Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Feel good about yourself--Become an extremist

John Cleese tells us how to avoid the dark truth of our inner nastiness and transform ourselves into champions of truth.

(Hat tip to CB who hat tips MR)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Interpreting Screams

My house is loud. My mind is quiet. Thinking has been replaced by the voice and energy of two-year-old activity and the responses of us adults around him. I fully expect the substitution of noise for thought to be temporary--confidant that I will adjust to new ambient noises of play. But in the mean time, here I am, interpreting loud noise instead of phenomena related to justice after rape.

New sounds for these ears: His sweet bare feet pattering in excited circles on the concrete floor of the living room, giggles, legoes being poured from their box, automated toys, an enthralled and repeated introduction of himself into the fan, "I'm Judah!" which I think means "I'm happy and excited about the discovery of the effect these whirling blades have on my voice!"and of course screams-some of surprise and joy-"this bathwater is cold!" or "that praying mantis is awesome!" others demanding, or sad or asserting his will "pay attention to me" "my tummy hurts" "I don't want to sleep"or "I want to play in the mud, not wear sunscreen and suck my thumb before I let you wash my hands!" he really says all that--at least that's my translation. Much of what is being said I think might be summed up as, "I am still overwhelmed by my new surroundings! adjusting to them is hard and will take me a little while!" Lest, my words be understood as a complaint--this is an appropriate time to remind the reader of 4 important things: 1) I am head-over-heels in love with this kid, 2) his volume is surely not uncommon or above average for his age 3) I happily chose with my eyes wide open to be part of a community with his two-year old self, and 4) I recognize in cries and yells a valid and noteworthy form of communication.

If I screamed right now it would mean a few things. "I'm so unproductive it's scary!" "I need to work!" "I can't concentrate on reading other people's ideas let alone come up with my own!" and much more deeply honest, "I don't want to massively fail at the one thing I am trying to do that actually matters: loving people."

In all truth, I don't really feel the need to scream. I rather feel like taking some deep breaths and enjoying the solitude inspired by a few moments towards the end of a yoga practice recording that Kellen brought with her. (It has been awesome having a practice partner!) After sweating through an hour or so of beautiful posture sequences in a final resting posture, Tracy Chapman assures us, "Ooh Child, things are gonna get easier." At that moment the lyrics present themselves as irrefutable truth. Then a rather bizarre thing happens--the yoga class next door (when the original recording was done) begins screaming--for some inexplicable reason. We have no idea why--but the recorded instructor jokes that they are expelling demons. Perhaps that's not a bad idea. Maybe we all need to scream once in awhile and be given permission to act like we're two.

If you screamed right now, what would it mean?