Saturday, August 29, 2009

Body as battlefield

Every time I get to the point where I stop being aware of the fact that as women we are still underlyingly seen as body/sex object, I am smacked in the face with a stark reminder.Whether you want to accept it or not from the beginning of history to now women's bodies are a battlefield of gender and power dynamics the place where control and domination are proven. How often is a man in public leadership critiqued first and foremost on his looks or attractiveness, yet any woman in a position of power is ALWAYS described first by her subsequent attractive (or hotness) factor even before we speak about her qualifications.

Yesterday afternoon a dear friend and I on a respite from the city began talking about how we are taught to hate our bodies and how the most harmful experiences we have had are around sexuality, desire, attraction and our bodies. As we spoke I started to cry because I want so badly for this not to be true for this not to happen for women to be seen as beautiful in the diverse and lovely ways they all ready are. Today reading through an article on "feeding porn" (http://bitchmagazine.org/article/feast-of-burden) in on of my favorite cultural critiquing feminist magazines I felt the anger and sorrow filling up again. I keep thinking about taking Women and the Bible and reading biblical texts like the Rape of Tamar. Why do these things still happen? Why do we let them? Why are women still seen as objects and things for men to dominate and conquer...and why do we encourage mentalities that feed this understanding? I know many good and kind men but I also grieve for men that the gift of maleness being the expression of God in that manner is not honored and because of that seeks to destroy the beauty of God's femaleness that is present in women. I believe and hope to see God's presence in the restoration of male and female relationships both in moments now and in the final recreation.

Monday, August 17, 2009

do we always have to choose?

i am reading an article that a friend sent me about an amazing female artist/art anthropologist. on one hand i am blown away by the great offering that she gives and on the other i am so struck by the either/or mentality in her life story. it to me is indicative of the sad paradigm of second wave feminism. the incredible wonder that this woman has to offer the world and especially in regard to understanding of art is incredible but the splitting of self of motherhood and marriage makes my heart ache. maybe this is because i am a third or more wave feminist who doesn't think one should have to give up family, love, or dreams. i come from the generation who tries to do all and level the balance between career and children in the partnered relationship realm. if i ever get the chance to have all three (love, family, and career) i hope that i will not have to give up one on the pyre of any of the others. it makes me so sad that many have seen no other way to live but by the pyre, offering everything to do the work they were uniquely created and made for.

Monday, August 10, 2009

In light of 30

after a horrible week and a contemplative weekend peppered with pep-talks from my roommate i have decided that i am going to take baby-steps to move forward in my thirties. the first of these baby-steps started last week in the midst of my mental chaos. instead of allowing the sinking ship of my brain to take everything down with it, i choose to do something and at that point what i could do was art. over the course of a week i have made several paintings and pieces of jewelry. this is a huge acomplishment the ability to do something that is life giving in the middle of a hole of sour thoughts.

another thirty resolution is to try and focus on the good things, glass half full that sort of thing. in light of trying to do this i have been able to embrace what next steps might look like and where to go from here. with the blessing of a studio space and time hopefully i can begin to find some steady rhythms even when it feels like chaos.

in light of thirty i am seeking hope and a future in the day to day of the hear and now.

when i spoke with my grandmother today she said "honey this is the first time i have heard such hope and joy in you in a long time...i think this is the break that we've been needing." thanks grandma!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DORIS AND GRANDPA, and early BIRTHDAY ETHAN WESTLEY big nine year old.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

antidepressants, true love, and why i have neither

i have been struggling no rather battling with depression a lot recently what with my 30th birthday just weeks around the corner. that age looms stark and bright on the horizon seeing as how i not only am no where near where i thought i would be at when turning thirty but in fact am feel like a utter fucked up failure. i don't have enough work to pay the bills, i have been single for the last ten years, and i can't seem to get out of the hole no matter what i do. to top it off i am so screwed and broke i don't even have the luxury of being able to get medication to bring my self into balance because i haven't had health insurance for the last four years.

so instead i practice my own form of self medication...creating art and watching great film making (which kind of works and kind of doesn't). it works because by making art i am at least being productive and creating something...painting is especially therapeutic yet also i get more depressed because i want to badly to be a part of making movies.

tonight in the name of self medication therapy i watched "across the universe" which i love, most likely because at my heart i am a HUGE fan of musicals. julie taymor does an incredible job and creating films that capture the nature of live theatre plus they are so damned cool looking. oh yeah and she has both bono and eddie izzard in the trippy song sequences so that's pretty cool yeah. any way as i was engulfed in beatles music and love stories i found my self wondering about the nature of true love. you see i have been questioning the actuality that it is possible for everyone to experience love healthy and life giving love. so many of my friends are separated or divorced or choosing bad relationships or worse settling for something that isn't what is best for them. all of this makes me question the possibility of true love for everyone, granted i know a chosen few who amazingly do have this dynamic in their relationship yet they are few and far between. i often ponder the question of if love will actually come to me in my life or if to have a relationship i will have to settle for what comes that which is less than my heart aches for. or am i so very wrong and love is out there and he who my heart longs for will come. a phrase which comes out of the many hymns we sing at church leading to a follow up question can i love God with out experiencing loving another person who is tangible and flawed?

i don't know all i know right now is that i want so badly to move from hoping someday things will come together to a place where they do in their flawed and beautiful way. gosh i am scared about my birthday.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

the beauty of two messes....

i love stories about two messed up people coming together and finding hope and life in each other...the in-between that martin buber talks about. this process is never clean or neat but messy and painful and sometimes down right shattering yet it is also what pushes the characters to grow. this is so aptly true in the film "dedication", the story is about henry and lucy who are each in their own ways huge beautiful messes.

henry is the totally negative ever so slightly neurotic who has just lost his writing partner and best friend and lucy has fled education and thesis advisor/ex-boyfriend and now lives in an apartment that her crazy mother owns. they come together to finish a contracted book that henry started with his recently dead friend. what i love about this film, besides the fact that it is so visually beautiful and interesting, is that neither henry or lucy really changes that much in the film from beginning to end. what changes is their engagement with each other but they are still the same people just becoming better because they are together and that togetherness allows them both to live into their best selves. one of my favorite quotes from the film comes from henry's writing partner played by the lovely tom wilkinson, "you idiot life is a single skip for joy".

oh and i have to totally gush all over the fact that justin theroux, of whom this is his directorial debute, has proved that not only is he a incredible actor but also a great director. please rent this beautiful movie!