Category Archives: gender

A Question

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And it is STILL my favorite Christmas story. Here’s hoping each of us wears what becomes us this holiday season.

mothlit

I was listening to NPR yesterday—an interview with Sir Tom Stoppard, screenwriter for the new Anna Karenina movie. When asked about the meaning of love he posed the question, “Are we born self-interested and we have to learn to be good? Or are we born selfless and merely corrupted by competition and institution?” I’m guessing there’s not any black or white answer to the question, though I was taught in my young religious days that we were born in total depravity with the need, of course, to be saved in an institution that just happens to make a lot of money off such doctrines—a truth that seems to belie the first argument in support of the second. Then there’s my own parenting that seems to betray the truths of corruption.

When my older son was five, he had a passion for Mary Poppins. He loved her magic, her command, her…

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Rituals

I have a familiar ritual that follows the storms in my life. It goes something like this:

1. I cue up a song—one with mantra-like capabilities—and with a touch of a finger, instruct artist du jour to sing over and over and over again. For today, it’s Ingrid Michaelson:

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Tables Matter

Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size… That serves to explain in part the necessity that women so often are to men. And it serves to explain how restless they are under her criticism; how impossible it is for her to say to them this book is bad, this picture is feeble, or whatever it may be, without giving far more pain and rousing far more anger than a man would do who gave the same criticism. For if she begins to tell the truth, the figure in the looking-glass shrinks; his fitness for life is diminished. How is he to go on giving judgement, civilising natives, making laws, writing books, dressing up and speechifying at banquets, unless he can see himself at breakfast and at dinner at least twice the size he really is?

A Room of One’s Own      Virginia Woolf, 1929 Continue reading

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The Sin of Reduction

Remember Susan Boyle? The 2009 Britain’s Got Talent contestant who stunned the judges, the audience, and any in the world who happened to be watching? Continue reading

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Honoring Chelsea Manning

It is Memorial Day, 2014, and below I am re-posting a piece I wrote last summer in order to honor the sacrifice, courage, and service of Pvt Chelsea (Bradley) Manning. I’ve struggled with the appropriateness of re-posting my own writing, which seems particularly ingratiating with this piece, by far the most popular post on my blog–at least in terms of the number who read it. Continue reading

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Mother’s Day, 2014

What was the spirit in her, the essential thing, by which, had you found a glove in the corner of a sofa, you would have known it, from its twisted finger, hers indisputably?

                                                         Virginia Woolf on Mrs. Ramsay, To the Lighthouse

 

 

Mother’s Day, and I’m writing something my mom will never see though mostly she loves to read these little musings of mine. Here’s why she won’t see it: Continue reading

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A Valentine for Humanity

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day past, I’ll start with a lay-out of the menu: take-out from our favorite pig joint to include pork short ribs in Asian-buffalo sauce, soft bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeños in a sweet drizzle, and a pinkish pork tenderloin topped with a figgy apple drench.  Probably a little more sugar than I should have, but totally worth the V-Day splurge.

Here lay the difference between this Valentine’s and previous: it was a dinner shared with my 19-year-old son, home from college to do some laundry. Continue reading

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