Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Read a Banned Book

I've haven't written here in a while. Life has been just a little crazy lately, but I am working on finding equilibrium again. I have not, actually, fallen on the face of the earth.

This week the American Library Association celebrates Banned Books Week. It's a bit gimmicky, but it's a nice reminder to stop and appreciate the freedom to write and read whatever we want in this nation (mostly). My current read is The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell and it is unlikely to be banned anywhere in the U. S anytime soon. The last book I read was Things I Have Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi. Ending her title on a preposition only bothers me a teensy little bit, but I love her memoirs so much that I won't let that get in the way.

Nafisi's previous book, Reading Lolita in Tehran, is an amazing book and this week would be a perfect time to start it if you haven't already. In memoir form, it explores a number of themes including what makes literature relevant to our lives and the psychic toll taken on women who saw a glimpse of freedom only to lose it. It's a fascinating picture of life in Iran and it will make you more grateful to be able to pick up a copy of Tropic of Cancer or Slaughterhouse 5, or Harry Potter or whatever book you so choose. So go read something controversial.

What are your favorite banned or controversial books?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Belated Birthday Gift

My father just showed up with the most awesome belated birthday gift: a bb gun.

As a child, I was a total tomboy and obsessed with cowboys. I wanted a bb gun more than almost anything in the world, except for maybe a horse, and Star Wars toys too but you get the point. My mother did not allow even toy guns in the house because they were violent. My nephew is 12 years younger than me and when I was a teenager my parents BOUGHT HIM A BB GUN! You can imagine my outrage, my teenaged assurance that life was TOTALLY UNFAIR.

I may have brought this story up a few hundred times in the last 20 or so years. So today, my father presented me with my very own bb gun. I don't think I will actually use it as much as my 9-year old self would have, but I love his sense of humor. As a footnote, my mother still thinks this is a stupid gift. Sometimes you just gotta' love your family.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Finding Time For Spiritual Practice

Over the summer I developed a habit of spending a few minutes of either chanting or quiet seated mediation in the morning right after the sun salutations that save my back. Now that school is back in session and the mornings are full of getting children ready, finding this quiet time has gotten really hard. Evenings are full of dinner and homework, etc and after bedtime if for reading, hot baths, and time with the Husband. I cannot possible get up any earlier than 6 AM; it is everything this night owl can do to pry herself out of bed that early, but I miss those moments of peace.

What solutions have other parents found for carving out a little spiritual time? The Husband is very good about making sure the kids give me Me Time for baths, walks, time away from the house and the like, but none of that is the same as just sitting quietly. I'd love to hear what works for the rest of you.