Gabriel turns Two: Happy Birthday Sweet Boy

Monday, January 01, 2007

Tagged, I'm it

I've been blog (not blob) tagged by Julie and instead of going to the dragon's dungeon or having to chase other people, I get to share five things others might not know about me. So here goes:

1. I was born in an octagonal log cabin in a Sufi commune, where I lived until I was two when my parents decided to leave on account of numerous hypocrisies among the leadership. Upon announcing that we were leaving, one fiesty guru actually through a chair at my mother!

2. When I was eighteen months old my parents took me to Europe and I tried very hard to hug the Venus De Milo, because I saw that it had only one arm and I imagined it to be hurt. The gaurds of course interfered with my ministrations, and later during the trip, a pidgeon pooped on my head right next to a statue of St. Francis. Ever since I have felt a kinship with St. Francis and I dearly love the classic prayer attributed to him:


Lord, make me a channel of thy peace,

that where there is hatred, I may bring love;

that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;

that where there is discord, I may bring harmony;

that where there is error, I may bring truth;

that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;

that where there is despair, I may bring hope;

that where there are shadows, I may bring light;

that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;

to understand, than to be understood;

to love, than to be loved.

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

I hope to improve at living this prayer, as I have a long way to go.

3. I was a competitive figure skater until I turned 15. For a little while there I got Oksana Baul's morning lessons when she slept in after a hardy-party night. I also skated with Nancy Kerrigan and Paul Wylie. I was in the adjacent skating rink when Tonya Harding's hit man got Nancy's knee. Who needs reality TV?

4. I am petite. Okay, short. My license says five feet, but technically I am only 4' 11 and three quarters. All throughout high school if I wore reasonably flat shoes, I was everyone's shoulder rest or teasing target. So I wore high heels. Constantly, despite warnings not to on account of scolioses and pronating feet. My back pays for it now, but fortunately my husband is an osteopathic physician-in-training, and he does wonders for my back!

5. I almost always have strong opinions about things, it's just that if you were really inside my brain you'd see I often hold more than one strong opinion about the same topic. This can make me appear either overly certain of my position when I only express the present-tense most dominant strong opinion I hold, or it can make me appear quite ambivelant if I give all my thoughts get an equal airing.

People I'm tagging:

  • David

  • Stacy

    ktismatics said...

    A Sufi commune? Far out. Where was this? Your parents must have been from my era of hippiedom.

    Competitive figure skating? I'm about three-quarters finished with Infinite Jest, written by David Foster Wallace. He was a ranked junior tennis player, and a lot of his book is set at a residential tennis academy. The book is a thousand pages long: maybe competitive sports make you obsessive about things like writing...

    Jemila Monroe said...

    The Sufi commune was in New Lebanon, NY. It was called, "The Abode."

    Yes, I think competitive sports can develop obsession in a person very easily. It becomes easy to substitute only one aspect of self-identity for a whole personhood, since so much of one's life (physically and psychologically) is spent on one driving passion/obsession, in which other people judge you for your performance.

    ktismatics said...

    Here's a longish excerpt from Infinite Jest where a teacher at the junior tennis academy is explaining to a reporter what it's about:

    "These kids, the best of them are here to learn to see. They're here to get lost in something bigger than them. To have it stay the way it was when they started, the game as something bigger, at first. Then they show talent, start winning, become big fish in their ponds out there in their hometowns, stop being able to get lost inside the game and see. Fucks with a junior's head, talent. They pay top dollar to come here and go back to being little fish and to get savaged and feel small and see and develop. To forget themselves as objects of attention for a few years and see what they can do when the eyes are off them...

    "In the Show they'll get all they want of being made into statues to be looked at and poked at and discussed, and then some. For now they're here to get to be the ones who look and see and forget being looked at, for now... The point here for the best kids is to inculcate their sense that it's never about being seen. It's never. If they can get that inculcated, the Show won't fuck them up. If they can forget everything but the game when all of you out there outside the fence see only them and want only them and the game's incidental to you, for you it's about entertainment and personality, it's about the statue, but if they can get inculcated right they'll never be slaves to the statue, they'll never blow their brains out after winning an event when they win, or dive out a third-story window when they start to stop getting poked at or profiled, when their blossom starts to fade. Whether or not you mean to, babe, you chew them up, it's what you do."

    Audrey said...

    "I almost always have strong opinions about things, it's just that if you were really inside my brain you'd see I often hold more than one strong opinion about the same topic."

    I love how you put that. I find that to be a fitting description of myself, too. There is certainly a challenge in being able to see clearly many different sides of a situation, and to shift which side you're standing on (to flip-flop, if you will), from day to day or minute to minute, depending on where your heart's loyalties lie just then, or depending on whose side needs to be stood up for.... What is with our society's celebration of ideological consistency? Might that not be just a sort of small mindedness, to be able to only see or take seriously one side of an issue? Many good thoughts to be raised from this point!