Saturday, July 29, 2006

Atticus on Saturday

Attic Dwellers, Brad's Flannery, & Breeders

This summer I've read three articles that have "stuck with me": One on Bob Dylan (Paste Magazine -- music and culture), one on Flannery O'Connor (Credenda Agenda magazine), and one on a secular view of deciding to have a baby ( -- an NPR affiliate). I've taken great pains to get all three of these articles into Word documents -- if anyone is interested in reading them, I'd be more than happy to email them to you. The first article, Man in the Attic, is by writer William Gay following the influence of Dylan's music over the last 30+ years of his life. The writing is excellent -- a pleasure to read -- but what stayed with me the most was the challenge to explore Gay's analogy of the writers and musicians, word crafters, who have, who still live in our mind -- giving voice to our desires and questions and beliefs, thoughts. My life has been in the company of writers who have taught me, comforted me, challenged me, angered me, delighted me, changed me, collaborated with me. I love many of these men and women -- and the ones I don't love, I am grateful to -- even the one's I've vehemently disagreed with.
The second essay is by Douglas Jones defending the Christian-ness of Flannery O'Connor's writing -- a Roman Catholic woman, a Christian, who died in her 30's in 1964 having written many short stories and quite a few novels. Her stories are full of redemption but her characters and their situations, though never crude or graphic, are often dark and fully display all the complexities of "ordinary" (ubiquitous) human sinfulness. O'Connor is one of Brad's favorite writers -- and because of this, primarily, I have been frustrated with my own difficulty in enjoying her work. This article helped me appreciate her more and understand Brad better.
The last article is from a completely secular on-line news source, -- introduced to me by Brad. A wide range of people write for them -- NPR will often "go into cohoots" with them for radio "essays" -- the topics are wide-ranging, the writing well done. This particular article is a case for having children from a women of my age living in an urbane culture similar to Minneapolis -- a generation and culture who/that freely use(s) the term "breeders" for those of us who decide to, even embrace having children. This choice is deemed to be, at best, detrimental to one's autonomy, success, enjoyment of life, and, at worst, irresponsible in light of the current world politics/economy/so-deemed over-population/ philosophically absurd reality of human existence/etc. This article deals with only the former objections -- arguing for the rewards and pleasures of raising a child -- to which I heartily agree, thus far. Atticus is a delight and joy to know and care for.
If you're interested in reading any of these articles, just email me and I'll be so happy to forward them to you.

Proof reading....

I just cannot figure out how to edit these posts after they have been published. Why don't I proofread them first???? When I fail to use apostrophes for possessives and says things like "My brains...." (what, I have more than one? -- then why can't I remember to edit posts before publishing them into "stone"?) Life is so unbearably full of error.

Owl Earrings?

These photos of owl jewelry are the result of a seriously wrong mental development that has come upon me as of late. I get breaks in my day of somewhere between 20 minutes and an hour and a half. I am never sure when they will come or how long they will be. My vocation now includes my sweet and amazing son -- this means that I am "on duty" all day and night every day of the week. Always. And for about the rest of his childhood life (and on into adulthood, as my mother assures me -- though in not the same ways at each stage of his life...). This is rather overwhelming. Especially for a person accustomed to long periods of alone time. And to virtual autonomy offered by a slight antisocial tendency and the frequency of major moves I have made in the last 10-12 years. I am not condoning the personality tendency nor the mobility of my habitation. Only, the contrast between my current life and my previous one -- say, even a year ago -- is rather atomic for me to adjust to. I digress..
When I get these breaks I whirl into a flurry -- do the dishes, change the laundry, sweep the stairs, write an email, water the plants, get tonights dessert made, make that phone call....Lately I have allowed myself to get sucked into random internet searching -- Oh, I'd really like a pair of vintage-esque owl earrings. Let's see what's out there. How old exactly is Catherine Zeta-Jones? Where is Durban, again? What are trans-fats anyway? Who is Justin Taylor? -- and is his blog so popular? What goes into the magarita drink called "The Latin Lover"? And other equally useful tangents. Oh, I just can't get going in a straight line. And are my days of efficacious diligence and project-attacking over?
My brains are mush. And over the last few days I have cried about dropping rice down into my stove burners, the refrigerator leaking onto the kitchen floor for the 58th time, ruining a shirt I decided to "modify" with a pair of scissors, Atticus peeing on me, finding out the mapquest directions I printed off were wrong, not discovering that the air compressor machine at the gas station requires the button to be pushed in order for it to shoot out air, my cousin Lisa writing me the perfect email at the right time, my oven being seemingly irretrievably internally dirty, the dog peeing on our outside grill and realizing again the futility of changing one's hair cut or color in an attempt to change one's life. And that I fiercely love my husband and child and home and Saviour and yet I would like to run away from everything to some unknown place for some indeterminate span of time and return as a undefinably different version of myself. And I am just reading the tail end of the book of Revelation where God comes and makes the new heavens and new earth and wipes all our tears away and makes every crooked thing straight, and every broken thing whole, and we are swallowed up in Life. I would like to be the fullest, deepest, most beautiful wife and mother and friend and daughter and sister and citizen and child of God -- NOW. So I can do this life right. All-scrammed fired full-on.
all i can do is look up owl earrings on the internet and write this -- this -- basically a journal entry for everyone who happens to come here to this site looking for photos of Atticus (my truly wonder-baby) to "listen in on".
atticus is waking up and laundry needs changed and i need to get dinner stuff together.
aren't owls neat, though?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Trip to St.Louis -- Potosi, Wisconsin Leg

A humungus thanks to Brad's Family for convincing Brad that we shoudl swing by my parents on the way back to Minneapolis. My mom was full of glee to be able to hold her grandson for a night and morning. Thank you, Nancy and Tom, for watching Victor this week and a half so we could give my parents (and me) this surprise gift.

Atticus is possibly the sweetest baby ever to enter this world's scene. He handled hours and hours of traveling from Minneapolis to Des Moines to St.Louis to Potosi to Minneapolis over one week of time. And three different beds and so many new people and places. We are, indeed, grateful to God for giving us a son like this. We are now back home and trying to remain away from the car until this weekend. Brad had a comfortable amount of work to return to at BKV. I had a relatively clean house -- with no one being here for a week, it's hard for it to get too out of hand. We teamed up Tuesday evening when we returned so Brad watched Atticus as I went out "gathering provisions" -- grocery shopping -- amid the outbreak of firework displays all across the city. Yesterday I was able to get the front yard landscaping done (well, this year's phase of it (-:) -- this with the help of Atticus' happiness to play on a blanket under the tree and Brad playing with Atticus later in the evening and then his help with brush clean-up afterwards.
Today I have some flowers to plant in my planters and then I will start my big closet-overhaul project to get Atticus' room ready for him to move into -- a few weeks from now (a big step for him and his mommy).

Thank you, Aaron and Lindsey, for a great time visiting -- and Lindsey, your cooking "rocks"! We love you both!

Trip to St.Louis Part 4: Still the Zoo

This beautiful Carasol has HAND-carved and -painted animals. I was in rapturous glee at the craftmanship...splendid.

Oh, and for those who don't know my family well -- so my sister-in-law (riding the Zebra) is not mortified -- She is expecting a baby this fall -- thus her "fruitful" physique (-: