Friday, December 28, 2007

Everywhere You Look

Well, I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Midnight Mass rocked as did the party afterward. Christmas always makes reflect back on childhood memories. As I was reflecting back on a certain childhood memory a couple of days ago, I became confused and scared. The following is why.

I was thinking back to a time in elementary school. This was an awkward period for me to say the least. I wasn't completely sure I wanted to be a girl yet, and I shunned all dolls, pink things, flowers, etc. This made my mother so angry because she worked at a children's clothing store at the time and would bring home really cute clothes that I refused to wear. Sooooo....I had a unique fashion sense. Anyhow, here's the memory. One day I wore an outfit to school that I just loved. However, when I got to school all the other kids made fun of me for wearing it. I started feeling bad as I remembered how those terrible kids teased me. But the more I got to thinking about the memory, the less sure I was that the event had ever happened. In fact, I thought to myself, didn't I see an episode of Full House where the exact same thing happened? Wasn't it really DJ Tanner who was teased for her outfit and not me? This is where I got really scared. What other childhood memories had I confused with DJ Tanner's life. Maybe I never really dated a guy from the wrestling team who sounded just like Aladdin. Perhaps my best friend and I were never locked out of my car while doing a Chinese fire drill at a stop sign. Maybe I never had three slightly gay father figures.

Okay, so maybe those last examples were a bit over the top, but now I really am confused about whether I was ever made fun of in school for an outfit that I wore (to my face. I'm pretty sure I was constantly made fun of behind my back.) As I see it, there are only two possibilities. 1)I really was made fun of in school for something I wore and when I remembered it I automatically equated it with something that happened on Full House. 2) Only DJ Tanner was made fun of for something she wore and I somehow got my life mixed up with a fictitious character. Either possibility freaks me out. I do not want my memories equated with bad television shows, and I really do not want to mistake events that happened to fake people with something that happened to me in real life. I mean, If this kind of thing is happening now when I'm 26, I can only imagine how bad it will be when I'm 76. I'll probably be telling my grandchildren how I lost my one true love to a ship wreck in the arctic.

I have a friend from school who says her father never allowed her to watch Full House as a child. I can only envy her now. At least she knows her memories are safe.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ponder Nothing Earthly Minded


Let all the earth keep silence before Him. Habakkuk 2:20

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Dulce Et Decorum Est

When we were in Ft. Wayne recently, David and I went to see No Country for Old Men and 3:10 to Yuma. This was exciting for us because we hadn't been to a movie since our wedding anniversary, May 20th. While waiting for 3:10 to start, the theater was playing a music video by 3 Doors Down. This video was interesting because it was promotional video for the national guard. The band starts out singing this song on some barren landscape and then moves to show reenactment footage from famous American battles along with the national guard's bread and butter- shots of people looking cool while jumping out of helicopters. I turned to David and told him that the band had just become the modern day Horace. Horace, or course, fought in the Roman army and then later went on to be placed firmly under the patronage(and thumb) of Augustus by way of Maecenas. He wrote some patriotic poetry in support of Augustus' moral reforms. Probably one of Horace's most famous works is his ode in which he says, "Dulce et decorum est pro partia mori", or "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country".

I thought about this line for a couple of days and it inevitably led me to re-read Wilfred Owen's "Dulce Et Decorum Est". Owen was a British soldier who fought and died in WWI. IN the poem Owen writes about the horrors of WWI:

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

I never knew much about WWI except that a lot of unstable monarchies were fighting, at least nominally, because Franz Ferdinand was shot. Well, I checked out a book on WWI last Friday and I'm almost done with it. I was aware that many men died during these battles, but it is overwhelming to me to read statistics like 250,000 people died during a single, albeit, long battle. It guess it's all the more overwhelming because it never seemed that any of the major belligerents had clear war aims. To say that thousands of men died in vain is an understatement.

I'm particularly interested in learning about the disintegration of monarchies, resulting revolutions,war tactics at the beginning of the modern age, and documented cases of the mental stresses of "The Great War".

I remember reading Sebastian Barry's A Long Long Way in grad school and thinking that I should learn more about WWI. Now that I'm out of school I actually have time to do so.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Praise God(dess) (if you want)

Thank non-gender specific, politically correct, non-judgemental, life spirit-deity being! I've finally found a church for me!! Who knew I could go to a church where God wasn't allowed in order for me to find out whether he or she or it exists? I'm glad God isn't at this church. I found that pressure to praise the all knowing, all seeing deity (or not, I haven't figured it out yet and I don't want to influence your thought) really got in the way of important church activities like potlucks, free trade coffee tastings, and ultimate frisbee tournaments.