Small Profound Things

Montages are the best part of  ‘moving pictures’ story-telling… Something about removing the barriers of time and grasping the whole. They create a big picture of small details.

I cried.

I certainly would not choose that now…

I changed the sheets on our bed today. The clean sheets that went on were a set that we brought with us when we moved from Seattle. We bought them only a couple of years after we were married, and they reminded me of the ‘Bed in a Bag’ set of linen that we received as a wedding gift (chosen from our wedding registry): burgundy & green paisley…

I’m astounded when I think back to who I was 10 years ago. The changes over that, relatively short, period of time seem huge when looking back, but seemed imperceptible while they happened.

Thanksgivy-whaty-hooey?

It feels a little odd to be ordering our 10kg (22 pounds) turkey, stocking up on cranberry sauce, planning pecan pie and green bean casserole, pulling out the harvesty decorations, and investigating new stuffing recipes. We celebrate Thanksgiving every year here in Oz, just like we did in America – except we celebrate on the Saturday after the real Thanksgiving, and we host it, rather than HL’s grandparents. It’s such a lovely connection to our American life, and my parents adore it, but we feel a bit alone.

Usually everybody around is preparing for the same holiday at the same time: hence the million turkeys at Safeway (29c/pound, rather than $7-8/kilo), pumpkin pie recipes in every magazine, the line at the grocery store, the Norman Rockwell-like depictions of family dinners on every tv channel. But, here, Thanksgiving is a novelty. A holiday that very few Australians can grasp (“Well…you have turkey, and gravy, and stuffing, and pie, and…you have the whole family around…and…then you watch sport on tv…and…umm…most people have the Friday off as well…and there’s lots of history about American Indians sharing meals with the new settlers, and things like that…and, that’s Thanksgiving…”).

So, we love the whole hoopla of it – celebrating American culture and history and HL’s background and childhood memories, and etc. – but, we feel a bit far from home.

Library Card Nostalgia

Was speaking to an old friend yesterday. She and I were bemoaning the loss of the library borrowing cards that used to be stuck in the back of books. It was such a lovely way to track back who had read the book previously, and it was often quite a surprise to discover the borrowing record of friends and acquaintances.

Just did a bit of a google search and came across this post.

Broken in The Fall

I read this post from Stacy from Louisville recently, and I’ve been pondering on it since. I am in complete agreement that men have been given a raw deal, portrayed almost mercilessly as ignorant, bumbling, easily led, foolish buffoons.  We have a car dealership in our local area who ran a tv ad claiming that they would accept anything as a trade-in, and the final scene was a waiting room of sad, dejected, hung-head, rejected little men with signs around their necks, indicating that they’d been traded-in, and a cut to a grinning, in-control, gloating, little old lady, driving off in a cute red car. (Needless to say, I won’t ever buy a car from these people.)

And women are depicted as scheming, manipulating, in control, crafty organizers, who bamboozle with clever words, and lead and fool their husbands into doing what the women wish.

And they are both stereotypes. And I hate them.

But…something within me says that there is some amount of truth in these clichéd representations.

I can’t help but see something of Adam and Eve, of the first male/female relationship, the first marriage, the first sinful act, in the essence of these stereotypes. Both Adam and Eve failed to treat each other the way that was intended, and in so doing, undermined the structure of the balance that God created. Not that God created Eve to be a doormat, and Adam to throw his weight around, but there was an original equilibrium. But, things changed, and Eve wheedled and Adam caved.

I wonder, sometimes, how that happened. How Eve thought it would be a good idea to manipulate how things had always, for eternity, been, and jump into control, by causing Adam to question truth, history, himself, and their God. And how Adam shrugged off everything he had ever known to be reality, laid down meekly, and said ‘Yes, dear.’…

Something broke then. It wasn’t just the gut-wrenching, torn-asunderness that then characterised our relationship with God, it was our relationship with each other, particularly our partnership relationship. Something that had previously worked, fit together, and made stronger, ripped apart. And then riocheted through all of history.

My feeling, my gut feeling, is that it is these 2 things, these first sinful actions, that generally characterise broken male/female relationships now: male weakness and female manipulation.

Just Because

I feel angry and resentful. Just because someone else is disorganised, or self-focussed, or manipulative, or demanding, does not mean that I am required to acquiesce to them. My plans do not have to change just because someone else is put out. Just because someone else is frustrated, or childish, or knows how to lay out a passive-aggressive guilt trip, does not mean I have to feel sad, or controlled, or infuriated. I am responsible only for me, I cannot and do not control other people’s happiness. Just because someone else might lash out, or wheedle, or presume, does not mean that it’s my fault, or that I need to ‘be nice’ just to keep them ‘happy’. Sometimes conflict is helpful in the long-term.

But words are easy.

You know you don’t live in the city when…

…you look out the window whilst at your place of employment (local high school, in my case) and find yourself looking into the face of a Suffolk sheep

“We’re the last team to arrive?”

When the journey ends for contestants on The Amazing Race, do their cameramen feel like they’ve lost as well?

‘Not that again?’ ‘Yep.’

I think one of the criteria for assessing if a movie is ‘good’ or not is if you’ll watch it when it’s on T.V., even though you own the DVD and have watched it seven-twelvety times…

(O.K. – ONE of the criteria… There are some great movies that are once-only deals – I get that.)