Just wanted to stop in to let you know about a cool, informal anthropological study/blog on women and marriage called The Marriage Project. According to the blog’s founder:
I want to interrogate the “sacred cow” of marriage, to ask questions that women tell me they are seldom asked about what’s assumed to be an inevitability, a step taken by people in love (depending on what state you live in and your gender and sexual identity) are told to take if they are really “serious.” In short- what’s the difference between what we’re told to believe about marriage and the reality? Ultimately, it’s a tool for women to connect with one another, and to talk about how marriage and other choices impact how we understand the notion of feminism, femininity and what it means to be a woman.
I’ve spent a good chunk of time reading the personal stories on doubt, love, and fulfillment, and even contributed my own story.
If you’re itching for more reading, I encourage you to keep up with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s wherabouts via The Guardian‘s As It Happened feature; learn about the reasons for America’s startlingly high suicide rate; or follow along with Rachel Held Evans as she discusses the complex relationship between sex and the Church.
Hello, y’all. I’m not gone; I’ve just been posting up a storm on my fair trade blog, Style Wise.
I’ve also been reading some thought provoking and inspiring articles:
It’s an almost universal truth that any language you don’t understand sounds like it’s being spoken at 200 m.p.h. — a storm of alien syllables almost impossible to tease apart. That, we tell ourselves, is simply because the words make no sense to us. Surely our spoken English sounds just as fast to a native speaker of Urdu. And yet it’s equally true that some languages seem to zip by faster than others. Spanish blows the doors off French; Japanese leaves German in the dust — or at least that’s how they sound.
Reflecting on what he went through when Ruthie was sick, he told me that the secret to the good life is “setting limits and being grateful for what you have. That was what Ruthie did, which is why I think she was so happy, even to the end.”
While honest compensation should always be sought with both humility and pride, the pursuit of riches and wealth as an end goal is always a losing battle. Riches will never fully satisfy… we will always be left searching for more. People who view their work as only a means to get rich often fall into temptation, harmful behavior, and foolish desires.
And when you believe that minuscule imperative statements trump entire narratives, you miss out on the complexity that is woven into scripture. You lose stories like Deborah and Junia and Phoebe and Tabitha and Lydia and Anna and Priscilla– because these stories about powerful women conflict with the limited suggestion of one author to one friend. You lose the ability to learn from the value of contradictions, because instead of recognizing contradictions as the human component of individual perspective and human narrative, the contradictions become something you have to explain away or deny
Somewhere in my mid-twenties, I drifted off the Romans Road and stumbled onto a bigger, wilder Gospel in which salvation is less about individual “sin management” and more about God’s relentless work restoring, redeeming, and remaking the whole world. Salvation isn’t some insurance policy that kicks in after death; it’s the ongoing, daily work of Jesus, who loosens the chains of anger, greed, materialism, and hate around our feet and teaches us to walk in love, joy, and peace instead. It’s good news, not bad news, and I can’t, for the life of me, believe that only evangelical Christians like myself have a monopoly on it.
What have you been up to?
Research, news, and music that have affected me this week:
- In Search of the Mysterious Narwhal by Abigail Tucker – Biologist Kristin Laidre studies the mysterious and secretive Narwhal with the help of Indigenous communities in Greenland.
- The Marginalization of Women: A Biblical Value We Don’t Like To Talk About by Christopher Rollston – The Bible is fraught with patriarchal language and the church needs to accept it, but certainly not embrace it. The article has created much controversy and Rollston is now facing disciplinary action at Emmanual Christian Seminary, where he works and teaches.
- Heaven is Real: A Doctor’s Experience with the Afterlife by Dr. Eben Alexander – Neurosurgeon, Alexander, experienced strange and wonderful visions while in a coma. He believes that what he saw is real despite the fact that it contradicts scientific theories within his own field. The vision itself is captivating and I’m interested in the discussions it could spark.
- I love the Bible by Rachel Held Evans – I appreciate Evans’ transparency – the way she approaches the Biblical text realistically, revealing its nuances, its problems, and the difficulty of applying it to contemporary cultures while also recognizing its value.
- Cat’s Entertainment? Musical male mice learn to sing to impress females by Rob Williams – As the co-owner of multiple mice, I was thrilled to discover that male mice sing at high frequencies beyond human perception in order to woo potential mates. I feel sorry that our three females will never get to hear the wondrous music of their species. For more detailed information about the song itself, read this article (unfortunately published by my college rival).
- Perpetuum Mobile by Penguin Cafe Orchestra – This song makes me laugh and cry. It’s been playing in the background at the coffee shop for several weeks, but I had the chance to concentrate on it at home thanks to Pandora and it had a significant effect on my tear ducts.
- The photographs produced by the Ballerina Project – Viewing portraits of ballerinas in urban settings is part of the reason I’m taking classes now. Their body movement and posture are breathtaking.
- You Never Marry the Right Person by Timothy Keller – A spot-on discussion of what marriage really looks like and why marriage and love will never be easy.