The upside of a quiet weekend is ample time to think, the kind of loose thinking that occurs when one is being profoundly unproductive, when one should be studying for an investment exam but is instead looking up rough collies for adoption and reading a funny but poorly structured feminist memoir. The kind of thinking that occurs in those spaces.
I have been thinking about: how the Old Testament has become more difficult to me over time; Georgia the puppy; the anecdotal mystery of why you always see so many nurses out smoking; the appalling state of reproductive rights for women in the world, not to mention the United States; my siblings; other people’s siblings; more heartbroken, beloved friends; Anne Sexton; scars; the appalling state of the world in which teens are getting the majority of their sex education from porn; fonts; the virtue of getting to stay and not die.
And then I look up and see Guion, playing guitar, writing new songs, and I realize that we are inhabiting wholly different spaces. His mind is fully engaged, 5,000 miles away from mine, but we can stop, make eye contact, and then there we are, together; we meet each other again.
Jonathan and me on the downtown mall.
We had a great weekend with Jonathan at the Virginia Film Festival. We all agreed that “Melancholia” was the best we saw, although we would caution you not to watch it when you are feeling sad.
The Birth Control Solution. “Contraceptives no more cause sex than umbrellas cause rain.” An important and illuminating article by Nicholas D. Kristof. The efforts of conservatives to block birth control measures have paradoxically increased the number of abortions over time: “When contraception is unavailable, the likely consequence is not less sex, but more pregnancy.” The goals of family planning and Christian morality are not opposed to one another. (New York Times)
Bright Young Things. The winner of TIME magazine’s photo competition, Andrea Morales, presents a simultaneously moving and troubling glimpse into the lives of girls growing up poor in Glouster, Ohio. (TIME, LightBox)
Lessons Learned: How to Wear a Sari. Ugh! My little sister is so beautiful. And her sari is incredible. (Como Say What?)
Dresses of Tsarina Alexandra Romanova. I’ll take them all! (Retronaut)
In Praise of Memorizing Poetry–Badly. Robert Pinsky, a big fan of Guion’s work, reflects on why memorizing poetry is important, even if you’re not very good at it. (Slate)
I love finding people who keep their Issues and Causes very close to themselves; the people who start long, passionate conversations if you are fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to mention a word that triggers them. You said the word “corn” and all of the sudden you’re locked in an hour-long conversation about the evil machinations of the FDA and big agribusiness. I like finding these people because they make me feel a bit less alone. They remind me that maybe I’m not the only person who has to rein herself in (often unsuccessfully) during conversations.
I probably care too much about things that I don’t know that much about. I was realizing this today. I am too quick to express my quickly formed opinions.
And so I write this list to caution you. These are the things that could trigger a brutally long and vehement conversation with me. You have been warned.
- Any permutation on the topic of dogs. (Dog breeds, training, health, adoption, behavior, psychology, etc.)
- Why Ayn Rand isn’t worth a second of anyone’s time.
- Law school.
- Mega-churches fixated on growth.
- Reproductive rights.
- Why paper and ink books still matter.
- Christians judging other Christians for being on birth control.
- Sororities and fraternities.
- What I’ve been reading lately.
- Anti-women policies and practices of conservatives.
- Childhood obesity.
- Underpaid teachers.
Anyone else? Do you have “hot-button issues” that invariably embroil you in desperate, heated discussions–almost against your will? I hope I’m not the only one…