical bonds it forms with the floor.
I've stuck with this job because it's steady work through the summer, and sometimes I get to clean rabbit and cat cages, and I actually have fun with that. I enjoy the dogs sometimes, when I don't have to deal with their by-products.
I still feel that satisfaction of seeing a good cleaning job that I've done. And I get to listen to my walkman. I also think of my wife and soon-to-be-born daughter while I'm working there, and all that helps greatly. If not for these things I wouldn't have lasted two days there.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Friday, May 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Besides, it's fun. Although my ineptitude with putting images on this blog is sure to show.
In relation to the typed post below, here's an interesting poem.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I have long wondered how many wonderful and beautiful young women there must be in the Church who are overlooked by young men because the young men are following the mainstream definition of beauty. If I have daughters, I will probably have to deal with the effects of this first-hand.
Even if young men in the Church scrupulously avoid staring at pictures of scantily-clad or suggestively-posed women, they may still be swayed by the ideology of only one possible ideal of perfection (most likely: as thin as possible, and then some) which requires countless women to torture themselves in attempts to conform.
I was seriously disturbed when I read a stammering attempt by the popular LDS author John Bytheway to answer a question of whether it was ok to make physical appearance an important factor in choosing a wife. I would like to have seen one in his position break through the assumptions behind such a question, as I assumed they must be. If it were a truly honest question of “are my tastes legitimate?” with certifiably no ties to any taste one way or the other, it would be enough to answer “sure” in an ideal situation, since with the variety of people in this world there ought to naturally be enough of a variety of tastes to find everyone an appreciative partner.
But this world is not in an ideal condition, particularly the industrialized part of it. And as things are, I suspected that behind the question lay an unspoken: “please justify me in insisting that my wife be skinny like I have been taught a woman must be to be beautiful, that she conform to the standard I have absorbed and accepted unquestioningly from the sources around me, and that she keep herself that way so that I don’t have to work on loving a woman who fails to please (or arouse) me by her appearance.” As I recall, John did at least address the second half of that question: be married long enough and you’ll eventually see your spouse looking disheveled or saggy - get over it. But the first part of the question is what I have, Alma-like, desired to shatter. Oh that I could shatter it with a voice to shake the earth.
I wish for kinder, less authoritarian understandings of beauty and sexuality, although I do have my own ideas of what is beautiful that could become potentially just as authoritarian if they had the backing that the current standard does. This is hard for me to admit, convinced as I am of the superiority of my ideas. But I wish for more gentleness towards and acknowledgment of the body, less shame and more honor, less rigor and more comfort.