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Tuesday, June 28, 2005 at 9:22 PM

Safety

So I am reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis to my son. There's this part where they are talking about Aslan the King of Beasts. And the children say they would be afraid to meet a lion, and the answer is of course they would be scared. "'Then he isn't safe?' said Lucy. 'Safe? . . . . Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good.'" What a concept. Something good, but not safe. These days we are sooooo obsessed with safety. All the toys and playground stuff for kids is made out of plastic and has rounded edges and is super safe. What does this teach our kids? That the world is colorful and plastic and safe. Guess what? The world is not safe. There are wicked witches out there with sugary houses that want to stuff you into ovens and eat you up. We have this crazy expectation that the world should be safe, and then sue the bejeezus out of anybody who might possibly be responsible and then they come up with seatbelt laws and OSHA videos telling you not to sniff the whiteout or use it to clean your contacts.

By adriennelibrarian at 9:22 PM

at 2:34 PM

Passion

Finally finished reading the Razor's Edge, for perhaps the third or fifth time, I don't really remember anymore. At any rate, it is one of the few books I have been compelled to read more than once. Of course, I was always drawn to Larry -- without him the book would never have been written. What caught my attention this time, was a conversation between the narrator and Isabel, about halfway through the book. He goes on for almost two pages about passion. Passion these days is either connected to romance or being enthusiastic about something, which has little to do with the word's original meaning, which was "suffering or enduring." There is something romantic about our current meaning of the word. To be passionate about someone or something is exceptional, it makes one more alive than the rest of us. But Maugham knows better. "Unless love is passion, it's not love, but something else; and passion thrives not on satisfaction, but on impediment. . . . Passion is desctructive. . . . And if it doesn't destroy, it dies." Of course, within the Christian tradition, there is the Passion of Christ and all the suffering that entailed, which precedes God's greatest act of love. Juxtaposed with our current concept of passion of being more alive, the notion of suffering and destruction as the key element to being really alive is a completely foreign concept. Not only is it foreign but it's scary, too. Few people say, "Pain! Oh, yeah, bring it on!" (unless you happen to be into some pretty kinky stuff.) On the other hand, the idea of walking around half-dead just to be comfortable and conflict-free is also unappealing. God grant me the courage to rise above playing it safe.

By adriennelibrarian at 2:34 PM

Saturday, June 11, 2005 at 1:24 PM

Whatever....

It's nice to be validated. For some time, I have had this theory that my birth year, 1974, was what I termed a "Filler Year." Something had to go between 1973 and 1975. Nothing memorable really happened that year. We finally got rid of Nixon....and uh, there were pet rocks and polyester pantsuits in huge plaid. I believed that the lack of anything exciting or memorable occuring in our birth year would help explain the collective lameness exhibited by my high school class. Anytime we were called upon to show our school spirit as a class, the results of our efforts were mediocre, or bizzarrely lame. Our graduation invitations were black. Most of the interesting people I chose to hang out with were either in the class ahead or two years behind. I recently came across this book called Popstrology by Ian Van Tuyl. It's like astrology, but based on the songs and careers of the popstars who were number one on the charts the year and week you were born. Each year has a pop star who dominated the charts, except of course for 1974, which is the only year from 1956 to 1989 in which no pop star shined especially brightly. Mr. Van Tuyl has determined that those unfortunate enough to be born this year have "disunity of purpose," and are more or less clueless, yet unwilling to accept a philosophy thier peers dish out. It's nice to know somebody else has come to the same conclusions I have. Although there are a few worthwhile things that sprung from this year. Being biased, I regard my birth as a good thing. Also worth noting is the fact that Dylan recorded Blood on the Tracks in 1974, which is arguably his best album ever. This tirade being what it is, it was only natural for me to discover the album was not released until 1975.

By adriennelibrarian at 1:24 PM

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