Monthly Archives: May 2012

Commencement

Come, oh, Come–
Come up and see what you have done;
Look at the path your life has taken–
See the creation of your presence.

We labor, we struggle
We walk, we grow
We stand here and see
a milestone wrought

Come, oh, Come–
Come up and see what you have done;
Look at the path your life has taken–
See the creation of your presence.

Stand in the assembly now
Speak to the grace of God
Life is life, and death is not
The mercy toward a hopeless lot

Come, oh, Come–
Come up and see what you have done;
Look at the path your life has taken–
See the creation of your presence.

A new beginning from an old routine
years of labors for a whispered dream
Faith outworken from sight unseen

Come, oh, Come–
Come forward and see what you have done;
See the path that your life has taken
See the creation of your presence.

The Son of Man now returns
Plans built before the world
Reaches now it’s foremost cues
No more labor — no more hope.

Come, oh, Come–
Come forward and see what you have done;
See the path that your life has taken
See the creation of your presence.

A Heavenly assembly, a glorious crowd
Little children all now grown
Graduation now, from death
                                                              to
                                                                        life.

talking behind backs

so on one of my other blogs that should probably just be declared dead (it was sewing related; I doubt I’m going to resurrect it anytime soon), I recently was asked to moderate a comment. It was some feminist telling me off for not knowing my history and how it was “patriarchal values” which put women in “purely ornamental” roles, and how when women sought power they were “mocked for their impractical dress (which men put them in)” and if “couturiers (and men) had their way, we’d still be trussed up in corsets and not working.”

I guess if I had more energy, I would attempt to go gracefully respond to her comment, on that blog, and in context. But I don’t have that much energy or time, to give her a proper response (truly a much longer blog post than I’m willing to write right now). So here’s what I did instead:

I laughed and laughed.

And laughed.

Ooooo my goodness.

You can re-tell history however you want, and argue it till you’re blue in the face, especially when there are no longer any eye witnesses. . .but here’s one thing I bet pretty solidly one: Basic human nature has not changed. Not from the beginning of time until present time.

You can argue politics, you can argue movements, you can argue whatever you want that makes you out to be the hero and everyone else the bad guy–after all, from the beginning of time, the winners write the histories. Why change that grand tradition now? You can argue exceptions, and you can argue extremes, and you can cloud the issues.

Here are some things that I think I see throughout all of history, unchanged by any of the above:

(a) Women want to feel pretty, much the way men want to feel strong. You can argue–some would. You can quibble over words. I would still bet you a serious chunk of change that the average full-blown feminist still spends more time on her appearance than any average male. We enjoy being ornamental. Oops.

(b) Yeppers, often times Men want power over Women. Odds that Man’s first thought for binding women is CLOTHES?! Extremely minimal. Too many other more direct routes for warfare than saying “here, honey, wear this and sit down and look pretty.” Clothes may sometimes be a symptom, but are rarely the main front. They are signs of other, deeper things, but not the cause of other, deeper things.

(c) Expensive clothes, as those made by couturiers? Not the kind of things guys want to spend money on. They spend money on clothes for women because women want it and pine after it. Not because (on average) they want to spend lots of money on CLOTHES. Having a real hard time with this whole “men made us do it” argument. How about now? NOW who’s forcing you to wear shoes with 4 inch spikes that cause serious and permanent bodily damage? “Oh, oh, male oppression! He’s making me go shoe-shopping!!” Really? REALLY? Don’t pass the buck. You wore the clothes because you wanted to. Back then? They did, too. Personal responsibility, folks. Personal responsibility.

(d) patriarchal values rarely have anything against women working. Patriarchal values want women working. Just maybe not on the things you think they should be working on. Patriarchal values do laugh at women in fancy clothes while they say they are just as tough and strong and brutal as men. Honey, if you don’t mind getting dirty, why are you wearing clean clothes? Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t.

(e) Corsets have bad rap. Same with shoes—if you don’t wear them too tight, they don’t cause damage. In fact, there’s pretty good evidence that abandoning support from the south side north has lead to considerable shoulder, neck and upper back strain, and that we’d all be happier wearing corsets. Properly laced.

(g) Fashion is always a joke, no matter the time, culture or political atmosphere. Those who have nothing better to do than worry about how people should dress are just not really either connected to the real world or representative of the whole–just of the elite who don’t have anything better to worry about than their status and mirror-glass reflection. Fashion is about Making Statements and everyone knows, Statements are Cool. Popular fashion works off of that principle in the same way as High Fashion. It’s a corollary to Jackson Pollack’s art. It doesn’t matter if it looks good, just if it’s cool. Fashion is always a sell-out to common sense. Don’t pretend otherwise.

The poor lady who was “horrified by my proclamations about feminism” would not be comforted by this post. . . humanity is often a horrifying thing. And what binds us is rarely so much the bonds which someone mindfully attempts to place upon us, but rather the bonds which we place upon ourselves. Like fashion, which has no excuse–never has, and never will.

(any views of feminism not withstanding)

(sorry)

(but not really)

(why are so many feminists so dang bitter and angry all the time? Is a cheerful feminist an oxymoron?)

What you think you are doing, and what you are doing.

I just watched this brief 4 minute video clip.

I have heard from such a young age that I don’t remember how young how Florence Nightingale was the mother of the nursing profession, and how desperately grateful her patients were for her care.

Nobody ever told me she was a statistician.

A brief reading of Nightingale’s life, apart from worthless blurbs in mandatory ‘educational’ history books, reveals something much more interesting. Nightingale didn’t really turn around the medical situation while serving the wounded of the Crimea war. In fact, it is reported (yes, I’m quoting wikipedia; hear me out anyway, okay?) that throughout her time in Crimea, she staunchly believed the high death rate was due to poor nutrition, not hygienic conditions.

Then she went home and crunched her data. Then she presented her data, and then she acted on her data. Her data did not support her original theory of malnutrition, but she accepted her data (um, poor ventilation and sewage control = bad), and went on to greatly advance hospital sanitation.

The point is–or my point, anyway–Florence Nightingale though she was going to go physically take care of people, she wound up leaving a bigger mark and quite likely saving more lives by being an accurate, honest, accessible, persistent statistician.

I think sometimes we get into these grand plans about What We Are Going To Do, and miss the fact that our biggest impact is being made by the things we didn’t plan and likely aren’t paying as much Attention to.

Sometimes it makes you wonder what history would look like, if your life was written onto a page.

Eden

I garden because when I garden I feel near to God.

When I plant seeds, I always want to plant more and more and more–just in case. Just in case they don’t sprout. Teeny tiny little seeds. But I try very hard not to, because they do sprout and spring into life and leaf after larger leaf. Nine seeds for nine plants. I have to trust God that it will be, trust I do not have to try to make sure everything is all right.

I have to trust that a smidgen of dry round things will, in a few short months, fill a garden and a kitchen.

When it is time to pot on seedlings, I feel so sad. The seeds that were too fine, like grains of sand, for me to count off–they have all sprouted. Too many, too crowded. I have to choose which to keep, which to get rid of. It seems so wrong–they would all live to bountiful plants, if someone made time and space–there’s nothing wrong with any of them!

I don’t think God laughs at that. But I feel comforted and reminded that He knew and made each seed, knew what would sprout, what the story of each seed would be–here, and outside of the confines of my cell-packs and grow lights. You could say lots, chance, dice, a hundred thousand calculations made in my subconscious where I don’t even know I’m thinking. . .I say I feel that God is prompting me, which ones to tease apart and keep alive.

Seed to seedling to plant to harvest–every little inch along the way, I see God and His guiding mercies. It’s a haven.

100 words or less, for the express lane. . .

Splitting wood is nothing like learning how to swim, and yet, it is.

For example–you feel stupid, it’s hard work, and sometimes you get a tiny glimpse into how your body is supposed to work, and you catch yourself thinking, “wow, that was easy!” (Until the next stroke. Then you go back to feeling stupid and worn out.)

I guess in some ways it gives me the guts to keep trying to learn things that make me feel stupid, because you know what?

I swam the length of the pool.