Friday, January 02, 2015

I Dwell in Possibility

By Emily Dickinson:

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

My reading of that poem today is not the standard one.  Still, one wall against despondency, defeat and depression is to dwell in possibility.  Maybe it is not a wall but another secret exit door that leads into something different, a door which will not be locked in either direction.  From reality to possibility and then back.  To a better reality?  Let us hope so.

First Friday Post of Small Posts in 2015: On Kierkegaard and Trolls, Catholic Hospitals and the Ultra-Orthodox Fear of Women

1.  This is a fun story about Kierkegaard and trolls.  I'm not sure how exactly we can apply that to online trolls and demons.  Some of them might fall into that pattern, others are just from a different part of the darkness.

2.  The prominent role of Catholic hospitals in the US can cause serious problems for women's health care.  That's because in theory a woman who is miscarrying slowly might not be given the best possible care if the fetus is still alive, say.  But the question of sterilizations affects not only women but also men.  What happens to people who have only Catholic hospitals in the area where they live?  Where is the role of the government in this?  As in guaranteeing that all citizens have access to basic services.  Or are the religious rights of others more important?  The kinds of rights which work on your body, by the way, whatever your own religion might be.

3.  An international flight was delayed for half an hour because ultra-Orthodox men refused to be seated next to women.   That's because women have cooties and are disgusting.

That's my interpretation.  The ultra-whatever-religion groups would tell us that it's because men cannot touch women who are not their blood relatives or their wives.  Are men expected to go haywire and ravish anything female within an arm's reach (and not go haywire if it's your niece who sits by you)?  But somehow not go haywire if they are two arms' reaches away?

My guess is that the religious rules about this in Judaism and Islam are  about having sex with all sorts of strangers, and that it is the sex that is banned, not sitting next to someone or shaking someone's hand.

I'm reminded of Sheri Tepper's science fiction books.  In one of them a prophetess tells the people of a certain planet that they shouldn't let anyone mess with their heads.  In another book, taking place thousands of years later, those people now worship the prophetess and have a very strict rule that they must never ever cut their hair.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

I wish all my sweet and erudite readers a very good year.  Also peace on earth and all the other usual goodies.

I've been hibernating (due to year-end fatigue).  The animals which routinely do that have it figured out right.  You can come out when there's enough snow for skiing but until then the blanket is one's best friend.

As is the common rule with me, this blog has no summaries or reviews of 2014.  The side-view mirror of my car reminds me that the objects are closer than they seem, and the same is true about this dying year.  We cannot really tell what was most significant about it until more time has passed, though I could make a few guesses.  Still, your guesses are as good as mine.

from Echidne (and the snakes)