Here and There

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Roses and May Day

I love this kind of old fashioned rose. It opens up by expanding. The outer petals don't fold back, they just make room and all those many layers to show themselves, they don't spread out, they just show how many. I love that. I finished Chicken Every Sunday and now, until I can get my hands on Never Let Me Go by Ishiguro for book club, I am starting The Shipping News.

Tomorrow is the first of May. I don't have any Cecil Brunner roses to share as May Day bouquets, like I used to at Grandma's house, but maybe someday I will have a Cecil Brunner bush of my own. The best part about that bush is that you can cut dozens of stems everyday and make these adorable fragrant pink bouquets for every bud vase you can find. They are so sweet and miniature! See them! I like to snip them off the bush just as they are buds, and then they open up beautifully.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I'm not very quiet, OR submissive.

I've been thinking about a little dichotomy I have. Actually prompted by Gid's discussion about gender roles with some guys. As he was preparing, he asked me if I knew those verses about the man being the spiritual head of the household. I didn't, off the top of my head, so I started looking and naturally became repulsed and disgusted about the verses I read in the Bible about my fair sex:

"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one decieved; it was the woman who was decieved and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety."

It's downright depressing to read this in Holy Scripture. What to make of it?

I do not think a woman should learn any more quietly or any more submissively than any man. (I will assume that in this time in history, women had not been present in learning atmospheres, religious or otherwise and that this is a small step in welcoming them into learning.)

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent"
Strictly Paul's opinion.

"Adam was not the one decieved; it was the woman..." True, he wasn't decieved. He chose to disobey. Hmm.

"But women will be saved through childbearing..." I don't read this as a statement that glorifies maternity or mandates childbearing. Praise God through childbirth we are all saved! Mary gave birth to Jesus who saves women and men from their sin.

So this brings me to my own personal reflections on being a woman, a Christian, a feminist. How does that add up? Am I doing a disservice to my "sisters against suffocating traditional female roles" by baking pies and collecting teacups? Are the domestic arts a valid hobby or have they been put upon me by my own mother, and this society? Do I feel put upon?

I like to bake and I am furious that women earn a fraction of what men do. And I will keep thinking on this one.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Queen Anne's Lace

She is tall and she spreads her doilies over those meadow moments of land. She seems a soft surface. She is wide and clean. She is forest and protector. She smells a little funky.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A Young Woman's Musings on Flowers

A few years ago I started a log of flowers and memories or thoughts, or poems that they stirred up in me. In a way, a definition of flowers according to my perspective. I titled it "A Young Woman's Musings on Flowers" and I would like to transpose some of those entries onto this computer from my laptop. Here are a few:

Primrose: Lizard Leaves

Geraniums: Dari's house in Vail. Bright red in terra cotta pots, doing well despite bone-dry conditions.

Plumeria: Hawaii. Perfect blending of colors, like sand to wet sand. A little twirl of a flower. A perfect smell that meant a certain temperature and humidity. Not too perfumey because the thick air just holds a scent like that. It doesn't rush quickly into your nostrils like when you light a match too close, or dump Crystal Light powder into a pitcher. No. It drifts and floats and surrounds-held aloft on that thick air.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Chompin' too many treats!!

Why is it that when I feel a little bit like a fatty, I feel least like eating less food or exercising? Shouldn't the fattiness make me want to walk it off or purify it away by drinking 8 glasses of water and eating carrots?
Shouldn't the tightening waistband inspire a "No, thank you" to egg salad, more cheesy potatoes, tart, chocolate, peeps, ham and jelly beans?

I don't know, but it never really does. The motivator to be more healthy and active is always so elusive. I don't know what makes me start, or keep doing it. It kind of just happens in this quiet sudden way. It's never a thought-out, sacrificing way. If I think too much about what I'll be missing if I jump on the "points" wagon it'll be like missing a ski lift and I'll fall on my tush. Oops, waited too long, maybe the next chair...

But man, I've got to count something other than how many See's "pastel creams" I've eaten today. Can I count points tomorrow? Maybe.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Split-Pea Soup

Last night I made split pea soup and cornbread. It reminded me of being little and eating things that came out of a cast iron pot. The color that lentils get from a cast iron pot is dark and stony. Lentils, beans, split pea soup, chili beans...we ate lots of soup like that. The kind of soup that is thick and comforting, and fills your belly and makes you feel at home. I don't have a cast iron pot- so when I make these things, they don't look the same. They taste good and homey though. I remember coming home from school on a cold wet day in November and smelling soup that had been on the stove all day. It is nice for a kid to come home and feel like someone's been there, keeping it warm and clean and smooth.

I also remember running wild in those early fall evenings. When the days were warm, but the evenings got chilly. I can so clearly remember the feeling of running in the back door for dinner, three steps to the kitchen door and inside. The warmth and light made my whole body tingle from being barefoot and cold and dirty, breathing hard from playing. That also was a wonderful feeling. It is good to have these nice warm memories of childhood. I like the sensation of remembering the smells and feelings, games and toys. Children just don't play outside here the way we did where we lived. When I was in the backyard, I felt like I was in my own world. Independent, creative, safe. It's a wonderful thing.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


My sister is going to visit a friend in Missisippi this week and make a little visit to New Orleans. It got me thinking about our trip to the South and the related trips that seemed to just happen on that journey. I tried to remember the places we camped, the people we saw, the destinations that we found ourselves. It's hard to remember. I should have written more down. But when you are driving along and you see something so strange, or so beautiful, or so remarkable- you don't make remark- you think you'll always remember it. So as I tried to remember little things I remembered one thing that Peter didn't even see, that only I saw and it was only for a second and I can't remember what state we were in. (Iowa or Nebraska I think, because it was after leaving Chicago and we were heading west again.) The superhighway etiquette having been mastered, we were driving in the right lane. (I love that term: superhighway-it sounds very 50's) There were cornfields for miles. We had seen cornfields for at least a few hours of driving and would be sure to see a few hours more, so I had been looking at the horizon. But I turned my head to my right and I saw a field full of bobbing sunflowers, flanked by the fields of cornfields. They were gone superfast because on those superhighways we were usually going 85 miles an hour. But it was such a secret. The walls of green cornstalks all around this huge expanse of yellow sunflower faces, and the black dots all in the middle. It was a moment that I won't forget because I remembered it now and I have officially written it down. I wonder who did that? Who was bored, or who was looking for beauty enough to plant that space with flowers? But I was so glad they did, and that I saw it, even just for a second.

It looked much like this:

Friday, April 07, 2006

too busy for martha??

I pulled out my old back issues of Martha Stewart Living for April last night at 10:30pm. I have 8. It is nice to leaf through them. Even though there is always something to do, and I have been too busy to do many of the things I enjoy, it's nice to glance at pictures and read articles about plants I can't afford to collect and things that take too long to bake. It's not frustrating at all actually, it's just pleasant to absorb the information, and try to remember where I saw it. I just say to myself- save it for later, kid.

On another note, today at preschool it was absolutely beautiful in the morning- and that meant that all my little friends and I ran around outside for almost an hour. It was great. They kept blinking and saying "It's sunny!" Oh, the poor moles they have become down in our basement classroom during all this rain...

Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Little Gilead

Just finished Gilead, in bed yesterday afternoon in the midst of one of the busiest days in recent memory. I laid down. I read. I fell asleep as soon as I finished the book. Which was fitting as the last sentence was "I'll pray, and then I'll sleep."
I would like to write about this book and why I liked it. But for now, I'll just copy out a part of it, sometimes that's a good idea.

From Gilead by Marilynne Robinson:

There are two occasions when the sacred beauty of Creation becomes dazzlingly apparent, and they occur together. One is when we feel our mortal insufficiency to the world, and the other is when we feel the world's mortal insufficiency to us. Augustine says the Lord loves each of us as an only child, and that has to be true. "He will wipe the tears from all faces." It takes nothing from the loveliness of the verse to say that is exactly what will be required.