No, not another silly search term poem. My sister Sarah is sharing her gift for analyzing poetry at Long Live the Weeds. Richard Wilbur (the perfect Real Poet for the easily intimidated) speaks about thaw and refreshing doubt. Check it out!
Archive for February, 2012
Hallie Lord is sharing more excerpts from Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things That Really Matter (and yes, I can finally write out the entire title without having to go back and fix the capitalization).
I’m putting all the excerpts here, but you will still want to go to Hallie’s blog, Betty Beguiles, because she is giving away a Kindle Touch!
Also, don’t forget to enter my drawing for a copy of the book autographed by the whole crowd, pictured below:
Danielle Bean on Marriage:
I can’t write the marriage chapter. I have no business writing the marriage chapter.
My husband and I are just coming off a twenty-four-hour stint of avoiding eye contact and communicating through the children because… well, I kind of forget why. Something about whose job it was to pay the phone bill that didn’t get paid. And he was such a jerk you would not have believed it. Really, he was. I’m sure you understand.
In the throes of this recent cold war, I texted a complaint to a friend.
“Is it really so terrible of me to notice and care that I am always the one who tries to make up first after a fight?”
“I’ve done that,” she replied. “It gets pretty lonely up there on that hill with only your principles to keep you warm.”
Figures she’d go and get all reasonable on me. Not ready to grow up and quit complaining just yet, I called my sister instead.
Simcha Fisher on Motherhood:
O modern woman, does the idea of receptivity make you a little itchy? You’re all in favor of the motherly virtues of strength and wisdom, good council and courage—all very valiant, very Joan of Arc. But receptivity? Isn’t that kind of…passive? Don’t you just imagine a reclining reed of a woman, her tentative profile framed in lace, trembling among the potted ferns as she waits for Life to happen to her?
I know: That’s not you. Even if such an image appeals to your romantic side, a soft fantasy like this comes rapidly unstuffed the first time you’re up all night wrestling among milky sheets with a baby who is as hungry as three frantic wolves, but somehow can’t figure out, after all this time, how to find the nipple. And when the sun rises on your sleepless face, you’re still supposed to get up and do stuff. *Poof* go the last feathery rags of that gentle mist of motherhood, and “Howdy!” barks the harsh, daylight reality of your new life as Mom.
In truth, there is very little that is passive about a mother’s life. We’re all about action, from the relentless cyclical progress inside us month after month to the anxious, sympathetic pushing we unconsciously perform beside our full-grown daughters as they strain to give birth to the first grandchild: Motherhood is all about the push, push, push.
Barbara Nicolosi on Engaging the Culture:
Serious Christians need to experience the cultural arena not as fans but as apostles. We should be brooding over today’s art and stories as signs of the times, not simply absorbing them like sponges. We have to fortify ourselves spiritually, philosophically, and ethically, so that we can enter into the cultural climate the way a doctor enters into a hospital. If we shun the hospital because there is some sickness there, it means that some of the souls entrusted to us will die.
But here’s the real rub: If we avoid the hospital, we will also die, because we aren’t just doctors to the times, we are also patients. We need the divinely inspired prophecy that all the modern popes have assured us comes through the arts. Just as much as our pagan neighbors, we need stories to lead us to wonder, hope, and compunction. If, in an effort to be safe from the corruption of modernity, we cut today’s stories out of our lives, we cut out the normal channel in which God helps human beings grow in psychological, emotional, moral, and intellectual depth and sensitivity.
Oh boy, it’s almost March 1! That’s the release date for Hallie Lord’s new book, Style, Sex, and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter. Hallie assembled a truly swell group of writers, and also me, for this project (I wrote the chapter on motherhood). And look, now books have TRAILERS!
A couple of weeks ago, I gave away one copy autographed by all ten authors. I would like to give away a second autographed book — this time with a small, optional, slightly weird catch, for an excellent cause.
Here’s the deal. For this contest, you can enter just like you did last time, simply by leaving a comment on this post. Doesn’t have to be witty or articulate or even sane — just say something, and you’re entered in the random drawing.
BUT. Last time, there were nearly 500 entries, and only one winner. Wouldn’t you, oh wouldn’t you like to increase your odds of winning this time? How about having your name entered TEN times, instead of just once?
to the fundraiser for my kids’ wonderful little charter school. Any dollar amount will get you entered. After you make your donation, leave a comment on this post with the words “I donated to SVCS” (no need to mention the amount, unless you want to!), and your name will be entered in the random drawing ten times. And you will make me very happy, because I love this school, and want to see it flourish!
I’m having a really hard time describing the school. Everything I say makes it sound impossibly idealized. What can I say?
They have this shabby, sunny little building way out in the country. The playground is dotted with canvas pup tents constructed by the 3rd and 4th graders, who are learning about the Civil War. As I wait for school to let out, I see a string of kids strolling back from the village library, and a couple of boys lugging a bucket of the day’s compost for the school garden. As I sign my kids out, the kindergartener is grinning will glee over the hand-sewn birthday crown from her teacher’s mother; the 6th grader is humming a little song about the parts of the brain; and the 4th grader is being teased and hounded by some first grade girls, who treat him like a big brother. The hall smells like wood pulp, apples, and wool, from the various projects the kids are making. The school’s lone TV is stored in the bathroom — because of a shortage of space, but it’s a nice illustration of how the classes are run: The kids are too busy reading, writing, singing, playing, building, cooking, weaving, making rockets, writing plays, and just generally learning things, thoroughly and contentedly, to stare at a screen.
The kids act like kids. They dress like kids. They are allowed to do kid things, like play with sticks and rocks on the playground. They aren’t straining (or being pushed) to shed their childhood. They aren’t too cool to play with younger kids, and they speak politely and openly to adults — no muttering or pawing the ground with their feet.
I know, I’m making it sound like the Sunshine Academy, where Maeby earned a crocodile in Spelling one year. But their academic standards are very high, and all of their policies affecting student life are effective, compassionate, and sensible.
So naturally, they get far less money from the state than the regular public schools.
you can be sure that your money will be used very, very well. And you will have a much better chance of winning an autographed copy of this amazing book, signed by all ten authors!
The contest will close on March 8.
So, to recap: there are two ways to be entered into the random drawing:
#1: Just leave a comment at the end of this post, and your name will be entered.
#2: Click on one of the “donate” buttons above, make a donation in any amount to Surry Village Charter School, and leave a comment saying “I donated to SVCS” on this post, and your name will be entered ten times.
Thank you, and good luck!
Have I mentioned that our washing machine broke last week? We finally got a new one yesterday. There sure is a lot of laundry to do. It seems like there’s a funny or harrowing story there, but really all that happened was that we went to Home Depot and bought a new washing machine. The kids were pretty good. Now we’re getting caught up on laundry.
Speaking of dirty laundry, here’s my post for today.
I still don’t buy the argument that married people have no right to complain, because at least they’re not alone. There’s always someone lower on the totem pole, and I consider kvetching to be a basic human right. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do better by our single brothers and sisters. So if you’re a discontented single Catholic, speak now.