May 28th, 2009

professional me, self

Possibly this should be multiple entries.

This morning I kept singing in my head this morning (from Lenten Taize at FCS UCC) (mostly in English, natch).  I've frequently found myself singing bits of Taize chants we did during Lent at Rest and Bread.  This repetition thing really does work, huh?

Jésus le Christ, lumière intérieure,
ne laisse pas mes ténèbres me parler.
Jésus le Christ, lumière intérieure,
donne-moi d'accueillir ton amour.

Lord Jesus Christ, Your light shines within us,
let not my doubts nor my darkness speak to me.
Lord Jesus Christ, Your light shines within us,
let my heart always welcome Your love.


"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come.  You wait and watch and work: you don't give up." --Anne Lamott

Good things about today:
  • [redacted, v.2]
  • Comfortable-feeling lunch with coworkers.
  • I am really grateful to have disposable income and food options.  I had tofu stirfry for lunch and then got vending machine cookies and after work I went to Finagle-a-Bagel and got an overpriced Tomato Cheddar Melt (with avocado and possibly an excess of honey mustard) and a hot chocolate, and later I went to Burger King and got french fries, and I was hungry when I got home but opted not to eat anything in part because I knew I was going to bed (relatively) soon, but I totally could have eaten more food.
  • Okay, after-work is just going to be a series of stories.
    I got out at Arlington Street T Station and headed toward the church, and it was so weird to not see all the construction stuff up.  The only stuff still there is signs at the T entrances saying that the entrance is closed.  There are steps to a downstairs Church Office, and a green lawn, and who knew... I sat on polished stone and ate my dinner.  According to the signs inside the T, on May 31 (Pentecost! hee) the Arlington Street Entrance is reopening and the Berkeley Street entrance is closing.
    After I finished my dinner, I walked into the Public Garden and phoned Ari.  I saw Swan Boats (because oh yeah, we are after Memorial Day), and a white swan sleeping.  And there were so many animals around -- ducks and squirrels and clutches of people with their dogs all playing together...  Yes, this is really spring/summer.
    I walked around seeking a Burger King, and indeed I was recalling correctly that there is one at Park Street, and as I headed in I had a split-second impulse to ask Ari, "Do you want anything?" -- which is particularly ironic since I'm often bad at being attentive like that when I'm actually with people.
    ASC's front sign said "Respect" for May 31 and I thought, "So not doing Pentecost," and we talked some about UU churches, and I said I would like to go to King's Chapel at some point to see how an example of a "Christian" UU church works, and I thought some more about church-hopping this summer because I'm not really feeling church service at CHPC (though I know that summer is a bad time to check out a new church, because attendance drops off and programs go into recess and all that) -- and I can use Ari's 6-axis scale, and be a blogging Phantom Churchgoer like Eric suggested :)
    And we discussed tagging.  As we do.
    Sacred Eros was just me and Desmond.
    We discussed: non-petrol cars, the Bible's stance on monogamy/marriage, sex work (primarily from a workers' rights angle), libertarianism, how to be a truly welcoming church, church membership, how to do the Ask in a way that reminds people that we give to the church in so many ways, and assorted other things.
    Desmond mentioned possibly moving Sacred Eros to Tuesdays since a lot of interested parties can't make Thursdays.  I said that would be fine by me because I would no longer be skipping church to come here -- I would just be skipping church class (i.e., World Religions at Harvard Summer School).  Heh.
  • Comment from Mayhap.
  • One of my Summer School books arrived (albeit the one I am probably least interested in reading).
  • A flister has been surfing Magpie Girl Blog because of me.
  • A 276-slide PowerPoint printed 4-per-page without my having to tell it to (which was good because I clicked Printed before realizing what a big document it was).
Things I did well today:
  • I only snoozed my alarm once and I ate breakfast at home and I went to the Collapse )
  • I finally mailed my GAP VISA payment (all my postage stamps are at work, so I put it in my bag and kept forgetting about it when I was at work).
  • I navigated the ID card swap/replacement maze for Prof.D.
  • I reached out to FUH re: grading and totes got to manage the poll participation the electronic way (I've been helping a coworker and think her system is really inefficient) AND figured out how to generate averages from text entries (with thanks to Ranjan).
  • I followed up on all the stuff that came in while I was out yesterday.
  • I did some work on the AAR.  (The problem with giving myself permission to only do some -- the intention of which is to not have me feel paralyzed with guilt/anxiety over not having finished the entire thing in one day -- is that after I've done some, I feel like I can then quit for the day.)
  • I emailed Laura Ruth (thanking her for "hearing and holding me" last night and also talking about Pentecost).
  • I emailed various people (Ross, Sara, L.) about getting-together plans.
  • I changed the template on the "professional"(?) blog I'm experimenting with having, and I like it so much better now.
  • I reminded a friend of an additional tool in her (mental/emotional/spiritual/psychological) toolbox.
  • I found two things in B's office (per his request).
Things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
["anything that you're looking forward to, that means you're facing tomorrow with joy, not trepidation," as Ari says]
  • Firefly discussion with Jeff, L., et al.

Another Magpie Girl post:
Over at The DO LESS Revolution, we are getting ready to get rid of a bunch of stuff on our To-Do list.

Sometimes, I think we take the idea of Doing Less too literally, restricting ourselves to reducing only our external tasks and chores.  But our internal tasks demand our time and energy as well. By internal tasks I mean the activities of our monkey mind - mental and emotional busyness. So here’s a little warm-up exercise for Friday’s DO LESS post. What *8Things do you need less of– from the internal or external list? Here’s mine, share yours!
Her list included:
* Worry
* Regrets
* Second Guessing
* Self Criticism

I feel like what I need right now is more in my life -- more abundance ... more physical touch, more conversations and interactions and time with people I love, more delicious food, more sleep.  But I do appreciate the spirit of this exercise.


Another blogpost I read today was Sweet Machine's "Queering my mirror."  Excerpt:
Seeing the world through a queer eye makes me look at other women without the pathological measuring up/judging/comparing that I have been trained to perform since girlhood. Especially when I am actively dating a woman, I look at women and don’t think about how they differ from me and whether that puts us higher or lower on the hierarchy of acceptability. I look at women and think, How lovely you are. And there is a point, for me, when that can become How lovely I am.

When I was in college, I had a serious (but fun!) relationship with a woman who was also white, tall, and brunette. Our friends joked that we had Identical Lesbian Syndrome because we were roughly the same height and weight and had dark curly hair. The truth is, we really didn’t look alike in either our figures or our faces, but hearing that other people thought we did astonished me, because she was the most adorable, desirable person I could imagine.  People told me all the time that I looked like her—even though, to myself, for years I had looked like a clearly undesireable person with a flabby body, bad skin, and way too much hair, who would never ever be pretty. When I was dating my non-identical-gf, we could trade clothes with each other… so that implied my body wasn’t as grotesque as I had imagined. Our bodies were differently proportioned… but when we were naked we looked more alike than different.

It would be difficult to overstate how simultaneously liberating and confusing this was for me. Here was someone whose body I adored for the same reasons I had always hated mine: its softness, its roundness, its abundance. Her body was dramatic and singular, yet every time I looked at her and praised her, there was some part of my mind thinking, “And that is also true of me.” Having a strong relationship and good sex was positive for me in the way it often is, but this particular relationship made me look at myself differently; it was like having a different mirror.
One of my initial reactions to this was: I totally look at women (people, really) I'm interested in/attracted to and think about how much more awesome they are than I am (including physically) and thus why of course they wouldn't be interested in me.

But I also thought about how the people I've been attracted to haven't been people I would objectively say are particularly hot but THAT DOESN'T MATTER -- I mean, I love these people deeply (and not just in a gen way), and I don't love them in spite of or because of their bodies, I just love (and want) them inclusive of their bodies, and it's a really good reminder to me that, oh yeah, it works the other way, too.