Archive for March, 2010

Twilight/New Moon

March 25, 2010
I just watched the “New Moon” & watched Twilight about a week ago. So now I’ve seen the 2 new vampire movies young girls are going gaga over. The interesting thing about them is they are chock full of imagery and symbolism. Same with Avatar, it’s interesting to see & think about why people go nuts over these images.
 
Twilight movies – girls falls in love with a vampire. Vampire also loves girl. They are both 17-18 and in high school.  He tells her he can “never lose control” with her or he will drink her blood and “go too far” — if he starts but stops in time, then she’s a vampire like him. But her blood “sends him into a frenzy”. If he drinks too much blood, then she dies. The whole entire movie he is attracted to her like a magnet but has to stop his own sexual impulses or he’ll drink her dry &  she will die……… This kid is 109 yrs old and has been going to high school all that time. I think I’d find a way to kill myself.
 
There is a rival who also falls in love w/ the same girl. The rival discovers he is a werewolf during the movie. Turns into a wolf when he gets angry!! If she stays with him, then she can never make him angry, or he may lash out at her with his wolf paw and injure her……… hmm……. hit her and be sorry later. Gee what a symbolic theme. (I’ve taught about domestic violence already this semester.)
There is another woman in the film who is a lover of a different vampire & she walks around with a big claw scratch scar on 1/2 her face, from when he “lost his temper” one time. I think the imagery here is disturing toward women.
 
then there is this whole Native American theme, as the wolves also just happen to be Indian & go to the reservation school. Great. The one black guy in the film –really good looking with long dreads and an accent — was a “bad vampire” who wants to kill the human girl everyone else loves. He dies at the hand of the wolves.
There is tons of gender/race imagery in here but this is a very, very short example. End of the movie: She is wanting to be turned into a vampire to live with him forever, and asks him to be “the one to do it” to her. He asks her to marry him. If they do this, then she loses her eternal SOUL, because vampires are eternally cursed for some reason or another (not explained), and the “truce” between wolves and vampires will be officially called off. (Woman causing a war because of 2 men fighting over her — another familiar theme).  “To Be Continued . . .” The Edward character is very sexy. But the story is FULL of debilitating messages for non-white racial groups and women. Edward is so white he looks like he has powder on during the entire film. He wins the girl’s heart. The Indian werewolf kid, Jacob, runs off into the woods but the girl loves him “as a friend”.
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walking

March 24, 2010

To get back to an earlier post about walking for exercise, I did start walking again. But then it started raining, and it seems every time I think of walking, it is sprinkling or raining.

Just this morning, it is clearing and the sun is rising over the pond. It is going to be a beautiful day. The mist that forms and moves across the pond is happening, which means the weather is changing.

I realize that a change in my thinking is what is needed. I’ve had this vague notion in my mind about walking (when I have time). The truth is, my body is changing, and will continue to change, and nothing is going to change for the better, at this age! So I either start fighting it, regularly and consistently, or it’s all downhill from here at a much faster rate than what I want.

I have to walk to save my life. Not “when I have time” which is never. It has to be a regular pattern to my day, and I have to think of it in terms of saving my life. Maybe saving my body, to the extent possible. Spring in the south is the best time to realize this. I can walk every day, or at least 5X/week. It has to be a necessary part of my day, just like lunch after the fast is over!  🙂

naw-ruz

March 21, 2010

Today is the 1st day of the year — the Baha’i Faith new year. March 21st, the Spring equinox. Today was pretty much a lazy-stay-at-home-in-the-rain day for us, though we went to a dinner last night and heard some fantastic Persian violin and guitar music. Lovely. It is interesting to hear quarter notes from a violin.

One thought struck me last night: Our Center was full to the brim, with about 45 adults and 10 kids running around. So– what happens when we double in size? The planning and love that all went into building these Baha’i Centers— no matter how lovely— seems now misplaced. We do want to grow, do we not? So what then? It’s like we have carved out a certain niche for ourselves that does not expand. It just doesn’t make sense. We need to cut our ties to these buildings and expand our vision into the future, and be about serving humanity and forging relationships!

When our kids were little, Naw-Ruz was a day we took our kids out of school and went out to lunch together as a family. I miss all my kids today. I miss those special times.

So in case you want to know, today begins the year 167 B.E. (Baha’i era) — not that most of the world knows or cares right now. Think of where the world was 167 years after Christ. It takes work and centuries of time. Someday the world will celebrate this holiday.

haven’t posted any of these for awhile: HW

March 20, 2010

more Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah: nos. 34-37

34. O SON OF SPIRIT!
The spirit of holiness beareth unto thee the joyful tidings of reunion; wherefore dost thou grieve? The spirit of power confirmeth thee in His cause; why dost thou veil thyself? The light of His countenance doth lead thee; how canst thou go astray?

35. O SON OF MAN!
Sorrow not save that thou art far from Us. Rejoice not save that thou art drawing near and returning unto Us.

36. O SON OF MAN!
Rejoice in the gladness of thine heart, that thou mayest be worthy to meet Me and to mirror forth My beauty.

37. O SON OF MAN!
Divest not thyself of My beauteous robe, and forfeit not thy portion from My wondrous fountain, lest thou shouldst thirst for evermore.

this is it

March 17, 2010

Just watched Michael Jackson’s “This is it.” His spirit is felt throughout the film. He was a tremendous, irreplaceable artist, phenomenal. His gentleness is evident all through the film as well, never raising his voice but knowing exactly what he wants and insisting on it. Repeating instructions for exact movements and moments for the music to enter.

He didn’t really appear to be in good health. Incredible skinny. Partly because he was rehearsing and saving the ultimate performance for the show, he never really moved like you wanted him to. A lot of walking across the stage to the beat of the music. But part of me wonders how much was his age, and how much was his drug addiction and just plain poor health. He looked anorexic, to say the least.

I appreciate his loving spirit, which we need more of in the world. He was incredibly nieve. However, I also think it was not his time to go. He should still be here. And though a doctor may go down for his untimely death, a lot of the blame is on Michael’s shoulders. He had to know he was addicted. And he continued to the end requesting meds he knew could do him in. He had to have known that. A figure like Michael is hard to refuse. As a doctor, he had the obligation to say “no” and to not prescribe some obviously life-endangering combination. But Michael also knew. He was on stuff for years, and made comments even to Priscilla about it years and years previous. It angers me that people stay addicted to substances and take no responsibility for their condition.

We miss you greatly, Michael. Your children need you and you should still be here with them. I am sure your loving spirit will love them and guide them through their lives.

15th day of the fast

March 16, 2010

15th day of the Baha’i month of the fast, where we do not eat or drink from sunrise to sundown.

For me, it often happens that I take one drink at mid-morning, then make it through the rest of the day. By the end of the day, truly, your body has grown used to the feeling of hunger. It’s not “hunger pains” anymore, but just that your brain has trouble thinking. Focusing is not happening anymore. Your mind wanders, and just feels tired.

One of the purposes of the fast is to connect to the rest of the world, in the sense that in reality, a WHOLE LOT of the world’s population goes to bed hungry. This is hard for us to remember, in America. 2/3 of the world lives on something comparable to $2.00/day. Worrying about children surviving, or dying of malnutrition or simple diarrhea which could be stopped with a simple teaspoon full of medicine that the developed, industrial-based world has readily available to them. We saw just a hint of this in the Hurricane Katrina disaster, where people holed up in the SUPERDOME, of all places, had babies and old people dying for lack of WATER! It was unimaginable. Especially here in America. But it happened.

Baha’u’llah says, “Tell the rich of the midnight sighing of the poor. . . ” one of my favorite lines in His writings.

Tell the rich

                  of the midnight sighing

                                                  of the poor.

Why would the poor be sighing at midnight?? Shouldn’t they be asleep? Perhaps they are hungry.

Late in the day, when I truly fast, my fingers are stone cold. It’s like your system is partly shut down. Circulation slows, the brain is muddled, yet you can go through your day. You can make it, it’s just not the easiest thing.

And for us, we think of the suffering of Baha’u’llah, and of the Holy Ones, and our intensity of love deepens. To be close to Him is our longing and desire. Such a sweet soul, One who endured the taunting and cruelty of the world with supreme grace, “the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace”.

family

March 14, 2010

I am thinking this morning, of family. What does it mean, exactly. What does it mean to a family that was never really close, or were close so long ago it is hard to remember?

I think it means, connections. Mannerisms shared that you don’t even realize. Genetics and traits. Words and phrases passed on that you never consciously chose. Closeness in a way that is unexplainable.

It means who you are, in ways that no one else can pass on to you. Ancestors shared, memories mapped onto your DNA molecules, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-great grandparents traveling from somewhere to here, in you and yours. Life stories of hardships, immigrant status, and a sense of belonging. It means cousins, aunts and uncles, and their stories as well.

Even if you don’t know their stories, and don’t remember who they are, even if you DO know who they are and never liked them, they are there, a part of your history, a part of your own self, whoever you are.

wedding 38 yrs ago

March 6, 2010

Not taking the time to write a long entry on this now, but 2 days ago was our 38th wedding anniversary. Even writing that down, it sounds ridiculous. How can this be true?

We married at ages 18 & 19. We’ve had some serious, difficult times, but I think our true friendship always saved us. We are each very independent in our own ways, with our own interests, but we have each given up a lot for the other. And our mutual faith unites us. We are both Bahai’s. Our kids have also all turned out to be good people, and we are close with all of them, so that adds to an older couple’s mutual respect and happiness. They all have their problems, but so do we. No one is on drugs, no one needs an “intervention”  🙂  nothing like that. It’s all good.

Some memories of our wedding: I wore a white gown my mother-in-law made, empire waist, and alternating rows of pink & yellow rose buds around the bottom. It was my own little rebellion to not wear a completely white dress. That’s my style: not following the norm, but not a total revolution by any means. Al wore a plain brown suit and put a daisy in his lapel rather than the booteneir he was supposed to wear. We had friends and family read from Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet”, Al’s dad said a prayer. The wedding took place at 7 or 7:30 at night, I can’t remember which. We had candle light. Church wedding, but we signed our membership cards to join the Baha’i Faith at our wedding reception. We planned it that way.

We had a short reception in the church basement, then went to my mom’s house to open a few gifts, then took off. March 4th, 1972.

We were very young, nieve, unwise, without life experience in many ways, but we were so ecstatic to be together. We went to an old hotel for one night, out on 52 & 28, then went to Muncie, where AL went to work at Krogers on Monday. I knew how to get from the hotel in Muncie where we stayed for a week, to his Krogers store. Boy, were we YOUNG and stupid! We were both in school. He later got drafted and that ended his college career. Hard times postponed my finishing college for about 25 years.

change is in the air

March 6, 2010

So last night, our youngest came back home to live with us for awhile. He wants to apply to jobs in his field without having the stress of constantly working at a dead-end job and paying bills.

He will really be in culture shock for awhile, coming to this rural setting from NEW ORLEANS, of all places! There are no trolleys here. There are no jobs to get to without a car. We are enclosed in a family-centered neighborhood of new, modern houses with a lot of children and dogs, a shared swimming pool, a neighborhood association, and a large pond. But outside of that, we are surrounded by country roads and woods. “Town” is 3-4 miles away. The one MALL with every store you can imagine is about 14 miles distance from us. “City” is 25 miles. This will be interesting.

Not to mention, we still do not have a dining room table, or a BED and other furniture in his new room! We ain’t got zip at this time! We’ve been traveling too much to buy things we need. Going home to see kids, grandkids and parents in Indiana every 2 mos., going to New Orleans twice, it’s been hectic. Every break we are going somewhere. My college has not yet paid me for our trip to New Orleans where I attended a conference, so we are low on cash.

He’s been living in a place where walking to a nearby city and riding a trolley everywhere he goes is everyday, and eating fast food, if not gumbo and fresh seafood daily. This change will be a shock for him.

Today’s high will be upper 60s. Bright sunshine. Things are starting to bud and burst into bloom. My campus will soon be BRIGHT with red and white azaleas, absolutely the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Change is in the air.

— A side note, the one thing I can’t stand about this neighborhood, are stupid, barking dogs.

4th day of the fast

March 5, 2010

4th day of the Baha’i fast. This is a time we do not eat or drink from sunrise to sundown, for one Baha’i month, or 19 days, March 2nd to the 20th. Then March 21st is our New Year.

To learn more of the Baha’i Faith, go to: www.bahai.org

It is a wonderful faith that teaches uniting the peoples of the world into one common cause, one universal faith under one God.

So it is this time of day, when there is only one hour left, that it surprises me the day of fasting is almost over. I am not distraught. My body is not breaking down. And I can still think. It really is not that hard. You have to be careful to drink water at night, and eat well for dinner and breakfast. It’s a powerful exercise in obedience, doing without thing you think you need, and giving up something for God. You think about your faith all day long. (Why am I doing this?? What is the purpose of all this?? etc.)

The Muslims have a 30-day fast, the Christians give up something for Lent, Jews have certain days when they fast. It’s familiar in all cultures, all faiths, to a certain extent. People sick, younger than 15, older than 70, pregnant, women in their cycles, people traveling more than 9 hours, do not fast. 19 days is just right. And I would NEVER accomplish it if it were not required for my faith. And whether or not I fully fast is totally up to me, no one is watching me to report if I break the fast.

Happy fasting everyone.