Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Divining Hour

My favorite time of day is between 3 and 5 o'clock on the weekends. All the busyness of the morning errands and rituals is over, my afternoon nap has just ended, and I am still fuzzy from awakening not quite sure what day or time it is. Relieved or longing for a moment more in that dream world. A diet Pepsi is bringing me slowly back to life, and the evening is not yet encroaching on my conscience, or is it conscious? Dinner plans are percolating in the back of my head, and I might take a stroll outside if the sun is bright and warm, stopping to feel the warm bricks on the buildings of Randolph Street. My cashmere sweater, puffy coat and fleece gloves are a bit much on this particular day. The clocks on the Square are confusingly disparate, leaving me wondering what time it really is, or temperature. I wish someone would come to the door selling Girl Scout cookies.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Head or Heart

From The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe:


I know that I am making this decision from the heart. I know it is the wrong thing to do. 
No, said Mma Potokwane. It is never the wrong thing to do. Never.

This exchange made me think immediately how I always make decisions from my head. I often write out a Pro and Con list when making a big decisions, and I became enamored with the Decisional Balancing Scale that I learned from a therapeutic workshop. My heart tends to be sadly pushed aside as reason and intellect and rationality seem a better basis for action.  

Recently I have been working with Dialectical Behavior Therapy which promotes a Wise Mind approach. Combining the Reasonable Mind and the Emotional Mind will result in a good decision or reaction to situations. This therapy was designed for people whose tendency is towards emotional decisions and reactions. The opposite of me. But when they talk about how your emotions can be a valuable asset to listen to, I have to agree.

I can think of a few times I have consciously let emotion guide decisions. Those that come to mind are when I have decided to break rules or ethical standards because I "feel" it is the right thing to do. For example, I have loaned money knowing I would probably not get it back, or done something that may be perceived as enabling because the person was down, or old or whatever. 

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Infidel

Just finished reading "Infidel" loaned to me by a friend who has similar taste in books. However, this was a totally different kind of book, biographical and politically astounding. Published in 2007, Ayaan Hirsi Ali was born Muslim and was a 'true believer' experiencing many forms of violence I had only vague knowledge of. Her enlightenment began in her teens as she struggled with her faith, eventually immigrating to Holland to escape arranged marriage, lack of respect and inferior education and employment (that would be the mild version). She came to speak out very publicly against the intolerance and violence of the Islamic culture and the Quran itself. She was one of a very few Muslims to speak out against Islam and multiculturalism in the wake of 9-11. She was elected to the Dutch parliament to advocate for abolishing segregated religious schools, ending violence against women and keeping proper statistics on honor killings, female excision, domestic violence and other forms of violence against women. Her life has been threatened continuously since.

I'm wondering what my cyber friend http://ginniehart.blogspot.com/ thinks and knows of the book and life of Ayaan and Muslim women in Holland, since Ginnie is now Dutch herself.

If you watch Ayaan's short film, Submission Part I on youtube, there are so many disturbing, ignorant comments. I almost feel writing this barely read blog could endanger me in some way. Ayaan's collaborator, Theo van Gogh was murdered in 2004 by a Muslim after making and releasing this film. This is a very provacative topic, and all she is fighting for is what we, in the United States, take for granted: freedom. And for Islam to move into the 21st century so that all people can prosper.