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Showing posts from December, 2007

She's Twenty-One

At 5:08 AM today, I became the mother of a grown woman. It doesn't feel any different... I remember my daughter's birth so clearly. For weeks, I'd been unable to walk or sit for long without pain; my cartilage had all loosened up for the birth, and my pelvic bones rubbed together with a sensation of thunder and lightening. By the week before I had Hillary, I was already 4 cm dilated, but when my water broke, I took the time to wash my hair at the sink before heading over to the hospital. It seemed important to have clean hair... It was a long night. There were only two bad moments--one was early on, when I thought I might be sick (and I hate being sick). The second came near morning, when I thought about how transition is supposed to be the stage in labor when it all gets really intense and overwhelming for a while, and if this is transition, then I'm all right--but if it gets much worse than this, I am so going to be in trouble. And it was transition, and it was

Terry Pratchett Has Altzheimers

This is extraordinarily sad news: Terry Pratchett has announced that he has a form of early onset Altzheimers . Many Pagans (as well as sci fi and fantasy fans everywhere) are, like me, in love with his longrunning Discworld novels--36 and counting at the moment. Lots of Pagan women have taken as role models characters like Morgaine or Vivianne from Marion Zimmer-Bradley's classic Mists of Avalon book. Personally, I find them both a bit gooey and treacly. And so, like many another Pagan woman with a strong sense of humor, I've always wanted to grow up to be Granny Weatherwax . On the Discworld, as here, you see, Unlike wizards, who like nothing better than a complicated hierarchy, witches don't go in much for the structured approach to career progression... Witches are not by nature gregarious, at least with other witches, and they certainly don't have leaders. Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn't have. Sadly, experience and

Christians and Idolators at Prayer

I had a somewhat interesting experience with spontaneous prayer today. Heavy snow is often good for that. Our Fulbright exchange teacher, Mr. R., carpools with me to and from work each day--a very reasonable arrangement, since I'm his mentor teacher this year. I've enjoyed the exchange of educational ideas a lot, and the cultural exchange has been pretty rich, too. The initial difficulties I had , trying to communicate with him around religion, have mostly resolved since my earlier post on the subject; on a day near Samhain , he was asking about American Halloween customs, and somewhere in the midst of my multi-cultural, multi-religious attempt at explanation, something clicked. He made the connection between Hindu traditions honoring ancestors and the dead from his native India, and my family's Samhain practices. There was a brief, deeply awkward silence--as a Christian and (I thank Marcus Borg for the terminology) a Biblical literalist, he disapproves of Hindusim--and

Peter on Reading the Bible

I am reading a book called "Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally," by Marcus J. Borg. I’ve just finished chapter 1, and my pulse rate is up. If I were somebody who took blood pressure medication, my doctor would be telling me this book was bad for me. I am agreeing with Borg. His religious feelings are in sympathy with my own, and his outlook on history and on the nature of truth seem not only dead-on accurate but obvious. Yet Borg is presenting one side of a debate in our culture, and it seems to me to be the losing side. Conflict about the Bible is the single most divisive issue among Christians in North America today. And because of the importance of Christianity in the culture of the United States, conflict about the Bible is also central to what have been called ‘the culture wars.’ … The conflict is between ... a “literal-factual” way of reading the Bible and a “historical-metaphorical” way of reading it. Maybe the