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2009-08-05 - 11:56 a.m.

...wednesday roundup: massage, the harvest, susi's blight, the coast, the Bible and faith, the next book...

Just got back from the massage therapist. She is good at discovering pain that I never even knew that I had, and then taking it out and destroying it. This week, my left leg was 1cm shorter than the right again - that pesky pelvis of mine keeps locking up. She coerced the left side back down into alignment. It wasn't entirely a pain-free process, but now I'm a new woman.

***

I just finished reading harri3tspy's farm report and I'm envious. It sounds as though her hard gardening work has paid off in spades. As I wrote to her, her description of wild zucchinis made me nostalgic for late summers in the Midwest, when people go around at night surreptitiously leaving gigantic bags of zucchini, tomatoes, and corn on people’s doorsteps. Just to deal with the bounty. I remember spending hours over a pot of boiling water, blanching, skinning, bagging, and freezing tomatoes for winter stews. I also remember afternoons of eating steamed green beans right out of pot (best when mom added a little bacon. man was that good.)

Zucchini bread, zucchini soup, zucchini goulash. Remember that one zucchini that you didn't see, and it grew to the size of a house??? It was so big it actually frightened small children. My brother and I used to take the leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July. When we weren't exploding tin cans into the air, we'd blow up gigantic zucchini. This is what kids do when they grow up unsupervised on a farm. They blow up vegetables.

***

Susi has one new welt on her thigh, and it is bigger and uglier than all of the others. This time, complete with a bright red ring around the center, the size of a silver dollar. We're calling the dermatologist on this one. At least she's still behaving like a cheerful chattering wound-up top, spinning in circles through the house and commenting on everything.

***

Coldngray posted the most brilliant photo of her trip to the Oregon coast this week. More envy swells in the heart of teranikaland. I've been fantasizing about a trip to the northwest coast - or any raining, grey coast, for that matter. I've bought cheap and used travel guides for Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Washington, Oregon, and Funcouver Island. There are dramatic grey clouds, rocky shores, wind, and the sound of waves in my future, boys and girls. It's just a matter of WHEN.

***

I've finished reading Ken's Guide to the Bible - it's a somewhat humorous account of the violence, sex, and misogyny that runs rampant in the Bible. Its purpose is to point out inconsistencies in morality and teaching - mostly to arm people against those who choose to interpret the Bible as more than allegory - but also for the entertainment value of it.

I realize that I'm opening myself up here, but the book points out many of those things that always made me uncomfortable with the Bible: why is it acceptable for God's chosen people to slaughter whole cities? Why is slavery acceptable? How can God's abuse of Job on a bet with the Devil be justified? Etc. Etc.

My first questions about the Book of Genesis probably foretold my future. When I was 6 or 7, I remember asking, "Where are the dinosaurs? Where is the Ice Age?"

When I asked these questions of my Southern Baptist grandmother (the one who took me to Revivalist evangelical tent meetings), she had no answer. Or rather answered by telling me not to ask such questions.

When I asked my father (who was raised a conservative Mennonite), he told me, "The Bible is a book of good stories. Jesus was a great man with some good ideas about how we should live our lives morally." As a kid I was a little bit scandalized by this (and I kept my mouth tightly shut at my dad's funeral, when my uncle and stepmother insisted that my father believed in the power of the Lord Jesus Christ Our Savior.)

I'm certainly not the first to grapple with these questions, and I won't be the last. And I guess that's why when I read this book, I found it equal parts amusing and tiresome (in a yeah, yeah, I've been through this kind of way.)

So as a person whose career is to think? It's kind of interesting that I've laid this whole misty cloud of thoughts and feelings aside. I remain amazed and impressed by my family members who hold seemingly unquestioningly to their faith, using the Bible as their guide. The author of this book has made a very good point - the morality that our culture takes from the Bible is selective, and our treatment allegorical. It has to be.

I know from my southern Baptist grandmother that my personal path of spirituality is frowned upon, so we never talked about it after I was 17 years old. She resigned herself to advising, "always find a place for God in your life." As I type those words, I think that I have actually held true to them, just in my very personal way, and not in a way that she would understand them.

Well that got amazingly philosophical.

***

So now I'm moving on to a new book, which is a rather dramatic change. About two years ago, my SF Buddy Heddy gave me her copy of Forty Signs of Rain. I'm just under 50 pages into it. I have to confess that I'm not sure I'm going to be able to continue. Not because it is a bad book - it's actually got some rather interesting prose and description. Rather because it stresses me out! The book's main characters are scientists working at the US science foundation - the bread and butter for most basic science in the US. The book has me constantly thinking about my personal struggle to produce results to enable me to write more papers and proposals and get funding. ugh. I started it yesterday and couldn't sleep last night. Coincidence? possibly. (K argues that it was the full moon that kept me up.) Anyway, I'm giving it a few more pages.

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...they are just words, Suzi... - 2011-08-29
...the nature of doing science... - 2011-07-22
....what is your place knowledge? - 2011-07-21
...it's Friday... - 2011-07-15
...a small ripple on the big wave... - 2011-02-04

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