Sunday, January 27, 2013

Apologies, again

I'm writing this while running a bath for myself after a tired, stressful day. Ironically, perhaps, given the subject matter of my last post, I was too depressed to write a post last Sunday. Apologies, all. Part of the problem might be that I write on Sundays, and Sundays are rarely good days for me. But this particular Sunday is happily winding to a close, and I'm feeling grateful for that. I'm even looking forward to my typical Monday of getting up earlier than I'd like just to teach students, something I usually dread (or at least moan and groan about). But given today, and last Sunday, and the Sunday before that, Mondays are turning into the most wonderful day of the week.

Today was my little brother's mission homecoming. I went to my home ward for the first time in a year. It was weird. People kept coming over and hugging me and asking me how I've been. In a way, it was nice of them--these are the people I grew up around, the people who taught me and babysat me and became my friends. But my mom has gossiped about me to a lot of them, namely her friends and visiting teachers, who spread it around the ward or else glean their information on my very! depraved! activities! (read: I am a democrat) from my facebook page. One is the mother of a friend who I don't talk to any more and who tells her mother everything, and her mother tells her friends everything, and they tell their friends everything, and it just spreads and spreads and spreads and leaves me feeling very uncomfortable.

My former bishop (or chief ecclesiastical leader in my area, if you're not familiar with Mormons), who is also one of my parents' best friends, came up and grabbed my arm after church and complimented my on my little brother's talk. He said, "That boy owes so much to you. You were integral in raising him. He's the way he is today because of the person you are." And I almost started crying. Everyone else in the ward was nice and friendly and wanted to know about me, but I don't know how much they want to know because they're just going to turn around and gossip more. But he kind of asked me about myself, talked about his family, and complimented me. Even though the compliment came through my brother, he basically just said to me that I was a good kid and continue to be a good person, and no one in my ward or anyone connected to my parents (including my parents) has said that to me in a long, long time.

The rest of the day was stupid, but that little moment stood out to me. As much as we should strive for self-validation and self-confidence all need people to approve of and appreciate us and make us feel loved.

This contrasted with the rest of the evening with my family, which was fine in a number of ways, but it's uncomfortable there because I'm not approved of. It's frustrating how much I have to censor myself. When we're watching something I have to catch myself and not comment on the relative hotness of anyone there. I mean, as a girl, I'm allowed to say the male leads are cute, but I better not say, "Damn, Penelope Cruz is the hottest part of this movie," because that! is! not! appropriate!!!!! It's weird how something as small as not being able to exclaim with my brother when some hot girl appears on screen makes me feel so small and weird in my family's house.

In other news, I saw some fabulous Sundance Film Festival films this week that you should consider seeing once they get a wider release. The first was God Loves Uganda, a documentary about the anti-gay bill and American evangelical influence in Uganda. I liked it because it had a lot to do with neo-colonialism, which I am particularly interested in as an African lit grad student, but it had some interesting things to say (though not without problem or bias, both Western and religious, but what fun is a documentary without bias?). You can actually email them and ask for a free screening--anyone up for this in the Provo area?? It would be rad. Check out their website here.

Plus, the director was a gem and very fun to talk to.

I also got to see the final screening of Kill Your Darlings, which I thought was an even better examination of being lgbtq in modern American society, as well as a really interesting look at the Beat poets, who I've never particularly cared for. Dan Rad was F A B U L O U S fabulous!! as allen ginsberg. You will love him and this movie. Go see it when it gets released!!!

What cute sad babies!!!

Here's a Ginsberg poem in honor of that fabulous film. Have a good week, all.

Five a.m.

Elan that lifts me above the clouds
into pure space, timeless, yea eternal
Breath transmuted into words
Transmuted back to breath
in one hundred two hundred years
nearly Immortal, Sappho's 26 centuries
of cadenced breathing -- beyond time, clocks, empires, bodies, cars,
chariots, rocket ships skyscrapers, Nation empires
brass walls, polished marble, Inca Artwork
of the mind -- but where's it come from?
Inspiration? The muses drawing breath for you? God?
Nah, don't believe it, you'll get entangled in Heaven or Hell --
Guilt power, that makes the heart beat wake all night
flooding mind with space, echoing through future cities, Megalopolis or
Cretan village, Zeus' birth cave Lassithi Plains -- Otsego County
farmhouse, Kansas front porch?
Buddha's a help, promises ordinary mind no nirvana --
coffee, alcohol, cocaine, mushrooms, marijuana, laughing gas?
Nope, too heavy for this lightness lifts the brain into blue sky
at May dawn when birds start singing on East 12th street --
Where does it come from, where does it go forever? 

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