Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I have been meaning to write about the word I chose for this year, but then I don't transition well, and a new year needs about a month's worth of transition don't you think?  And also in January there are these shades of grey to contemplate, and a liquid moon, and piles of grace that keep falling, silently, during the night and I wake up to this fresh mercy that takes away my words for days, sometimes.

And who am I kidding, there is also laundry.

Also, somebody around here is turning forty (it's not me) and this house is abuzz with secrets and planning!

Another factor is the book I've been reading, Alone Together by Sherry Turkle.  (Janet has a great review of it here.)  It is currently making me want to avoid technology even more than I already am, and causing me to lie awake at night worrying about what kind of cold robot-world my children will live in.  And so I choose to shut the screen stare out at the snow.

There is, of course, these many merits of technology that keep me coming back, but I am more aware than ever of the challenge of keeping it in its place, to not be ruled by it, to not allow it to replace human relationships, and especially of the example I am setting for my kids.

At the same time a friend gave me this article from the New York Times about a school that is technology-free.  The interesting thing about this school is that it is where big names from companies like Google, Apple, Yahoo, and Hewlett-Packard choose to send their kids.

All of this has brought the homeschooling discussion back to the surface in our home.  Kindergarten is going great so far, but the technology issue might just be what pushes me over the edge.  Jim read The Well-Trained Mind over the weekend and is more sold than he already was.

Two other books I have read:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I have been wanting to read Sylvia Plath, and this did not disappoint.  The story follows Esther Greenwood, a talented college student, from the brink of her metal decline and through her eventual breakdown, suicide attempt and recovery in mental hospitals, one experience hellish and one healing.  It gave me great compassion for the mentally ill or severely depressed.  I especially remember college as a time of intense emotions, and wonder if any of my peers at the time were having experiences like this.  Plath wrote this book as semi-autobiographical.

Once again based on stories from The Farm At Lucy, Phyllis Tickle writes about the sacredness of life and everyday miracles during the season of Ordinary Time, the months from about July thru November, and compares it to our middle years as "a sacred passage between the early formation of our lives and our maturing."  I enjoy reading an author whose faith tradition is so different from mine, and am drawn to the rhythm of the church year and the way that her reflections make the various feast days and the holy ordinariness of life sparkle.  And there was one chapter that blew my mind.

If you are a runner, please read this link, Run For Their Lives: turning small steps into high hopes in the battle against human trafficking.  My friend Jo is calling runners to run for the purpose of fighting against human trafficking.  If anyone has grappled with the hugeness of the problem of child sex slavery, but felt powerless to know what possibly to do, this is a great way to take one small step towards bringing awareness to the problem, and running for a great cause.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Alone Together made me think along similar lines. That NYT article sounds interesting -- I'm going to go read it.

I need to read some Phyllis Tickle. Suddenly, her name seems to be turning up everywhere.