Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On Miracles

I've been getting more pragmatic about God for the last few of years (normal post-mission/growing up phase I think), but even more notably this last couple of months. I'm a closet mystic, but have come to the point that I can't imagine God as an omniscient micro-manager without feeling micromanaged myself, which drives me totally crazy (in both senses).

The step back has been mostly positive. Rather, it's been enormously positive, but simultaneously sort of negative, so I think the net result is, you know, mostly positive.


Two months ago a woman came to one of my classes to present on her foundation whose purpose is to get pro-LDS content on the internet. I was sort of instantly excited. The inital thought was to get my smart, interesting LDS pals to write short essay on "Why I'm a Mormon." It felt good, and they were in, and it was going to be a kind of content that doesn't have a huge presence. I pitched the idea to my brilliant lovely sister who liked it, who liked it, but proposed that we do something a little less text-heavy. Visual testimonies? It was brilliant and good and right. We recruited my pal Annie (and picked the brains of our talented family and friends) and Hopefully Mormon was born.

Already I've been inspired by the "Reasons for Hope" (what we're calling our entries) that have been sent in. Already we've received really positive feedback and lovely, personal stories. It launches for real on the 1st, but it's starting, already, to feel like it's bigger than us.

Rachel and Annie and I met last week to work through kinks and I felt beyond lucky to be working with them. We have the right skills and the right friends to start this thing. And I'm having a hard time convincing myself that this is a coincidence.

I'm humbled and kind of awed that Heavenly Father would let me be a part of this. I'm certain that this confluence of people and time and information is auspicious. It's enough to poke holes through my pragmatism.

So. Go check it out. Send in a Reason if you haven't--or another if you have :)--we need need your help to get through the first couple of months). It's a great idea, come get involved.

Hard things

Hard things I like doing:

  • Backpacking alone
  • Weeding
  • Shoveling
  • Cooking for crowds
  • Making things happen
  • Cutting off all my hair
  • Graduate school (depending on the day)
  • Teaching high school
Hard things I hate doing:
  • Making phone calls
  • Resolving conflict (the process, not the product)
  • Committing
  • Taking criticism

I want to elaborate on this last one a touch. Because right now I have a final draft (A-, with an endnote whose first phrase is anbiguous) in my bag and an email from a professor in my inbox,
relating to my final and paper. The final I think I aced. The paper was awful and I turned it in because I'd spent two weeks and hours and hours writing and and it was Christmas Eve and I had to finish, so I finished.

I don't want to read them. They could be super useful, really help me out in the long run, but my stomach feels queasy and my muscles are tight and my breathing a little frantic. I don't want to know. (I've made a deal that I'll read the email when this post is through. It maybe will last forever.)

Once I wrote a confessional email to a friend I'd wronged and/or mislead saying something like we should give us a try. He emailed back, I skimmed it, got the sense that is was negative, and I ignored him for a month. When, after a month, I reread the thing careful, it wasn't, actually, negative, but it had been a month. So.

Writing this out makes this issue sound kind of silly (which was my hope), but the issue remains. And it's kind of a big deal, I think, one of those habits of highly successful people (not one of the 7, but just folk-wisdom generally) is being able to take criticism, right? Eew eew ew.

(P.S. The email was 80% positive. I'm a baby)

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Writing Papers
Papers are hard. I forgot somehow. The upside: I learn so much. Not about my topic even, necessarily, just thinking that hard opens things up. I forgot that also.

Working Hard
In case you missed it (you probably didn't, I'm not great at hiding this kind of thing), I kicked my trash finishing things up. It was really fun. I'm going to work on this next semester.

I might not do well this semester. I think that's ok. I don't fail very much (I mean, depending on who you're asking or what you're judging), and I think it's going to be good for me. I'm kind of falling in love with, not failing, but forgiving myself. Turns out I'm human. Dig it.

I'm convinced that I have a music mix that makes you smarter: Thievery Corporation, Mogwai, Ratatatat (Daine. I loves it). It helped so much--the focusing, the white noise effect. The only problem is that the the first phrase any of these songs drives me into panic. Just a little.

Diet Coke.
You know.

Anyway. Go Christmas go. ke

Friday, December 18, 2009


I was asleep while you were dying.
It’s as if you slipped through some rift, a hollow
I make between my slumber and my waking,

the Erebus I keep you in, still trying
not to let go. You’ll be dead again tomorrow,
but in dreams you live. So I try taking

you back into morning. Sleep-heavy, turning,
my eyes open, I find you do not follow.
Again and again, this constant forsaking.

Again and again, this constant forsaking:
my eyes open, I find you do not follow.
You back into morning, sleep-heavy, turning.

But in dreams you live. So I try taking,
not to let go. You’ll be dead again tomorrow.
The Erebus I keep you in--still, trying--

I make between my slumber and my waking.
It’s as if you slipped through some rift, a hollow.
I was asleep while you were dying.

--Natasha Trethewey

(Because it's beautiful, beautiful.)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Forgive a moment of lechery.

Did everyone see this coming but me?

He's so handsome.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

You should probably know

that the reason your teachers make/let you do creative projects is because they're inevitably heartwarming.

Exhibit A

Exhibit BThis is a Rhetorical Analysis Guide Pyramid. In cupcakes. (Reversed, because that's how PhotoBooth works apparently?)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

(ok. my last one and then I'll get back to writing)

Carrion Comfort

NOT, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist—slack they may be—these last strands of man
In me ór, most weary, cry I can no more. I can;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But ah, but O thou terrible, why wouldst thou rude on me 5
Thy wring-world right foot rock? lay a lionlimb against me? scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruisèd bones? and fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there; me frantic to avoid thee and flee?
Why? That my chaff might fly; my grain lie, sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod, 10
Hand rather, my heart lo! lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, chéer.
Cheer whom though? the hero whose heaven-handling flung me, fóot tród
Me? or me that fought him? O which one? is it each one? That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (my God!) my God.

--Gerard Manley Hopkins

(I'll be fine.)

Good news/bad news

"Turn it in at your convenience," he says,

"Just make sure it's good."

Was he never a student?

Not a girl student, certainly, with tendencies for perfectionism.


New Post, Short Post

I just wrote a midterm and feel like my entire body is wrung. I kind of love that feeling.

I love dropping names. Love it. I don't think this is one of my most endearing characteristics, I'll be honest, but do you think it's enough to build a career on? "I am in academia because I like citing Foucault in casual conversation." I hope so. I think this is an adorable pettiness.

Also adorable: new hair.
I have a paper to finish. On Cixous. And Barthes. And sextuality. (I'm so clever. I can't get over it.)

Loves, ke.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Morning Sunshine

My body is magic. I woke up early this morning with cramps painful enough, obviously, to wake me up. I know this routine, it happens every time. So I got out of bed, found some ibuprofen in the dark (in the mesh pocket of my backpack or the change purse of my briefcase or the basket in my linen closet), lumbered half-asleep to the kitchen where I chugged some soy milk to keep the advil from eating through my stomach lining, and went back to bed. I tossed, I turned, I tried to find a comfortable position and I drift-ed-off-to-sleep. When I woke up 3 hours later, this is the magic bit, I was so happy. My muscle were all relaxed, everything was mildly rose-colored. Once the pills (which I take every 4 hours for 36) have done their work, I'm golden. Golden.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Compulsory Heterosexuality and the Lesbian Existence

I haven't read much feminist theory to this point. I wanted to write about why.

Reason number one: I believe that traditional roles and traditional marriage are important and I always wonder how I'm going to rediscover this conclusion after working through feminist theory. I've done stuff like this before, but it's hard. This is more a matter of convenience and comfort I think.

Second, my mother (maybe because we didn't have money for expensive clothes? I've wondered) (maybe because the competition in our family was/is silent but deadly) taught me early and thoroughly to avoid trends. I didn't listen to the Backstreet Boys. I didn't play pogs. etc. Feminism felt inevitable for me, once I left Provo High where I was actually fairly outspoken, because I'm a smart liberal arts major with daddy issues. I didn't want to fall into cliche.

Third. I had/have this suspicion that being an articulate feminist would disqualify me for marriage somehow. Tragically--almost hilariously--ironic, right? This suspicion is founded on vocal disparagement of feminism by, um, 95 percent of the people in my life, many of them men whom I love and/or respect fervently. And so I'd be disqualified because as soon as I really embrace feminism 98 percent of the men I come in contact with (oh, BYU) suddenly hold views about me that I can't possibly tolerate. Also because I think it will take me a minute to justify marriage again, because I'm going to have to reevaluate its value and the way I imagine me working within it.
This is ironic, too, because I've always had feminist tendencies which have managed to alienate me from a lot of people, I just haven't had the codified theory to explain how or why or to make it seem worth it. (Feeling "condemned to an even more devastating outsiderhood than [my] outsiderhood as [a] woman" (165).)

Finally (I think, at least for now), I don't know if I can do it. Looking over the last sev--oh, my entire life really, I am kind of grossed out by how often the things that I do are decided by/because of men. I feel like a need to please and a privileging of the masculine (masculine ideas, ways of knowing/interacting, etc.) are so inherently a part of my personality that I'm not sure who I would be if I embraced myself as a(n empowered) woman. I look at the really smart, strong, women I know and wonder if I could be that (offense not intended to anyone here--smart and strong are separate, here, from any certain ideological system). And maybe I'm being an absolutist, maybe I could change some small things...

But, we're sort of skimming through feminism for theory. I read Adrienne Rich's article (the name of this post. Attention-grabbing, isn't it?) tonight and devoured it. Not all of it may be true, but so much of it feels true. And feels important. And matches with things I've supposed for ages. I recognize that theoretical traditions probably (our personal worldviews certainly) are formed by so much by our own personal experiences--we find the truth we want to find. And so I can see how feminist theory maybe doesn't appeal to everyone. And I know why (strengths and weaknesses both) it definitely appeals to me.

I'll probably write more about this later. Hopefully a lot. I think feminism is important for me right now--if only because if I keep believing the stuff I do about myself, about men and women, I don't know how I can keep going. Dr Muhlestein said the other day something about "there are some things that, once you think them, you can never not think them again" and I feel like that's where I am. Kind of glorious. Thanks Rich.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I woke to a voice within the room. perhaps.
The room itself: "You're wasting this life
expecting disappointment."
I packed my bag in the night
and peered in its leather belly
to count the essentials.
Nothing is essential.
To the east, the flood has begun.
Men call to each other on the water
for the comfort of voices.
Love surprises us.
It ends.

Eliza Griswold

What I love about this morning:

Did you know Barry White died? In 2003? This seems like something I should've been (maybe was) aware of. In honor of the 65th anniversary of his birth (right, birthday is morbid after the fact?) his people released a new box set. For some reason Barry White is a ridiculous(ly inspiring) way to start out the day.

I used to have a bathroom with a window. A long time ago. My favorite thing was showering late so, when I was drying off, the sun hit my back. The warmest best feeling. I'm sitting right now with my back to the windows of the Memorial Hall with the sun on my neck, and I want to stretch out in it like a cat. Mmmm.