Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dust to Dust

We got a call yesterday from the vet's office letting us know that James' ashes were ready to be picked up.  It's been quite a while since James shuffled off this mortal coil. While Herself felt no burning hurry to be in possession of his cremains, she thought it would be respectful to him to bring them home just the same.

There were a few other people waiting in line to speak with the veterinarian's assistant, and Herself felt slightly self-conscious about asking for James' ashes: public awareness of one's status as Mourning Pet Owner is tricky, for it may elicit the kind of quiet sympathy from pet-owning strangers that releases unexpected ninja-like tears of forgotten grief.  Yet, it was fine.  She took the tiny tin and escaped unobtrusively out of the clinic's door, composed and just a tiny bit sad.

Rest in peace, James.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Fewer things are more delightful than coming across some small thing that one knows a particular person will enjoy, and presenting it to them.  Humble items, perhaps inconsequential to all but the receiver: a ceramic paring knife; an uncommon color of nail polish; a T-shirt naming an unusual band; a roll of shiny duct tape; a fuzzy bee; a flavor of ice cream. The delight of such tiny moments brings joy to the heart.

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. - Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, July 27, 2012

Respite Care

It has been a great concern to Herself that she is the only one in the family who is trained to give ottoman-shaped dog his insulin shots. She has worried, and felt alternatively oppressed, guilty, annoyed, and dutiful. Faithful good dog Thorbert, a beloved millstone around Herself's neck, requiring her presence at regular intervals no more than 12 hours apart. What could Herself do?

She has at long last found a pet sitter who is comfortable giving Thorbert his insulin. Bonus one: she's a warm and kind woman, and Thorbert prefers the ladies. Bonus two: her name was familiar  because she's the mother of some of Offspring the Third's classmates from grade school.  Herself remembers her from then as being smart, trustworthy and professional.  Excellent.  And Bonus three:  she's a scientist - a woman after Herself's own heart. 


Herself is delighted: she is incredibly relieved that respite has been found; that should she need to be away for a day or two, Thorbert's needs can still be met; and that she does not have to strongarm any of the squeamish family members into handling injections for the dog.

It reminds her a tiny bit of Days Of Yore, when the Offspring were nursing infants.  It was stressful to be the sole source of food for a small human being.  What a relief, when they were big and old enough finally to begin cereals and fruits and veggies.  All those tiny jars of organic, minimally processed, painfully wholesome pureed items were carefully arranged in the cabinet, and Herself would look at them fondly, well aware of their marvelous role as supplemental food for the Offspring. She could worry just a little less. It was good.

Comfy, Thorbert? I'm glad.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Note: extremely serious topic today. Pregnant women and women with infants should consider reading elsewhere.

Today is Nicholas day.

Fourteen years ago, a young woman very close to Herself's heart delivered her firstborn, Nicholas.  Nicholas was stillborn: an umbilical cord accident -- a knot -- took him from this world before he was ever able to draw breath.  Herself, five months pregnant with Offspring the Third at the time, remembers that day with a vividness that will never dissipate.  She was exhausted from several weeks of medical care and related travel for Offspring the First, who had required surgery to correct a congenital problem, and had been trying to nap in the afternoon.  The phone rang; her Beloved Husband answered and spoke briefly, and then came to the bedroom.  He said:  something wrong with the baby, they had been told. A crisis in the night, they had said.  And Nicholas was gone, and Herself's heart-sister had to deliver his silent tiny form and say goodbye. Unimaginable sorrow.

Nicholas' birthdate is still in Herself's calendar, and every year, she speaks with her friend about him. She calls him by name and pays her respects to the memory of him. His time was a blink of an eye, but his presence is forever, for he is a reminder of the fragility of life, of the inscrubability of why terrible things sometimes happen, of our own inevitable mortality. 

He is also more. 

When Herself was in labor with Offspring the Third and he was in distress (we have mentioned his fraught delivery before, here and here), Herself thought of Nicholas.  She asked in her heart for Nicholas to look after Offspring the Third, whatever might happen.  And when Offspring the Third arrived well, Herself knew that his guardian angel would evermore be Nicholas.

Once, when Offspring the Third was a tiny tot, Herself tucked him in at bedtime and he looked at her and -- without context or any previous similar conversation -- said, "When we die, are we born again and see through someone else's eyes?"  Ah, child.  The Universe has always spoken to you in mysterious ways.  Herself likes to think that perhaps Offspring the Third and Nicholas have already met, somewhere, somehow.  It's possible.  And perhaps, someday, they will meet again once more.

Thank you, Nicholas.  We remember you always.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In the Right Light

Slightly adult theme today. You have been warned!

You have no doubt noted from various posts here and there that Herself -- like most women her age -- struggles a fair amount with body-image issues.  She knows she'll never be a tall svelte creature like those that populate all of the (heavily-photoshopped) fashion magazines.  She recognizes that she'll never again have the flat abdomen of her youth.  She understands that the marks left by the three consecutive nine-pound Offspring will always remain, and that she can do nothing about the dozen surgical scars except be grateful that they're mostly small and faded. She will likely always be a few pounds heavier than she'd like to be.  Such is life. It could be worse.

Still, it could be better, too.  She wishes.  Why? It should not matter. Yet you and I know that somehow, it does.

Even so, every now and then, she has a Good Day:  a day on which she gets up and deliberately stands nude in the muted dawn before the full-length mirror that she normally carefully avoids, and looks, and thinks, "All things considered, maybe it's not so bad."  She's not glamorous and she's not thin, but she is warm and pink and perhaps curved in certain places in a relatively acceptable manner.  And that will do, for today. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Half A Year

Six months ago, ottoman-shaped dog was diagnosed with diabetes.  He is doing remarkably well.  Though the insulin shots are not much easier, either for Herself or for him, they get through them as they must.  And he has had six months of extra time to lie in his bed, to bark at the door, to gallop about when it is dinnertime, to go camping and hiking, and to sniff new things and dig in new places and lie in the dirt.

Good boy, Thorbert.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Because the Night

Herself prefers twilight and nighttime; the harsh sun of this desert land burns and withers. She enjoys early dawn, too, though she is not often awake to experience it.  The phasing from day to night, and from night to day, are always full of promise. And frequently, watching over the changes is the dispassionate eye of the moon.

The past few nights, the crescent moon has slowly waxed, and it was particularly noteworthy Saturday night.  Herself and the Menfolk were all watching a manly movie (Gladiator), when she stepped outside briefly with the wee little dog.  As the door closed behind her, the battle sounds of the film were muffled, and the yard was surprisingly quiet. Herself looked over the back fence by the right-hand tree and found the lunar orb, dark except for the sliver of silver at the bottom. Beautiful.  

Though the moon is silent, it oftentimes reminds Herself of music.  Right now, the moon evokes Because The Night (Patty Smith).  We must add this to the iPod.

This beautiful moon was photographed by Rob Kaufman

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Room for More

There is good in everything - even a trip through the Void. Now, I have more room for joy.

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

- Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Broken Open

The storm arrived in the dark and starless night, with wind howling, with ocean waves fierce and towering.  I was shattered by my grief and fell into the black hole of the Void.

I have emerged at the other side, salty and wet and tired, and surprised somehow to have been deposited upon this fine sand in the soft pre-dawn. Yet, peaceful.  Broken:  but not in pieces.  Rather, broken open.  I see myself anew in the emerging light.  I understand my mistakes, and I have learned.

I am alone; but I am not alone, for I am with myself.  I will hold my own hand.

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

We have posted these words before. They ring true again, as Kahlil Gibran's words always do.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Not An Emergency

This past Wednesday, Herself went back to the endocrinologist as scheduled for a follow-up about the thyroid nodule.  Alas, it was not the handsome-young-man-fest that it was last time.  Perhaps next time. 

She had an ultrasound last week so a comparison could be made between how the nodule is now, to how it was in ultrasound when it was first discovered.  The doctor's office hadn't yet received the report by her appointment, so they said they'd call and let her know what the report said.  She just got the call.

"It's not an emergency but the doctor would like you to schedule a biopsy." 

First available date? August 8. Well, even though it's not a big deal and she's not particularly celebratory, she just couldn't bring herself to spend part of her birthday having a biopsy.  She's scheduled for August 13. And so, it will be hanging over her head for the next three and a half weeks. Then, there will be another week or two before she gets the results.

Herself recalls the first biopsy - having to tilt her head back and stare at the wall behind her while the doctor poked long needles into her neck.

She is not happy.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012


There are days when I feel as though I have given away one thousand pieces of myself. 

I have nurtured and cared for and looked after and fed and sheltered and loved and listened and patted and comforted and cheered and helped, over and over again, until I find myself standing on the edge of the Void, cold and tired and hollow. I gather the scraps of my energies and endure, waiting for the Universe to recognize my fatigue, hoping for it to take my hand and wrap me in warmth and feed my hungering soul.

I tell myself:  I do not want what I cannot have.

And yet: I do want.

I am hoarse, tear-stained, shivering; my hands out, my palms up. I cannot speak the words: I need.

The Universe remains silent.  And edges fray.

I fear that when my patience comes to an end, rage will consume me.

Beware the fury of a patient man.  - John Dryden


While Offspring the First is home for the summer, she is taking a few classes at the local university.  Off she goes on the bus in the morning, and home she returns on the bus in the afternoon.  She's quite the responsible young lady, working hard and diligently. We are very proud of her.

Most mornings, we have the pleasure of making her a sandwich to take with her to school.  It is a small and satisfying joy.  As we have said before

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions -- the little soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimal of pleasurable and genial feeling.  - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

It is made up, too, of sandwiches.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Yesterday evening during their walk, Herself's Beloved Husband and Cherished Friend spent much of the time discussing vehicles.  Herself listened carefully as she always does, attempting to call to mind images of the cars and trucks they mentioned, and valiantly (though often fruitlessly) trying to understand the details of the conversation as well as to store away useful information.  It strained her brain.  Yet it was enjoyable:  the best part of such an evening is hearing how animated the two Menfolk are.

Their enthusiasm is infectious, and quite endearing. It makes Herself smile.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


As I mentioned previously, camping, huzzah!  Herself, Beloved Husband, Offspring the Second and Offspring the Third, and Cherished Friend all ventured out to the Forks Campground in the Gila Wilderness (National Forest) in New Mexico on Friday afternoon, and stayed until Sunday noon.  It was good.

The positives: 

We were out of telephone range.  No calls, no e-mail, no Facebook, no obligations to anyone other than ourselves.

There were trees and a river and interesting bugs and napping in a camp chair.

The moon rose beautifully over the cliffs in the wee, wee hours of the morning.

The tent was marvelous and comfortable.

Everything was simple. 

There were lizards!

The negatives:

The drive was a bit nauseating.  Poor Offspring the Third, who is rather vomit-phobic, experienced his first thorough bout with motion sickness.  Fortunately, a bowl was readily accessible.  Hopefully, he will remember now that it is possible to throw up and live to tell the tale, so that any future episodes will not be so traumatic for him.

The two big dogs, who accompanied us, were a tad difficult.  They wouldn't eat regularly (a grave concern for diabetic ottoman-shaped dog, who requires regular meals to balance out his insulin).  They tweedled and whined when they were not in the midst of the people.  They were dumb. They got tangled.  We did the best we could to keep them comfortable and happy; we suspect they will not be on this earth much longer, and were hoping for a pleasant adventure for them in their twilight years. Building good karma for our own twilight years, as it were.

The fellow campers were completely bereft of common sense and proper behavior, with loud music, shouting and singing, driving back and forth, and carrying on until the not-so-wee-hours of the morning.  It was truly astonishing how inconsiderate they were.  It made it quite difficult to sleep. At all.

I would like to go camping again. Someplace with a few more trees, a little more shade, and far fewer people.  More lizards would be nice, too.  My tent and I will be ready.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Herself went back to the orthopedist today to follow up on her ongoing and intermittent hip/lower back pain.  It has been a  frustrating issue for her.  She's evaluated herself carefully, and has come to a few conclusions about her abilities as well as her limitations.

It appears that her days of taekwondo are likely over:  even one class of helping to instruct was enough to put her pain level back to its very worst for several days in a row.  On the bright side, though, she has fortunately been able to go walking regularly; to do a little light backpacking; and to sleep in a tent on the ground.  In the grand scheme of things, it is far more important for her to be able to climb mountains and to go camping than it is for her to return to kicking or sparring.  The red and blue foam of the mats cannot compare to the feel of leaves or rocks underfoot.

The orthopedist seemed a bit stumped at first.  There is no obvious problem:  imaging studies of her back and her hip have come back 'clean'.  Pressing on her back in certain places does yield pain, though, and so today, the orthopedist suspected a problem with the sacroiliac joint.  He offered a cortisone shot into the joint to see whether that alleviates the pain. 

Ack! Ack! No time to research or contemplate!  Herself agreed.  The shot itself was brief and not terribly painful. We shall see whether it helps. 

At home, after studying up on SI joint pain, Herself thinks that they might, in fact, be on the right track.  Wikipedia, the source of all generic and slightly questionable human knowledge, indicates that certain signs may be symptomatic of SI joint problems:  dull unilateral low back pain; mild to moderate ache around the posterior superior iliac spine region; pain becoming worse or sharp while standing up from a seated position; low back pain that increases with prolonged sitting; occasional referred pain into the hip and groin, or buttock and back of thigh.  Check, check, check, check, check.  Such a problem would also be consistent with the physical therapist's findings of pelvic instability.  Time for more pelvic strengthening exercises.  Do your Kegels, everyone!

One amusing moment from the visit:  after Herself explained her frustration with not being able to do taekwondo for exercise, the orthopedist said, "But you look great.  And how does that saying go: 'It's better to look good than to feel good?'" 

Hahahaha.  Herself's tiny, pathetic, neurotic sense of self (despite knowing the statement is probably a line the doctor uses regularly to bolster his patients' spirits) is secretly relieved to receive a rare compliment implying that she is not quite the repulsive heifer she suspects she may be.  She would feel better, though, if she could exercise more often or more vigorously.  Or perhaps she should just exhibit a molecule of self-control and abstain from drowning her sorrows and stresses in carbohydrates. 

With time, a bit of encouragement, and with incremental but steady and increasing efforts, hopefully better strength, less pain, and more willpower will come. 

Try, try again. We shall get there someday.

 Thank you, Wikipedia, for the pelvis.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dog Tired

We went tent camping with the Menfolk (and old oafish dog and ottoman-shaped dog) this weekend.  Huzzah! Details to follow. Right now, we require a nap. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Desert Waiting

Sing for us, lovely Norah Jones.

Like a flower waiting to bloom
Like a light bulb in a dark room
I'm just sitting here, waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on.

Like the desert waiting for the rain
Like a school kid waiting for the spring
I'm just sitting here, waiting for you
To come on home and turn me on.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art. - Rumi

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


This past weekend, when we were sitting down for movie night (manly monster fare - the Director's Cut of Aliens), Herself was a hair tired and just a smidgen crabby.  In response to the incessant chattering ("filling the air with noise"), Herself quipped, as she often does, that she was going to run away from home.  Offspring the Third promptly stated emphatically that he does not like when she says that, because it makes him worry that she won't come home.  Herself reassured him that she would, in fact, come home:  after all, she needed to take care of Ottoman-shaped dog, who requires insulin shots twice a day, and no one else knows how to do so.  (The practical and common-sense realities of daily life -- including pet care -- are reassuring to Offspring the Third.)

During the movie, main character Ripley learns that she has been in stasis for 57 years, and that her daughter passed away two years earlier at the age of 66.  Ripley murmurs:  I promised her that I'd be home for her birthday.  Her 11th birthday.   Ripley later makes promises to daughter-substitute Newt: I won't leave you. I promise.

Ah, the promises we make to children, trying valiantly to reassure them that they will not be left alone. 

Every now and then, though, we see a young dawdling child refusing to follow a parent out of a store, and we hear the parent say, "Fine. I'll leave you here then," and turn his or her back on the child and walk away. Such cruelty, to prey upon fear of abandonment in order to elicit compliance from an overtired and stubborn small person. Unacceptable.

It is a primordial fear, the fear of abandonment. Visceral, terrible, eternal. It haunts us even as adults, though we do not admit it; and so, we make pledges to children not only to comfort them, but also to convince ourselves that we will always, somehow, magically manage to be with them when they need us.  How we wish it could be so. How we fear that it will not be so.  We understand their terror far too well.

Monday, July 9, 2012


My wish is granted:
Dazzling deluge soaks my skin.
Thank you, Universe!


Caveat:  This entry is not a veiled suggestion that I, or Herself, feel a need for any form of apology right now.  We're content with our loved ones and harbor no grudges. We're just introspectively ruminating, as always. 

Let's talk about apologies.  When you have been wronged, what sort of apology is necessary for you? 

Here's an interesting quiz on apology 'languages,' by the fellow who generated The Five Love Languages.  It's a bit 'pop-culture' and a bit cliché, and it's not perfect, certainly -- there should be a 'none of the above' option for some of the scenarios.  Nevertheless, it can serve as a useful basis for evaluating situations. 

Herself and I have taken the quiz a few times, and on every occasion, the results have been essentially the same.  Our highest priority apology 'language' is the language of regret: we like to hear a simple "I'm sorry."  When the words are heartfelt and spoken with cognition of the problem, they are sufficient to put a situation onto the road towards making things right again.

Some situations understandably require more than a statement of regret.  For example, they may involve an offer for restitution, a request for forgiveness, and/or an acknowledgement of the specific error that was made.  Acknowledgement can, in fact, be particularly useful:  it demonstrates that an individual understands the reasons why the apology is needed.  At the same time, acknowledgment can be particularly tricky:  while it is one thing to express sorrow at having hurt another person, it's actually an entirely different thing to frankly admit to having made an error. Errors can be subjective, too; what one person finds to be a mistake, another person may feel to be correct.  A lot of walking the proverbial mile in another's shoes may be necessary. And sometimes, not everyone will be satisfied with the end result of an apology.  People are complicated. 

One of our very favorite articles on apologies is,  "How to say you're sorry: A refresher course" by Susan McCarthy in Salon.com.  It points out another essential facet of apology:  an apology should almost never contain the word, "if."  "I'm sorry if" is a half-hearted, sneaky apology, for it suggests that the problem lies with the wronged person, rather than the person who has committed the wrong.  In my opinion (shared by Herself) there should be no justifications, excuses, reservations or qualifiers attached to an apology.  That can be a lot to ask, we know.  We will expect the same of ourselves, though, when we inevitably need to apologize. 

We are human. We err. When that happens, the best we can do is to make amends with a forthright and humble apology.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Quiet, please

Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven't the answer to a question you've been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.

- Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hush, hush

Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.
 ― Rachel Naomi Remen

Picture copyright 2011, 2012, Mediocria Firma

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Eleven points, using two 'double letter score' squares. Hee.


The dogs smell of wet
Just a sprinkling, made me damp
It rained, not enough

I need to have more:
Sneakers squishing, soggy, cold
Socks curled up, lumpy

Jeans - heavy, chafing
Undies, uncomfortable
Shirt soaked and clinging

Rivulets streaming
Through my hair and down my back
Drops on my glasses

Cold. Goosebumps and chills.
I would hold myself in peace,
Living the moment.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Harry Potter Summertime

When Herself read the Harry Potter books, she was struck by the degree to which the long summer affected Harry. Even though the break between school years was essentially a mere two months -- the spring semester ending June 30, and the fall semester beginning September 1 -- those nine weeks always appeared to be interminable to Harry. His descent into despair and hopelessness was inevitable, it seemed. 

Herself was always skeptical.  How bad could it really be? Surely he could have the fortitude to pull himself up by his bootstraps and do what needed to be done for that short time?  Man up, Harry!

Now, though, Herself understands.

In the household, summertime is always a very different creature from the school year.  While it lacks the day-to-day activities of school and homework and such, it nevertheless has its own rhythms and chores and expectations.  There seems to be more cooking and cleaning.  There is a constant presence in the house of one or more of the Offspring.  There's a wish for More Fun and Interesting Activities, to be weighed against ordinary Work work and other things.  Balance is difficult.

Herself -- always a creature of habit -- dislikes the disruption of the routine and the sudden diminishment of her time Alone. Lovely and wonderful though the Offspring are, the greater amount of required human interaction is tiring for Herself. She finds it difficult to focus on things because of the steady flow of small interruptions. It is tricky.

She daydreams about sitting peacefully somewhere out of doors, in the shade under a tree or on a boulder; about having a moment when nothing is expected of her, when no one wants or needs anything from her, when all is settled and quiet.  And she comprehends how Harry Potter could so easily fall prey to his own dark thoughts during the restless summertime.

Monsoon season, please come upon us and quench our feverish minds. Give us the respite from the heat that we so desperately require. Allow us to stand in the rain, to watch the water fall, to be in the moment, for just a little while - lest we fall into the despair of the summer.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Our Mrs. Reynolds

We have been watching Firefly.  We love this show.  It is quite a pity that it lasted such a short while.  We still have eight more episodes to go, and hope that they are just as entertaining as the first six. 

The episode we viewed last night, Our Mrs. Reynolds, was particularly amusing for its entertaining and innuendo-laden dialog. One of the best lines was rendered as an explanation as to why a man found a woman irresistable:   "But she was naked! And all... articulate!" Excellent. 

One moment in the story bears a little bit of further thought.  A woman who has prepared dinner for a man, tells another woman (a wife), "Everything's laid out if you'd like to cook for your husband." The wife gives her husband The Look and he nervously dismisses the statement as being "quaint." Shortly thereafter, the husband inquires again regarding the dinner, and the wife quips sternly, "remember that sex we were planning to have, ever again?"

It was quite comically rendered. I still laugh aloud to think of it.  Hilarity aside, though, there are two aspects of the scene that I'd like to address, because, alas, I am a perpetually serious individual.  Not humorless, certainly, but rather excessively contemplative at times.

First, a disclaimer/caveat/preamble:  I am lucky in that I live in an era in which women are not held in thrall to men of their household (fathers, brothers, husbands), and are free to pursue careers and interests outside of homemaking.  Women can be strong, powerful, and independent.  This is good; and it colors my point of view tremendously, as you will see.

Point one - the wife's final line regarding sex:  though it was funny on television, I do not believe that such a comment would, in fact, be amusing in actual life.  I strongly dislike any statement, either direct or implied, by one partner regarding withholding physical affection from another partner because of a displeasing action or statement. Sex (or the withholding thereof) should not be used as a weapon or as a source of barter, or as a bribe/threat to force or coerce a partner into behaving, or not behaving, in a certain way.  That's manipulative and wrong.

I know some people may disagree.  Others are entitled to their opinions and to their own practices in and out of the bedroom. I know that a sexual relationship between two partners is always an extremely complex dance with endless nuance and details, many of which may be subconscious. Nevertheless, my opinion on this matter is quite strong and unwavering - to withhold physical touch in such a contriving manner, for me, is unacceptable.

Point two - the implication that a wife cooking for her husband (which I shall generalize here as a woman cooking for a man) is demeaning to the woman:  sigh.  There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to care for another person.  To assume or suggest that a woman's willingness to wait on a man is somehow 'beneath her', imposes upon her a particular set of assumptions which may not be true. Surely it is possible for a woman to attend to a man - even to deliberately choose to do so - without being considered subservient?  What if she derives pleasure and happiness from looking after him?  Is it somehow mutually exclusive for a woman to be strong and independent, and to be nurturing?

Perhaps it is a matter of expectations.  To expect a woman to perform certain tasks -- cooking, cleaning, other undertakings traditionally thought of as 'women's work' -- can be inappropriate, or even insulting under certain circumstances.  On the other hand, to accept that a woman may actually do so voluntarily, is respectful of her decisions and demonstrates gratitude for her actions. Where is the harm?

I am sure that there are a million opinions on this matter, and it could be debated endlessly if all the permutations of culture and personal experience were considered.  Again, though, for me, a woman should be able to cook for a man without an overhanging cloud of an assumption that it is somehow unacceptable for her to do so.  Both can benefit.  That is a good thing.

Those are my thoughts for today.  Would you like a sandwich?  I would be happy to make one for you.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Too Close

Today, I am listening to Alex Clare, Too Close. 

I haven't quite figured out the meaning of the lyrics, but the rhythm and the sound are both compelling.  I rather liked the video, too.