Saturday, November 26, 2011

on community and existentialism

Meaning is not relative, but it is relational. It is not based on one's experience alone, but on one's experience with other people. We may be nothing to the universe, but when we have compassion for another human being, when we sorrow for her suffering and joy in his success, we may see that we are all one and the same substance, not only with the person for whom we have compassion, but with all people, with the earth, with animals and stars and everything.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

on community: fellowship vs. friendship

I've been thinking and talking a lot about community these days. Theoretically community is extremely important to me, and I'm taking notice of how the theory plays out in real life, and it's not exactly what I expected.

I've been having struggles with my local church congregation, and I've also been having difficulties expressing my grievances. The congregation is small, just a little single's branch with 30 or so members. They are warm and inviting, and yet I feel left out. They are caring of each other, and they're friendly with each other, to the point that they spend hours with each other every day. They're friends. And I hate it. The thing is, I'm not looking for friends at church. I don't need a social circle; I need a community. I want fellowship, not friendship.  And I'm realizing now what the difference is.

Monday, November 14, 2011

on fence-sitting

It's hard to be a Mormon fence-sitter. You're either in our you're out, and there seems to be little room for the inbetweeners. Part of the reason is that we have set up a fantastic system for checking up on people through the home and visiting teaching programs. We are assigned to look out for one another, and a monthly quota of home visits must be met. It's funny how isolated some of us still feel. It's also funny how defensive I get with my home and visiting teachers. When someone I knew from my ward, someone I thought I was becoming friends with, told me that he was my hometeacher I felt like something had been lost. Now he is obligated to me. I don't think we're friends anymore. I certainly can't tell him about my struggles. I must make up excuses for why I haven't been going to church and tell him all is well. I'm happy. Smiles. No there isn't anything you can do for me right now, maybe take out the trash? Yes, I'll let you know if I need anything. See you next month.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

some girls are bigger than others

I was at Target today and there was a rack of $5 tights, really cute tights in all different colors. There were golden tights and some in dark teal; there were pink, red, green tights.  I was ready to buy a pair in every color. Only, the XL tights were limited to black and gray, and they were very nearly gone. The mediums and smalls in the lovely colors were piled high.  I guess fat girls aren't allowed to buy golden tights? Maybe they think they'll sell fewer of them because fat people don't shop for anything but sweatpants? Funny how all the XLs were almost out of stock.

Before that I was with some friends at Kohls and I thought I'd look and see if they have any jeans.  Again, they had them piled high in sizes 4, 6, 8, 10, but very few in 16 and none in 18. I looked around the store and saw a lot of larger women and I wondered where they bought all of their clothes. You'd think that of all the places that would stock larger sizes in misses would be the place where moms shop for their momjeans. Why are fat women exiled to fat lady specialty shops? I personally can't shop in "plus size" clothing stores because a) all the clothes there are ugly and b) I lack girth in the hip and thigh area. A size 18 in misses will fit me fine, and a size 18 or a 1X in "plus size" will fall off of me.

I suppose it's a good thing that it's nearly impossible for me to find clothes, because, as a friend told me recently, I'm kind of addicted to shopping.  I guess it's better to shop and shop and shop and never find any thing to buy than to be surrounded by cute clothes that actually fit. It's saving me money.

Remember, some girls are bigger than others...

a string of randoms

I've decided that if I blog things instead of just posting stuff on facebook it would be more accessible to me at a later date.  So here are some of those things.

This video brings me endless joy.

Also, I've found this extension for Google Chrome that will switch out gendered words: he for she, him for her, man for woman, woman for man, etc. I'm excited about this because it's an extremely useful tool for seeing how strongly our culture favors masculine pronouns, and it's already something feminists have used to point these things out. We do it all the time in my feminist religious philosophy class.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm quiet because I have been thinking.

I'm finally really in the school groove again. The struggle to stay focused and keep up with my readings is turning into a joy for having the opportunity to spend all day reading and researching. There's so much to do and so little time! I love it! 

I am liking Louisville more, or perhaps disliking it less. Sometimes I go eat sushi and share my life philosophy with people I like. Sometimes I hang out with my nineteen year old roommate and laugh a lot. We make fun of things, like bad horror movies and dweeby lead singers of crappy local indie bands. Last night she and I drove to Lexington to see a noncrappy, nonlocal, but kind of dweeby band, Beirut. Life is always worth living when there is a concert to go to, I think. Especially when all of the band members are adorable and someone is rocking out on the tuba.

This isn't proof that we were at the show, but it is proof that we were in Lexington, just like William Clark was once.


Here's a video I took myself.  We were in the little hornplayer's home town, with his family taking up the first three rows of the theater, so I think he was showing off a bit.

I'm reading Dante (again) and I've decided that my all time favorite line is the last one in the Commedia: "l'amore che move il sole e l'altre stelle", the love that moves the sun and other stars. This, the last line of poem, its apex, is Dante's vision of God, and the words have been stuck in my head for days now. God is the love that moves. If I were to ever get a tattoo, this line would be it.