And having a wonderful time.
Regular blogging will return on Thursday, when I am home again.
And having a wonderful time.
Regular blogging will return on Thursday, when I am home again.
I lay in bed this morning and thought about the last time I was in San Diego and tried to remember what I might have been knitting.
There was no particular reason for this line of thought, it was the sort of aimless, meandering thought one has before they actually bestir themselves to move their body, have their feet touch the ground, stumble for coffee. I was just thinking.
And I couldn’t remember.
We came to San Diego 5 years ago, shortly after Gabe’s death. We flew directly into San Diego and we went to Sea World and we went to the zoo, and drove back up the coast ending in San Francisco. You can go back to march of 2008, the posts are all there.
This time we drove down from LA.
We remembered bits and pieces, and totally forgot others. I could not tell you what I was knitting back then, but I remember what we ate for dinner – we ate at Anthony’s Fish Grotto. Actually we got our food for take out and we sat outside, and in mid March, it was cold. We sat out anyway.
We said the same grace at dinner last night, seated in more or less the same table we ate at 5 years ago. More or less the same grace we have said for all of the years of our marriage, the same grace I said as a small child.
Bless this food to our use and us to thy service. Keep us ever mindful of the needs of others. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
I do not often modify our grace, nor does Mr. Spit. We recite the same words, not unthinkingly, but as a distillation of what matters.
But last night, right before Mr. Spit said Amen, conscious of the distance of 5 years, I added – and thank you that we found how to be happy.
Because I remember that too – 5 years ago there was so much sorrow and sadness, and I did not know how I would ever be happy again. How we would not drown in an ocean of grief.
And now, we are happy.
I had to admit one of my garden plants was dead tonight. The sedum was one of the first plants I bought – tucked in the corner, covered and shaded by the spruce tree. I couldn’t get anything to grow there because of that tree until I planted that sedum, bought in July from Canadian Tire, on sale.
Five years ago, I bought a tree peony, a dicey and expensive proposition in zone 3, and it has sulked for several years. I had to transplant it, and that set it back, but last night I looked at it, and it’s ginormous and it’s going to bloom. It’s been so long since I bought it, but I could swear it is going to bloom a blue/purple and I have been looking forward to this for years.
The vegetable garden lies fallow this year. Next year I will turn it into a flower bed. I planted that garden all those years ago thinking there would be a family to feed. I gardened while carrying Gabe, thinking that the next year I would plant carrots for baby food. The year after I gardened with the grim determination that marked all the activities I undertook that first year. I feed a different sort of family now – with tomatoes from Costco and carrots from the farmer’s market.
I look at the tulips I planted to remember Anna. Gabriel’s tree that has completely consumed the flower bed it is in. I talk to my plants, remembering where they came from, the gardeners that shared them with me.
Things change in my garden in a way that seems to mirror life. That plant limps along, sulking until the year it blooms. This sedum grows along until the loss of the tree that gave it shade and dryness means that it can’t cope any more and so it dies. The columbine self seeds and undergoes genetic migration, reverting to it’s true colours and not the hybrid I planted. Those irises need to be divided. Plants send up runners in strange locations, requiring transplanting. The lilac needs to be pruned and the dandelions want digging up.
The snow melts. The trees get leaves, the flowers bloom, pruning is required, the grass gets cut, the fall comes and the trees lose their leaves. The snow falls again.
And so it is.
In 2 days.
Not that I’m counting or anything.
If you have a baby that has or has had colic, could you please go pick them up? Whisper in their ear that Mrs. Spit feels their pain because she has had the adult version of colic since Monday.
Turns out what I thought was food poisoning . . . isn’t.
It’s, well, it’s gas.
Which is embarrassing, and I could live with the eruptions of gas, if that is what would happen. Except, it turns out that I’m in pain precisely because that isn’t happening, and I have to tell you – I would sell my very own soul to be able to burp.
I don’t care about being lady like (obviously, I’m writing about the mysterious plumbing of my intestines in public). I would belch like a college student reciting the alphabet at a keg party – if I only could.
While you are talking to that baby of yours, ask if they would share the gripe water, would you?
I’m pretty miserable over here.
I got food poisoning on Monday night. Well, as near as I can figure, food poisoning.
It was awful.
Last night, I slept for 15 hours.
I feel much better today.
The thing is, I spend a certain amount of time expecting my body to perform on command.
And so – when my body falls down – I become annoyed with it.
Never under estimate the power of an off bite of a meal to bring you down.
I happened to watch a Fox news segment yesterday, which is a dubious proposition at the best of times. I stay away from Fox, it causes my blood to boil and in the long run, that can’t be good for my health.
Anyway, they were pontificating about the rise in female bread winners (and if you want a great and more nuanced look at it – I would recommend Hannah Rosen’s “The End of Men”. Provocatively titled but well researched)
The Commentator made a remark about how she worked when her child was small and then one of the pundits said “God Bless you for it.” The other pundit commented that his wife stayed home, and the Commentator said “And God bless you for it”.
What is this? A mutual sneeze fest?
It never quite strikes me as accurate to say that I don’t think that God cares if you work or stay home with children. I think God cares about everything we do. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I don’t think of God the Heavenly Father staring down at me, wagging his finger. I think he cares about what I do in the same way that I care about the daily lives of those I love: because I am interested, because I want good for them, because I want to be involved.
The problem with adding the blessing the is problem of prosperity. We see actions as meriting reward or punishment. They do, of course, but I doubt that divine intervention often plays a part. Scripture reminds us that we reap what we sow. Invest in loving and caring relationships and you will have loving caring friends. Leave a smaller footprint on the earth and there will be more of it for you and others to enjoy. This isn’t God acting directly – this is the law of consequences playing out in front of you.
I don’t think God particularly blesses me for doing things. I don’t think God operates in the manner of a parent holding out a favoured treat – “Mrs. Spit be good and wait patiently while your heavenly father sorts out this war in Sudan, and then I’ll reward you with a nice, extra hot soy latte and a pair of shoes on sale?”
Really? Is that what we think of the Creator of the universe? He doles out good stuff to the good little boys and girls?
The discussion on Fox was particularly infantile – one of the pundits spent 3 minutes arguing well established science and research about the children of working mothers and I just don’t think there’s much you can do with that – there are none so blind as those that refuse to see.
I suppose when you can’t believe in a God beyond the one that doles out treats, basic sense and cause and effect and random chance cannot be part of your world.
I think I’ll stay with my omnipotent and omnipresent creator if you don’t mind.
He often doesn’t make sense to me. But then, He was never required to.
John Stuart Mill, that very ardent proponent of libertarianism and free speech said “the right of my fist ends where your nose begins”.
I suppose the problem is that in this modern age, defining the boundaries of noses and fists is a problem.
The Everyday Sexism Project, WAM and others wrote an open letter to Facebook about the depictions of women on Facebook. You can go and see the depictions and make up your own mind about them. They are not for the faint of heart.
Facebook makes reference to community standards. This was a bit puzzling to me, it has a meaning in common law as it relates to pornography, but effectively, when women protested about some of those images, Facebook said it didn’t violate their community standards.
And this is where it gets sticky. Because if you spend a lot of time thinking about community standards, you realize that the definition of community is problematic, and there can be no definition of standard. It’s ironic to the arm chair philosopher, but no less axiomatic. There is no standard definition of a standard. We actually and literally can’t agree and we can’t all agree to disagree either.
We can talk about fists and noses and reasonable standards and community, WAM are inhibiting free speech – or at least asking Facebook to do the same. We might as well just be blunt about that.
I had, for the record, absolutely no idea that there was a group called “I kill bitches like you” or one called “This is why Indian Girls get Raped” or “Raping a pregnant bitch and telling your friends you had a threesome”. I apparently spend time with people who talk about Monsanto or post photo’s of their kids and pre-school and talk about their new computers. There is literally a photo of a cat at the top of my Facebook feed right now.
When you post that person X should be raped – it’s specific and targeted and it’s a threat. It’s illegal under common law to threaten an individual. We can point to something clear and real and present and that’s why we inhibit your speech. There’s a danger. We stop free speech when it threatens another person with danger.
These photos. Apparently they are meant to be humour and not danger. We can argue they contribute to an atmosphere where women are less valued. It is not direct danger, but it is a statement that you think it’s ok to hurt a group of people based on a specific attribute. But the harm – it’s less clear, less real and less present. So maybe, in absence of direct danger we should simply leave things be. We can agree that humour is a matter of taste and preference.
I can choose not to look. In the way that we all self-censor based on our peer groups, I have managed to be on Facebook for six years and I had no idea this world existed. I suppose that’s another solution to inhibiting free speech. If I don’t like these groups, I don’t have to go there and be offended. I can leave well enough alone. I don’t have to take away your right to free speech, I can simply chose not to listen to you exercise it.
In my pragmatic way, I would almost rather this not be hidden. I would rather know that about you. Maybe we don’t prevent you from posting these images. Maybe we celebrate your right to post these images. We hold you up – your photo’s, your name along with what you post. We make free speech really free, really available. We hold you up to the community you are a part of, the one whose standards you say that you aren’t violating and impinging. We give you your right to free speech.
We enable that society – your peers, your bosses, your teachers, your children and your family to hear your speech. And yes, we enable that community to make up it’s own mind about you.
Because that’s the other side of free speech. You get to say things and I get to make up my mind about you based on those things.
After all, we think that if you want to believe things like this, you are entitled to. And we think that if you truly believe these photos are funny, you can post them and say that you think they are funny. You can say whatever you would like in this mythical world of mine.
You are also entitled to face the consequences too. When you lose your job, when the government intrudes into your family because your community is concerned about the safety of your children, when you are asked to leave a public place, when you are ostracized by your peers – well, you had free speech. You exercised it.
We gave you the right to free speech, you used it to be what our community defines as vulgar and offensive and crass and, well, stupid.
I think stupidity should often be more painful than it is.